When I first saw my positive pregnancy test, I was filled with joy. Baby number two was on the way! But after about six weeks, that joy in the pit of my stomach was replaced by nausea. That's right: I was struck with morning sickness. It seemed I spent my entire day wondering if I would need to sprint to the nearest toilet or trash can. I also had a mischievous toddler at the time, so the days seemed to stretch on forever. At the end of each week, I wondered, "How much more of this can I take?"
For some expecting mothers, morning sickness consists of nausea and extreme fatigue. Sometimes, that nausea even turns into actual vomiting (I was one of those lucky ones). Either way, it's an unpleasant part of being pregnant. But how long does it typically last? Not that long, thankfully. "For many women, their morning sickness begins as soon as they miss their period, but fortunately, most women feel better by the end of the first trimester, around 12 to 14 weeks," said Mary Jane Minkin, M.D., clinical professor of obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive sciences at the Yale School of Medicine.
She did explain, however, that the term "morning" sickness can be misleading, because many women feel fatigued and nauseous at various times throughout the day — or worse, all day long. For those women, a more realistic name would be "24-hour sickness." I know that that was certainly the case for me. I remember watching the clock in the evenings, counting down the minutes until my husband came home so he could take care of our toddler and I could heave in peace.
On top of feeling sick, I always felt so exhausted that caring for a toddler seemed impossible. According to Dr. Minkin, that doesn't last too long, either. "The significant fatigue that many women also experience during the first trimester tends to get better around 12 to 14 weeks, too," she said. Thankfully, she was right in my case. The pep in my step did indeed come back almost as soon as I transitioned to my second trimester.
In fact, the second trimester tends to be the sweet spot for many women during their pregnancies, so hang in there if you're in your first trimester and feeling awful! Soon, the morning sickness will subsided and your energy will come back. And once it's finally gone away for good, you can spend all your energy looking forward to meeting your new little bundle of joy.