It’s amazing how different one pregnancy can be from another. When I was expecting my now-five-year-old daughter, morning sickness had its onset almost impossibly early: at four weeks, when I was only barely “pregnant enough” to have a positive test. With my second child, I breezed through the first trimester thinking that everything was peachy keen. When I hit the three-month mark, I was sure that I had totally missed the morning sickness bullet, I suddenly found myself sick as a dog! But is it really possible for morning sickness to start in the second trimester?
The answer is, ultimately, that, yes, it’s possible, but it’s not likely. My certified nurse-midwife said that only about one out of two hundred of her patients has morning sickness that begins in the second trimester. Mayo Clinic notes that it’s usually gone completely by the time the second trimester rolls around, but that’s not always the case. In general, levels of the hormones responsible for queasiness peak at about seven or eight weeks, then taper off and stabilize in the second trimester. That’s why morning sickness is usually most noticeable between the seventh and thirteenth week of pregnancy.
When morning sickness starts or persists in the second trimester, there are a few problems that could possibly be to blame. One-and the most likely, if you’re suddenly queasy after month three-is that it isn’t actually morning sickness at all, but a stomach flu like norovirus. Mayo Clinic notes that stomach viruses usually cause other symptoms besides nausea and vomiting, such as cramping, diarrhea, and a low fever. They also usually last only a few days, so if your second-trimester nausea comes and goes quickly, it may be a virus. Make sure you get in touch with your prenatal care provider for treatment advice and diagnosis.
Another possibility is that you could be suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum. This is considered to be an extremely severe form of morning sickness because it causes such persistent queasiness that many moms-to-be end up needing intravenous fluids because they can’t swallow sips of water to make up for the fluids lost to sickness. Mommies with hyperemesis also usually lose weight and feel weak and tired. Unlike normal morning sickness, hyperemesis gravidarum usually sticks around into the second trimester. Since it can endanger both you and your unborn baby, you’ll need treatment if your doctor or midwife does determine that you have hyperemesis.
Second-trimester morning sickness isn’t a problem in and of itself if you are able to drink water, eat some food, and take your prenatal vitamins. This is true even if it shows up for the first time after the first trimester. However, since it’s uncommon for morning sickness to begin or persist this long into pregnancy, it’s best to get in touch with an expert to make sure that nothing else is wrong. A little caution can keep you and your little one safe, sound, and healthy.