Pregnancy Symptoms

Morning Sickness Causes

The exact causes for morning sickness during pregnancy are unknown, but it's probably due to the many physical changes taking place in your body.

Some Possible Causes

  • A buildup of hCG (human chorionic gonadotopin), estrogen and other pregnancy related hormones in the bloodstream. These hormones are secreted by the placenta and the embryo, and cause the stomach to empty more slowly. The hormone levels continue to increase until about week 12 of your pregnancy, and, if you are lucky, morning sickness symptoms will gradually decrease from then onward. No one really knows why they may contribute to your nausea, though.

  • A heightened sense of smell and sensitivity to odors. Quite often, pregnant women find the smell of certain foods, particularly fried foods, repulsive. Certain aroma's can even trigger a gag reflex. This too is a side effect of increasing hormone levels.

  • The gastrointestinal tract slows down and altered acid production in the stomach can also lead to morning sickness. Researchers have even found a connection between h. pylori (a gastrointestinal bacteria) and severe nausea during pregnancy, although no one knows why the two may be related.

  • An imbalance in blood sugar levels.

  • Emotional factors and certain foods can also aggravate the problem.

It's Not All Bad...

Research is being conducted to determine whether morning sickness is actually involved in helping the pregnant woman to modify her diet in order to produce a healthier baby. In the first 12 to 14 weeks when the baby's organs are developing it is important that toxins do not enter the embryo and if they do, that they don't stay there for long. Morning sickness may be nature's way of protecting the embryo from naturally occurring plant and bacterial toxins in the mother's diet by causing her to become repulsed by smells and tastes that indicate toxicity.