What is the purpose of morning sickness?

posted 3 years ago in Pregnancy
Post # 3
10834 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

@Truffle-hunter: An increase of the hormone Estrogen can cause it as well as an increased sensitivity to odours. 

Post # 4
2174 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

I don’t believe it serves a purpose… It’s just the way that some women’s bodies react to the spike in hormones. If it was beneficial, everyone would experience it. It’s just a symptom of pregnancy, some women get it, and some don’t.

Post # 6
931 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

Well, from my experience MS has no other purpose than to force me to sit on my couch in sweatpants and watch endless hours of Netflix.


But for real, like a PP said it has to do with your body adjusting to the increase in progesterone and estrogne – both can cause nausea. They also slow down your digestion which can lead to an increase in gas, bloating and constipation (fun). I think I read somewhere that cravings/food aversions where your body’s way of getting the nutrients it needs and keeping away from potentially harmful foods.


AND if MS is really bad, you can also take Zofran. I’ve just discovered that this week, and it’s literally changed my life. For about 6 hours I feel like myself again. I can even eat a sandwhich without wanting to die. Woohoo!


Edited to add:


As far as not eating enough to hurt the baby – I’m 9 weeks and I’ve actually lost 4lbs because I can’t seem to eat anything but tangerines, strawberries and watermelon. Everything else comes right back up. My doc said it was okay, the baby was fine because at this point it was less than the size of a green olive and didn’t have much in terms of caloric requirements. As long as I’m taking my prenatals, the baby will get all the micronutrients it needs. Even if I couldn’t keep the prenatal down, my body would pull nutrients from my body to send the baby.




Post # 7
8480 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2013

It doesn’t serve a purpose, it’s just a side effect of your body adjusting to the hormones.

Some women don’t get it at all, and for most it isn’t so bad that they can’t generally go about their days.  For most people, it clears up around 14 weeks or by the second trimester.  I had MS from about 8-16 weeks and I was fine for most of the day (I never missed work).  Mine wasn’t constant sickness, I’d get nauseated if my stomach got too empty.  So if I waited to long to eat or got too hungry I’d get sick.  Eating as soon as I felt a little hungry was probably the best way for me to keep it at bay.  They do have drugs you can take if you have severe MS.

That early in pregnancy baby doesn’t really need much calorie-wise (it’s tiny), and what it needs it will just take from you.  You really only need an extra 150 calories a day during the first trimester.  That’s not much.  Plenty of women lose weight early in pregnancy, and that’s completely normal.

Post # 8
7654 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2012

@Truffle-hunter:  It’s just a side effect. I was one of the lucky women that didn’t get morning sickness, and even though I didn’t get it I still had food aversions and lost a pound in the first tri while many women who were throwing up and couldn’t keep anything down still gained. It’s just out your body responds.

As long as you are taking your prenatal faithfully more than likely the baby will be ok. The baby doesn’t really eat what you eat anyway. They say to just eat whatever you can to keep YOU feeling better. The baby will be ok, but if MS is very severe, it warrants a talk with your doctor to discuss options.

Post # 10
3989 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

I was afraid of this too before getting pregnant, and I had reason to.  I was really really sick first trimester, with no-warning vomiting.   Thankfully, morning sickness is a lot easier to deal with nowadays because of medicaitions like Zofran and Diclegis (I was on both).  Since I was on both, I never missed a single day of work and only vomited at work (in the bathroom) once.

Post # 11
972 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

I think the super bad morning sickness that lasts all pregnancy is actually pretty rare. Most women I know just had the experience of waves of nausea, not a constant state of it. I found that it if I let myself get really hungry it was worse, so I just made sure to keep snacking on saltines on days I felt gross. And I only actually threw up once or twice. Don’t let it scare you 🙂  

Post # 12
10219 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

Good info here from the other Bees in regards to Morning Sickness and how it all comes down to the changes that are going on in a woman’s body (pregnancy is like a rollercoaster… your body is definitely not your own !!)

For simplicity sake, I will say here that there are literally 2 types of Morning Sickness.

The regular kind, that makes one feel queasy and is just generally uncomfortable / no fun… and the kind that can indeed be more serious and potentially harmful to both the Mother & the Baby.

The second one isn’t Morning Sickness at all, but presents similarly in that it cause nausea & vomiting during the first trimester… but it is much more intense and can lead to severe hydration etc.  And therefore can seriously hurt both Mother & Child.

This is the type of illness that Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge had back in December 2012 with her pregnancy with Prince George.


Hope this helps,


Post # 13
42076 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

I think Morning Sickness does have a purpose! It’s to let Mom know who is in charge right from the get go! LOL

There actually was a study at Cornell where they suggested that morning sickness did have a purpose- to protect the fetus  from food-borne illness and also shielding the fetus from chemicals that can deform fetal organs at the most critical time in development.

Their other findings:

— Among women who experience morning sickness, symptoms peak precisely when embryonic organogenesis (organ development) is most susceptible to chemical disruption — between week 6 and week 18 of pregnancy.

— Women who experience morning sickness are significantly less likely to miscarry than women who do not. Women who vomit are significantly less likely to miscarry than those who experience nausea alone.

— Aversion to and avoidance of certain foods also peaks during the first trimester for many pregnant women. The most-observed aversion was to meats, fish, poultry and eggs — the foods that were more likely to carry harmful microorganisms and parasites before the advent of modern refrigeration and food-handling processes. Strong-tasting vegetables, as well as alcoholic and caffeinated beverages, also are disliked by many women.

— In seven traditional societies with virtually no morning sickness, animal products are not a dietary staple. Plant-based foods — and corn, in particular — were found to be the dietary staple in six of seven societies with little or no morning sickness. The edible parts of the corn plant, the kernels, have very low levels of phytochemicals.


The Quarterly Review of Biology (Vol. 75, No. 2, pp. 113-148, June 2000), Samuel M. Flaxman and Paul W. Sherman


Post # 14
1286 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

I wouldnt worry about MS not everyone experiences it. Im 7 weeks and have only gotten sick once. I changed the time of day I take my prenatal and progesterone pills to night and havent felt sick since. I have seen bees on other pregnancy boards post that they hate their MS but r happy because it means their little peanut is growing…. This concerns me like is my baby not growing since I dont have MS regulalry? Also I have zero appetitie and its not because it makes me sick. I am literally full after 5-6 bites of whatever I eat. I am hoping this passes soon though but I havent lost weight so I am not concerned. 

Post # 15
289 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

It’s purpose is to piss you off. 🙂

I had hypermesis when pregnant with my DS and only missed a few days of work when I was hospitalized for it. However, I sat in the hospital bed with my laptop and worked from there!  Other than that, I was working around the clock until the day I delivered at 42 weeks. I had a “barf box” under my desk and took all conference calls from my office so I could mute if I got sick. I was able to participate in all meetings though, no problems. Make some minor changes and you can power through it. 

Post # 16
3989 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

@mjwyatt84:  My morning sickness didn’t start until 9 weeks and it wasn’t just morning sickness, it was all day sickness.  I started out with no appetitie at all.  So you’re not necessarilly out of the clear yet!

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