Is Having an Upset Stomach a Sign of Pregnancy?

“Morning sickness,” which doesn’t only happen in the morning and doesn’t always include vomiting, will occur in around 7 out of every 10 women who become pregnant. This upset stomach can be constant, as it is for some women; or, you might just experience an occasional upset stomach. It can vary from feeling a little bit whoozy to full-fledged vomiting.

An upset stomach is one of the earliest signs of pregnancy. While breast tenderness is often the first noticeable sign of pregnancy, nausea usually starts quickly after that. Nausea can begin as early as the second week of your pregnancy. Most of the time, nausea does not start until between the fourth and sixth weeks of pregnancy. This will typically be between five and seven weeks after the end of the last menstrual period. Nausea during pregnancy typically subsides between the 12th and 14th weeks of pregnancy.

The reason why pregnancy can cause an upset stomach is not known for certain. Some research suggests that the rapidly changing levels of hormones in your body play a part. The heightened sense of smell that some women experience during pregnancy may be to blame. Pregnancy can also increase the amount of stomach acid, which can cause an upset stomach. Other theories suggest that nausea during pregnancy is caused by the buildup of hCG (human Chorionic Gonadotropin). hCG continues to build up in your system until about the 12th week of your pregnancy, at which point the levels of hCG starts to decrease. This theory seems to be most consistent with actual experience.

Fortunately, there are some things that a mom-to-be can do to reduce upset stomachs during pregnancy. You can avoid foods that are high in fat, especially saturated fats. You can avoid foods with strong smells that could trigger an upset stomach. Some women have had success with sea bands or motion sickness wrist bands. Eating small, frequent snacks and meals to avoid feeling either hungry or too full might help as well. Some pregnant women use rice cakes or crackers to counteract nausea. Keeping hydrated can help as well, and will generally help your health during pregnancy. Many women have had success using a variety of ginger products, such as ginger root supplements or ginger tea to help combat upset stomach.

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