10 Pregnancy Myths
Glowing skin. Bad sex. Cravings for pickles and ice cream. You may expect these changes - but here’s why they may not happen to you
Myth: Queasiness will end with the first trimester
"Morning sickness lasted well into my second trimester," says Susannah Hunnewell, an editor in New York City, whose obstetrician, friends, and pregnancy books said it would be gone by then. "It's the feeling of helplessness that really got to me. You just have to wait for it to go away."
And morning sickness doesn't happen only in the morning; it can strike at any time of day or night. It's known as morning sickness because an empty stomach can lead to queasiness, and your stomach is usually empty when you wake up.
It may help you feel better - at least mentally - to know that nausea and vomiting are often signs of a healthy pregnancy, says Sharon Phelan, M.D., associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Alabama, in Birmingham. They indicate high levels of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), a hormone produced by the placenta that keeps a pregnancy on course.
"The hCG levels peak between 8 and 12 weeks," says Tekoa King, a certified nurse-midwife and assistant professor of obstetrics at the University of California, San Francisco. This explains why many morning sickness sufferers find relief after the first trimester. Of pregnant women, roughly 50 to 75 percent experience nausea and vomiting, "but we don't know why some feel the effects of hCG more than others or for longer than others," says King.
The worst of it? The sympathy factor is inversely proportional to the length of time you suffer, as if your statute of limitations runs out by week 14. "Someone even asked me if I was a hypochondriac," says Hunnewell.
To ease queasiness until it runs its course, avoid odors or foods that trigger it; munch on high-carbo snacks like pretzels; chew gum; or suck on a mint, half a lemon, or ice chips.