What does morning sickness feel like? What you need to know.

So you are scanning your body, checking or searching or maybe hoping for symptoms.

Is it morning sickness? Isn’t it?

So what does morning sickness feel like?

It seems it can feel really different from woman to woman, ranging from a slightly queasy feeling (like you’re a bit hung over or have eaten something dodgy) to full on I’m-never-going-to-get-through-this vomiting.

The hard thing to clearly convey to someone who has never experienced morning sickness is that it’s nausea but nausea with a twist.

What I wish I knew about morning sickness before it started

Is it like motion sickness or a hangover?

It’s kind of like motion sickness and kind of like a hang over, and kind of like being hungry and sick at the same time. But none of these descriptions fit completely. Maybe it’s like having nausea with the flu while you’re hungry but not wanting to eat, and also needing to take a nap. Not the clearest or simplest explanation!

One key difference between morning sickness and say motion sickness, is that it’s all tied up with pregnancy fatigue and hormones pulsing through you. It takes it to a whole different level.

Other Mamas describe what their morning sickness felt like

To give you some different perspectives, we put the question “What does morning sickness feel like?” to other Mamas who have experienced morning sickness. This is what they shared:

  • It was like the worst hangover of my entire life. Not cool hormones. Just not cool.

  • What does morning sickness feel like? It feels like having an unsettled stomach and being worn out at the same time. Just general queasiness with being tired.

  • It feels like being car sick and hung over for me. Really rotten. Vomiting doesn’t relieve it either.

What does morning sickness feel like.

  • Car sick with a virus I think. Hard to explain.

  • For me morning sickness felt like a tummy bug with no cramps.

  • Mine started as just a constant queasy feeling, then turned into full blown nausea and vomiting.

  • Mine honestly feels like a hangover. I just felt like I constantly wanted to eat something, but nothing sounded good. I wanted to vomit and couldn’t. Then when I finally did, I didn’t help anyway.

  • When my husband asked me what does morning sickness feel like I told him, it’s like having a tummy bug but with less vomiting, no cramps and jet lag.

  • Like a hangover that never goes away is the perfect way to explain the feeling!!! A particularly seedy hangover, which makes you extra tired and weepy.

  • It feels like having this urge to vomit, mixed up with an uncomfortable, sort of hungry feeling.

  • For me it was like queasiness combined with my mouth watering all the time. It’s a weird feeling.

  • For me it was a feeling of being very weak and shaky.  I also felt like I could throw up at any moment but never did.

  • Like motion sickness that comes and goes but combined with feeling hot and getting headaches too.

  • It feels like getting of a roller coaster after eating lunch.

  • Some days mine felt like having butterflies in my stomach for hours.

  • For me morning sickness felt like being on the edge of throwing up at all times, day and night.

  • It’s like the nausea is combined with indigestion and burping. My stomach always feels just off.

  • Mine felt just like motion sickness, but with bonus vomiting at unexpected times. Motion sickness with exhaustion.

  • It was like having sea sickness 24/7 and I just couldn’t seem to get off the boat.

  • Morning sickness felt like having a virus which could turn into a full on stomach bug at any moment.

  • To me it felt like having the flu with a very sensitive gag reflex.

  • Morning sickness feels like having gastro without the stomach cramps.

  • It’s exhaustion and feeling nauseous at the same time.

What time of day does morning sickness usually show up?

For some of us, morning sickness is most intense at a particular time of day, with first thing in the morning or last thing at night being pretty common. For others it kind of hangs around all the time. Having waves of nausea roll in at different times of the day is common too.

Sometimes morning sickness symptoms are linked hunger, or food and smell aversions. Other times it’s just seems random and unpredictable.

Will I actually vomit?

One surprising thing to the uninitiated is that most women with morning sickness feel like vomiting but never or rarely do.

So you probably won’t vomit. But you might! It’s a game of wait and see.

How will I know it’s actually morning sickness and not a stomach bug?

Morning sickness and gastro may share nausea and vomiting as common acquaintances but their other symptoms are quite different.

Gastro symptoms might include:

  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • diarrhoea
  • fever
  • stomach cramps
  • muscle aches

Whereas morning sickness symptoms are typically limited to:

  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • fatigue
  • excessive salivation (so your mouth waters a lot)
  • sensitivity to odours

A fever definitely doesn’t come about from morning sickness.

Another key difference is that gastro usually runs its course in 24 or 48 hours or so. Obviously not all gastro bugs are so short lived, but most would disappear quite quickly. Morning sickness on the other hand may be your constant companion for much longer!

Week 7, Day 1: “Ugh. Stupid morning sickness. I wish you’d leave me alone.”

Week 7, Day 2: Nausea stops. Panic! “Is the baby ok?!”

Week 7, Day 3. Nausea returns. “Oh thank goodness”

Week 7, Day  4, “Ugh. Stupid morning sickness. I wish you’d leave me alone.”

If you are sick and pregnant and not sure if it’s morning sickness,  it’s definitely worth having the conversation with your doctor.

Want to know more about when morning sickness starts?

Read on Mama!

Learn more in our article Want to know when morning sickness starts? What you need to know.