Let's Talk About The Realities Of Morning Sickness

Photographed by Grace Willis.
Today on CBS This Morning, Kelly Clarkson, pregnant for the second time, described the draining effects of morning sickness. "I have to get IVs and fluids because I get so dehydrated," she told host Gayle King. "It's really bad." Clarkson's first pregnancy was no different, as she explained to Ellen Degeneres in 2013: "I vomit a good dozen times a day." The singer summed up her experience with the most succinct description possible — "It's, like, bad."

Clarkson's story is remarkably similar to that of Kate Middleton, whose pregnancies famously featured hyperemesis gravidarum, a condition even worse than extreme morning sickness. Although morning sickness is one of the most commonly depicted symptoms of pregnancy, it's rare to see how debilitating it can truly be.

Here's the thing: Morning sickness (which, for the record, is not contained just to the a.m.) is so frequently shown as a sign of pregnancy because it is very common. In fact, it affects more than half of pregnant women. There's no direct way to treat it, but getting plenty of rest, eating mild foods (and avoiding getting too hungry), and generally treating your morning sickness like a regular stomach bug is recommended. Moderate cases are relatively easy to manage and normally abate by the midpoint of pregnancy.

Why, then, would Kelly Clarkson need to rely on an IV drip to keep her going? Severe cases of morning sickness prevent women from keeping anything in their stomachs, and this can lead to dehydration and even weight loss, according to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Doctors usually suggest treatment with vitamin B6, over-the-counter anti-nausea and anti-vomiting medications, and in the worst cases, IVs and/or prescription drugs.

Luckily, Clarkson's hardships may not be a bad sign: Research shows that women who deal with morning sickness are less likely to miscarry or give birth prematurely, and their children may even go on to be smarter than average. Silver linings?

More from Body

Although he had been dead for decades, Jim Morrison said something a few years ago that shocked people. He wasn’t speaking from beyond the grave, but in ...
In April, I ran a story called “The Medium-Sized Woman Problem.” The “problem,” of course, was not the women themselves, but the way in which we frame ...
Jill Krause writes about all things mom, parenting, and relationships at her blog, Baby Rabies, and she has some words of advice for the non-pregnant ...
Pregnant women get a lot of advice about motherhood, even when they don't ask for it. And in the first episode of Expecting, from Refinery29's comedy ...
Let me introduce you all to the love of my life, Sienna Harper Gernon! I've never felt love like it! @justchrisgernon thank you so much, you have been...
Ragazzi mi state seguendo in tanti e vorrei ringraziarvi e scusarmi se non riesco a rispondere a tutti...vi proprio ho una foto che mi ricorda tutte ...
Update: Kopp's original Facebook post has been removed, and, as Shape reports, the chances of contracting an infection so severe that draining is ...
(Paid Content) Stress sweat is different from regular sweat in that it feeds off bacteria and causes odor. Then you start to think about it — producing ...
Breast-feeding has numerous benefits for both mother and baby, but it doesn't always come as naturally as we might assume. And, as one viral photo shows, ...
Last week, Kelly Stanley was breast-feeding her 9-month-old baby during dinner when someone else at her table decided to grab a cloth napkin and try to ...
Periods may be annoying, but at least they're predictable — sort of. If yours is a little delayed this cycle, and you're not trying to get pregnant right ...
It sustains life. It boosts immunity. It may or may not taste like the milk left over from a bowl of Lucky Charms. (Full disclosure: I sampled mine just ...
Gina Rodriguez is the master of keeping it real. She's been open about everything from losing her virginity to coping with thyroid disease, so it makes ...
When you see your friend's adorable baby, your first instinct, understandably, is probably to hug and kiss her all over. However, you might want to think ...