Morning sickness may mean healthier baby


A recent study has revealed that women who suffer morning sickness may have a healthier pregnancy with a lower risk of miscarriage, and the baby may have a higher intelligence level.

The studies have indicated a variety of benefits linked to nausea during pregnancy as it is suggested that the sickness could be the result of high hormone levels which indicates a healthier pregnancy.

Researchers in Canada have revealed that women who do not suffer from vomiting and nausea during their pregnancies were between three to ten times more likely to suffer a miscarriage in the first trimester of pregnancy compared to those who suffered morning sickness.

Babies born to mothers who suffer morning sickness were at less risk of birth defects, being born prematurely, be small or have a low birth weight. They also scored higher on IQ tests between the ages of three and seven.

The researchers analysed data from 10 separate studies which had been undertaken in five countries during the period from 1992 to 2012, which involved 850000 pregnant females.

The study which was published in the Reproductive Toxicology journal found:

• Women who suffered morning sickness had fewer premature births at 6.4% compared to 9.5% for healthy women

• The miscarriage risk was three times higher in women who did not suffer morning sickness

• Women aged 35 and older seemed to gain more from the resultant ‘protective effects’ of morning sickness

• The risk of birth defects was reduced by between 30% and 80%

• Some of the results indicated that the benefits were more enhanced with moderate to severe morning sickness, compared with a mild form

The lead author of the study from the Department of Paediatrics at The Hospital for Sick Children and the University of Toronto, wrote that the findings may be due to a more favourable hormonal environment in cases of morning sickness during pregnancy, but the theory has not yet been proven. He said that suffering from moderate to severe morning sickness during pregnancy often has a negative impact on the quality of life and health of the woman.

He added that the results indicate that women should be offered reassurance that the severe symptoms they experience will have favourable results for their babies. Although this may not seem appropriate for those females who suffer hyperemesis gravidarum, it is valid for most pregnancies.

Image Credit: Daniel Oines


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Emma Brown

Emma graduated in 2005 from the University of York with a degree in English Literature. A huge passion for writing and health topics, Emma is a perfect match for Health News UK. Hobbies include; cooking, writing (of course), musicals and her 2 dogs.

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