Morning sickness is definitely one of the less appealing aspects of pregnancy, but here’s something that might make it a little easier to stomach.
Research has found women who suffer moderate to severe morning sickness may have a reduced risk of miscarriage, birth defects, low birth weight and prematurity – and produce children who later score higher on IQ tests at school.
Canadian researchers analysed 10 prevous studies covering a total of 850,000 women and found nausea and vomiting in pregnancy (NVP) carried several benefits (though it may not feel like it at the time).
In their study published in the Reproductive Toxicology journal, researchers from The Hospital for Sick Children and the University of Toronto suggest morning sickness may be caused by higher hormone levels, indicating a more robust pregnancy.
They found women who didn’t suffer any morning sickness were at least three times more likely to miscarry in the first trimester than women who did. Some 6.4 per cent of mothers who endured morning sickness had premature births, compared with 9.5 per cent for mothers with no NVP. The risk of birth defects was reduced by up to 80 per cent.
Lead author Gideon Koren writes in the journal: “The present analysis reveals a consistent, favourable effect of nausea and vomiting in pregnancy on rates of miscarriages, congenital malformations, fetal growth, prematurity, and better developmental outcomes on standard psychological tests.
“Women with moderate to severe nausea and vomiting in pregnancy often experience major negative impact on their health and quality of life. Our analysis indicates that reassuring these women that their severe symptoms may confer favourable fetal outcome in their unborn babies, is logical.”
Importantly, the British National Health Service points out that the research does not prove a pregnancy without nausea and vomiting means a poorer outcome.
(via The Telegraph)