New research shows that if your mother suffered from a serious type of morning sickness (hyperemesis gravidarum), you have triple the risk for the same condition, according to a study published in The British Medical Journal.
Around 2% of women suffer excessive nausea and vomiting in pregnancy, a condition which can lead to hospitalization.
The study, which was conducted at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health in Oslo, examined data on 2.3 million births — all births registered in Norway between 1967 and 2006.
The researchers found that one percent of the daughters of women who hadn’t suffered from severe morning sickness had the condition, compared to 3 percent of the daughters whose mothers had severe morning sickness. There was no significant increaseed risk for the partners of men whose mothers had the condition.
In other words, there could be a genetic link from mothers to daughters for severe morning sickness. Of course, environmental factors shared by mother and daughter — such as nutrition, smoking, or air quality — could also play a role.
Interestingly, the risk of morning sickness was greater if a woman’s mother hadn’t gotten sick while pregnant with her, but had been ill in previous or subsequent pregnancies.
In past generations, morning sickness was said to be a psychological problem. “Some women experiencing this condition are still told by their healthcare providers to ‘quit pretending to be sick,’” noted the researchers.
Photo: Anthea Sieveking . Wellcome Images