The Surprising Upshot to All Those Months of Morning Sickness



The bad news? You have morning sickness. You have spent most of your pregnancy jamming food into your maw to stave off the pukes and then fire-hosing vomit into the toilet because all that food doesn’t put a dent in the nausea.

The good news? Your morning sickness misery could mean your baby is healthier and smarter than the babies of all those annoying, non-sick pregnant women. So take that, you happy, glowing jerks! I may have spent a grand total of 27 months of my three pregnancies with my face pressed to the bathroom floor but my kids are smarter than your kids!

Well, they might be, anyway. Unless I ruin them with my shoddy parenting skills. I’m probably ruining them. Regardless, as the Wall Street Journal notes, a new study found that women with symptoms of nausea and vomiting during pregnancy had fewer miscarriages and gave birth to bigger, healthier babies than women without symptoms. Not only that, but according to the study, morning sickness is also associated with fewer birth defects and better long-term development for the child.

Researchers say that a hormone, human gonadotropin, is what triggers morning sickness but it and other hormones may simultaneously contribute to the baby’s health. The study is a combination of 10 separate studies conducted in five countries and involving 850,000 pregnant women over the past 12 years. The numbers are intriguing. As the Wall Street Journal reports, “The risk of miscarriage was more than three times as high in women without symptoms of nausea and vomiting as in those with symptoms. Women 35 years old or older, who generally have a relatively high risk for miscarriage, appeared to benefit the most from the ‘protective effect’ associated with morning-sickness symptoms. Nausea and vomiting during pregnancy were associated with a reduced risk for low birth weight and short body length.”

Additionally, one of the underlying studies found that women who suffered from morning sickness had fewer preterm babies than those without symptoms and the risk of birth defects was reduced by between 30% and 80% in infants of mothers with symptoms. Not only that, but those same kids, tested years later scored higher on tests related to language, behavior, and their IQ.

I don’t know about you, but this is one of the only positive things I’ve read about morning sickness so I’m taking this info to the bank. I have to. For my mental well-being should I ever choose to have another child and endure nine more months of feeling nauseated.

Image courtesy of ThinkStock

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