Whether your pregnancy was meticulously planned or happened by surprise, one thing is certain - your life will never be the same. All in all, you are excited about the grand adventure, which is about to begin! You are in awe of the process and science of what your body is doing - creating a child. It just blows your mind, doesn't it?
All along you have waited for this pregnancy, so you want to enjoy every second of it. You never thought you would be suffering from the discomfort of morning sickness. You read in the books that it is a morning thing, so why do you also throw up at six in the evening or continue to feel nauseated throughout the day and sometimes during the night? Even though your friend told you it would go away by three months of pregnancy, it doesn't get any better by even five months!
AdvertisementSo this "morning sickness" also called Nausea and Vomiting of Pregnancy, affects nearly 85% of pregnant women. It is thought to be due to rapid increases in gonadotropin, a hormone released by the placenta. Even the Duchess of Cambridge suffered from a severe form of morning sickness while pregnant with Prince George, called hyperemesis gravidarum, which generally requires treatment in hospital.
Contrary to its name, morning sickness could last throughout the day. It typically begins between 4 to 9 weeks of pregnancy and is usually the most severe between 7 to 12 weeks. For most women, morning sickness eases between 12 to 16 weeks. For some women it continues for several weeks or months, and a few women suffer throughout their entire pregnancy.
Women who do not experience morning sickness should not be alarmed, but new research now shows that women plagued by it are less likely to suffer from miscarriage and it could be a sign of a healthier and more intelligent baby. It is thought that the sickness could be due to the higher levels of hormones indicating a healthier pregnancy. They will also have fewer birth defects and better long-term development for the infant.
The researchers, from the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, looked at data from 10 separate studies conducted in five countries between 1992 and 2012 which covered 850,000 pregnant women. The results were published in the journal Reproductive Toxicology.
The results revealed that:
• Mothers who suffered from morning sickness had fewer premature births, which was 6.4 per cent compared to 9.5 per cent for healthy mothers.
• In women who did not experience morning sickness, the risk of miscarriage was more than three times higher.
• Women who were 35 years or older in particular seemed to benefit from what the researchers called the 'protective effects' that resulted.
• The risk of birth defects was reduced by between 30 per cent and 80 per cent in women with morning sickness.
• Some studies suggested that the benefits were greater in women experiencing moderate-to-severe sickness compared with mild illness.
Babies born to mothers who suffered from morning sickness were tested for intelligence years later and it was found that they scored higher for IQ, language and overall behavior.
The principal author, Gideon wrote: "The present analysis reveals a consistent, favorable effect of nausea and vomiting in pregnancy on rates of miscarriages, congenital malformations, fetal growth, prematurity, and better developmental outcomes on standard psychological tests."
"These findings may stem from a more favorable hormonal milieu in cases of nausea and vomiting in pregnancy, although this hypothesis has not been proven to date."
"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. While this may not be the case in women experiencing hyperemesis gravidarum, it does seem to be valid for the majority of pregnancies."
Natural remedies for morning sickness
• Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water. You could also try frozen natural juice popsicles.
• Vitamin B6 and ginger are most commonly used for morning sickness. Ginger may not be helpful if morning sickness is severe and may worsen your symptoms if taken on an empty stomach.
• Herbal teas and aromatics containing mint, ginger or orange have also been used for morning sickness.
• Other alternative methods include acupuncture and acupressure. These bands press on the P6 point on the wrist. This point can be found by placing three fingers on the inside of your wrist starting just above the palm.