Morning sickness can be physically undesirable; however, new research points to less incidence of miscarriage in women who experience nausea during pregnancy.
The Mother of All Early Pregnancy Studies
Research in the past has been limited linking morning sickness with reduced risk of miscarriage. Early pregnancy, nausea, and vomiting often go hand-in-hand. Approximately eight out of ten women experience the queasy symptoms during the first trimester. That’s when the hormonal surge is most significant.
The newest study is showing that women who suffered morning sickness had up-to-a -75 percent decreased risk of miscarrying. That’s not to say, however, that women who don’t experience nausea are at greater risk of losing the pregnancy.
The study was conducted by the National Institutes of Health in Maryland and published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Over 750 expectant moms, averaging 29 years old, were asked to write details in journals. (The other existing participant-criteria was that they each had previously suffered one or two miscarriages.) During the study and their recent pregnancy, they recorded their symptoms and completed questionnaires.
The researchers analyzed the cumulative data. Interestingly enough, one out of five women reported feeling nauseous even before taking a pregnancy test. By week two of gestation, almost 20% complained of nausea; by the eighth week, almost 60% reported morning sickness. Part of the conclusion is that the sickness confirmed continuing pregnancy. Another is that it represented a lower risk of miscarriage.
Aside from this study, some medical experts have speculated alternate reasons for the existence of nausea and vomiting during early pregnancy. One reason is that aversion to certain foods (from the nausea) protects the fetus from potential toxicity. Another is that less food equals lower levels of insulin, in turn, encouraging placenta growth.
Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby
On average, according to UK’s National Health Service, one in six pregnancies end in miscarriage. So, this study may offer some solace to pregnant women with morning sickness. But keep in mind, vomiting can cause dehydration and malnourishment. Mamas-to-be need to stay hydrated and try to keep down nutritious foods, even if it’s in small portions.
Prenatal vitamins are an important supplement to a pregnant mom’s diet. Foods high in iron are suggested, complimented by fresh fruits, which will help keep digestion smoothly. Bananas are great because they’re potassium-rich, help fight-off nausea, and offer some energy to combat natural fatigue. Dairy is important for calcium intake.
Pregnant or not, try to reduce or avoid processed or undercooked meats, fish, and eggs. Keep caffeine intake to a minimal. If you already engage in healthy eating practices and daily exercise, then you are off to a great, healthy pregnancy. If there’s room for improvement, becoming pregnant is a formidable way to change your lifestyle for the best!
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