New Study Shows Morning Sickness Associated with a Healthy Pregnancy
There are many aspects of pregnancy that women enjoy, but morning sickness isn’t one of them. Nausea and vomiting, that often isn’t limited to the morning hours like its name suggests, make many women wonder if they’re going to survive the 40 weeks. But new research may help women change their outlook and see morning sickness as a good thing.
The study, published in JAMA Internal Medicine was executed by researchers at NIH’s Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. This study is said to be the most reliable to date, because data was taken from women who were experiencing the earliest stages of pregnancy at that time, and not recollections after birth or miscarriage.
797 women participated in the study, and kept daily journals of their symptoms between the 2nd and 8th week of pregnancy. They were also given monthly questionnaires to gain further, more specific data. At the end of the study, it was discovered that women who experienced morning sickness were between 50 to 75% less likely to experience a miscarriage.
Researchers still aren’t positive why morning sickness occurs, but they hypothesize that it has to do with the quickly changing hormone levels during the early part of the pregnancy.
Another thought is that it is the body’s way of protecting the fetus against toxins and disease-causing organisms in foods and beverages.
While there is a little comfort in the fact that morning sickness is a sign that the pregnancy is going in the right direction, it’s understandable that pregnant women would like to feel better, especially as many have other responsibilities, including a job and family that require daily commitments.
There are several ways to alleviate the nausea and vomiting associated with pregnancy. Some of them include:
- Eat small, frequent meals because an empty stomach can trigger problems.
- Get plenty of sleep. Allow yourself to nap if possible.
- Keep a scent you enjoy close. Lemon, peppermint, spearmint, or orange are fresh scents that helps many. Whether you have a scented candle or essential oils close by, it may help calm that gag reflex.
- Avoid foods that are rich, high in fat, or spicy.
- Eat foods high in vitamin B, such as bananas, or chicken.
- Keep some crackers handy to snack on to settle an upset stomach. Some women find munching on a few before they even get out of bed in the morning is helpful.
- Stay hydrated. Some pregnant women crave ice-cold beverages, while others find hot herbal tea is helpful. Find what helps you the most and make sure you drink enough. Many women find beverages with ginger soothing to the stomach.
- Carry mints. Popping one in your mouth may make a moment pass, or if you do end up getting sick, then you can at least get the bad taste out of your mouth.
- Find a way to distract yourself. When feeling nauseous, it can be tempting to sit and dwell on it. Call a friend, get caught up in a great book, or put your favorite comedy on Netflix. After a bit, you may realize you’re feeling better.
If you’re already following these suggestions, and still feeling ill, there are more options. Some women have great results wearing wristbands that are intended for motion sickness. Or seek out professionals that offer natural treatments including reflexology, acupuncture, acupressure, aromatherapy, and massage therapy.
Try to stay positive, because most women start feeling better towards the end of their first trimester. The second trimester is often the most exciting, when you will feel better, have more energy, and start to feel movement.
Always stay in communication with your physician about the treatments you are using, as well as how you are feeling. In extreme cases, it may be best to take an anti-nausea medication to ensure you and the baby are getting the nutrients needed to stay healthy.