Kim Kardashian's Morning Sickness Controversy Reminds Us Barfing May Be 'Natural' But So What?

Morning sickness is an unfortunate fact of life for almost half of pregnant people. Celebrity mom Kim Kardashian endorsed the anti-morning-sickness drug Diclegis on her Instagram account recently -- and it's causing some controversy. 


There are some over-the-counter options that can help relieve the problem of morning sickness -- ginger, peppermint, hard candies -- but in more severe cases, medicine may be necessary to tamp down the nausea enough to make it through that rocky first trimester. Diclegis is the only FDA-approved anti-morning-sickness drug on the market.

Kardashian, the mother of North West, is expecting her second child this December. Kardashian posted a picture to her Instagram account of her posing with a bottle of Diclegis, and explained in the caption that she's been using her doctor's prescription of the medication to get by:

OMG. Have you heard about this? As you guys know my #morningsickness has been pretty bad. I tried changing things about my lifestyle, like my diet, but nothing helped, so I talked to my doctor. He prescribed me #Diclegis, I felt a lot better and most importantly, it’s been studied and there was no increased risk to the baby. I’m so excited and happy with my results that I’m partnering with Duchesnay USA to raise awareness about treating morning sickness. If you have morning sickness, be safe and sure to ask your doctor about the pill with the pregnant woman on it and find out more;

Her endorsement has been met with some controversy, however. Apparently when the drug first hit the market in the 1970s (then marketed under the name Benedictin), it led to numerous lawsuits from women alleging that their child's birth defect had been caused by taking Diclegis during pregnancy. The manufacturer chose to pull the drug from the market in the 1980s, despite continuing to insist that it was safe, because they could no longer handle the cost of the lawsuits they faced because of it.

More from The Stir: 5 Morning Sickness Cures That Will Have You Feeling Like Your Old Self

But two years ago, the FDA reviewed 30 years' worth of research on the drug, and not only approved it for use in treating morning sickness, but gave it the highest possible safety rating (an "A") for use during pregnancy. There was no change in the rates of infants born with birth defects after the drug was pulled from the market, but there were fully twice as many pregnant women hospitalized with severe dehydration thanks to their omnipresent nausea. Good work, team!

So the controversy over Kardashian's endorsement doesn't have much basis in fact, other than the fact that there are people who think being "natural" is better than not barfing your way into the hospital during your first trimester. Of course your doctor is the only person who can really tell you if this drug is right for you -- there are certain interactions to watch out for, for example, and it can cause drowsiness; and if you have a bad reaction to antihistamines you'll probably have a reaction to Diclegis, too. But if Kim Kardashian's Instagram evangelism has reminded you to talk to your doctor to see what medical options are out there that can help you get through that first trimester, that seems like a good thing to me.


Image © kimkardashian / Instagram

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