Pregnancy To-Do List

Got Morning Sickness? Consider Yourself Lucky!

pregnant woman on bed uncomfortable

Ask most pregnant women how they're feeling in their first trimester, and besides elated to be expecting, they may tell you that they're sick as a dog. Up to 85 percent of pregnant women experience morning sickness, likely as a result of rapidly rising levels of the hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), which is released by the placenta. Still, as common a symptom of early pregnancy as morning sickness may be, no one's jumping with joy that they're having to contend with it. But apparently, the sicker you are, the more ecstatic you ought to be. No, really!

New research has found surprising upsides to morning sickness: Pregnant women who suffer from the symptom are less likely to miscarry or have a premature birth. Their babies have fewer birth defects and -- get this -- even score higher on IQ tests. Who knew?!

The findings, published in this month's issue of the journal Reproductive Toxicology, are based on a systematic review of 10 different studies involving hundreds of thousands of pregnancies. (It's worth noting the review didn't look at severe morning sickness, otherwise known as hyperemesis gravidarum -- just "normal" morning sickness.) Turns out, those higher levels of hCG mean a better outcome for the fetus and decrease some of the risks during pregnancy, according to the lead study author Dr. Gideon Koren, a pediatrician at The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto and the founder of its Motherisk Program. Interesting, right?

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

As for the brainy benefits: One small study Koren used for the review, which involved 45 children whose mothers suffered from morning sickness, found the kids scored higher on IQ tests than those whose mothers had a nausea-free pregnancy. Nice!

That said, moms can rest assured that annoying queasiness and all the other unsavory symptoms that come with morning sickness aren't all for naught! In fact, it's for the greater good, and they likely signal that you're perfectly well -- and your little one will be even better off too boot. Not to mention that it's pretty intensive but helpful training for when we're exhausted for our kiddos in the years to come!

Does this make you feel better about morning sickness?


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nonmember avatar Jenn

I had hypermedia gravidarum so my daughter had better be Steven Hawking smart! ;)

kayba... kaybayblee3

I agree with Jenn. Both my pregnancies were spent in and out of the ER for dehydration for that, and I always had to have Zofran on hand or else I would be hunched over a toliet constantly.

nonmember avatar Meagan

So tired of hearing this...I had zero morning sickness with all 3 of my kids. I have never had a miscarriage, all of them were full term & they are pretty smart. I have heard so many times that if you aren't sick it leads to miscarriages and such, NOT TRUE!

nonmember avatar KateK

Don't follow. We just lost our baby and I had severe nausea!! My other two I had severe nausea with my oldest and my youngest I had some nausea.. But not very much.

nonmember avatar Ali

I agree with Meagan. I had five kids and other than getting the flu with nervous three I threw up ONCE. My kids test higher than average for IQ and I have never miscarried. This study was not well done. 45 people? And what other influences were taken into account? Breastfeeding? Breastfeeding has much more research done correlating that to higher IQ than non breastfeed. It's nice to try to make the majority of women who deal with the horror of morning sickness feel better about their suffering. But please!

nonmember avatar Melissa

I wasn't sick with either of my kids in fact I didn't have hardly any symptoms if I didn't hear a heartbeat during my doctor visits I would never believe I was pregnant my doctor just said I had calm content babies least until the last two months

nonmember avatar Jamie

Wow settle down Moms!!! You people are so defensive. If you don't like it, don't read it!

Cherie Ann Duarte

I had twins and multiple births are supposedly higher for morning sickness. I didn't gave any and my son and daughter were 6 ib 14 oz and 7 lb 7 oz respectively. They were full full term for multiples 37 weeks.

nonmember avatar Renee Dryden

With how sick I was with my daughter for the whole pregnancy and the meds I had to be on she better be a genius!! I was so sick I couldn't eat and when I did it came right back up. I was on 2 different nausea meds. And i had to take childrens vitamins cuz the prenatals would make me sicker. I lostore weight than gained. I was miserable. And I lived mostly off of my homemade protein shakes. Ice cream, whole milk, bananas, and carnation instant breakfast. Sometimes I would add that instant cappuccino powder or some chocolate syrup..

nonmember avatar Kathryn

I'm with Cherie. I wasn't sick at all with my twins. They were born at 38 weeks at 6lbs 15oz and 6lbs 5oz. They are both so smart its scary.

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