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The term ‘morning sickness’ has become an absolutely necessary mention when there are any talks around pregnancy. Both are linked together so inextricably that any mention of one without the other might send alarm bells ringing in a woman’s head. Suffering from nausea is never a pleasant sensation, even though you might have a baby or not. But there’s more to it than simply the tendency to throw up and having morning sickness might actually be a sign for a sustained and well-formed pregnancy.
Is Nausea a Good Sign During Pregnancy?
If you’re wondering whether suffering from nausea means a healthy pregnancy for you, then you are quite close to being right. Both are results of biological changes within your body and are definitely linked together. In addition to that, the absence of morning sickness may not necessarily mean a bad pregnancy as well.
In pregnancy, the hormone hCG, or human chorionic gonadotrophin, reaches its peak as a result of the formation of the placenta on the onset of being pregnant. These levels keep on increasing in the initial stage of pregnancy, which is primarily when the signs of nausea are the strongest. Furthermore, once 14-15 weeks of pregnancy are completed, these hormones plateau and their levels begin to reduce gradually as the fetus starts to sustain itself. This is also the period where many women have noted their morning sickness to have reduced or have started handling it better.
Women who have motion sickness or multiple triggers of nausea might suffer morning sickness a bit more frequently than other women. This can get difficult while travelling to work or even taking a small holiday for yourself. On the contrary, certain women may rarely experience nausea or nothing at all. That, too, is normal and does have a good chance of proceeding to a healthy pregnancy as well.
How Does Nausea Help Pregnancy?
Only pregnant women can understand the discomfort of feeling nauseous throughout the day. But, there is a brighter side to this phenomena since morning sickness has known to impact a woman’s health in a positive way. Here’s how morning sickness helps pregnant women:
1. Eliminates Toxins From the Mother’s Body
- The tendency to throw up is the body’s natural way of cleansing itself of any toxins that might be present within and be harmful to the mother as well as the baby.
- This also occurs on eating certain food items, purely because those items, too, may pose a risk to the mother’s health.
- The immunity of a pregnant woman in the early stages is lowered to facilitate uterus implantation, which results in nausea being stronger as a defensive mechanism.
- Women who primarily follow vegetarian and light diet tend to report lower instances of morning sickness due to the same reason.
- The first trimester shows the highest signs of this since the foetus is at its most vulnerable and this keeps it protected throughout.
2. Maintains Healthy Hormone Levels
- Pregnancy triggers the body to start producing hormones like estrogen and hCG to satisfy the demand of the requirements.
- These elevated levels can cause nausea to set in at random times, leading to morning sickness.
- Conversely, having morning sickness does indicate elevated hormone levels which are a strong sign of fetal development proceeding ahead in a healthy manner.
3. Reduces Risk of Miscarriage
- Various studies have observed that women who continue having morning sickness in pregnancy tend to have extremely lowered risks of miscarriage, even down by 50% or so.
- In younger women less than 25 years old, their risks reduce four-fold on experiencing nausea as compared to women who do not.
- The same risks are reduced even further for women who are 35 years and older, at a level of nearly twelve-fold or more.
- The duration of experiencing morning sickness plays a vital role, too. If older women tend to be nauseous for a better part of their pregnancy, their chances of miscarrying their baby are down to nearly 20% only.
- Women who have strong morning sickness symptoms can be assured of the fact that their miscarriage risks are severely reduced as a result of it.
4. Indicates Nutrient Supply to Fetus
- The elevated hormone levels that cause nausea in the first place are a result of the formation of the placenta.
- The placenta plays a key role in providing the developing foetus with all the nutrients and blood supply that it needs to grow into a baby.
- A larger placenta can provide nutrition in a good quantity, which also tends to result in more hormones to be produced, causing morning sickness to be more apparent than not.
5. Results In Smarter Babies
- As surprising as it might seem, a study has observed a link between mothers experiencing morning sickness throughout pregnancy and a marginally higher IQ rating in their off-springs.
- Though the connection might have to be conclusively established, the increase in IQ rating could be attributed to the fact that women with nausea would rarely consume food items that contain harmful substances.
- This keeps the brain of the growing foetus protected from any defects or disorders, allowing it to develop to its full capacity, and result in a brighter and smarter child on growing up.
New mothers might still have a few more queries in regards to ensuring their and their baby’s health. Here are some commonly asked questions.
1. What are the health risks of severe morning sickness?
Severe morning sickness is also termed as hyperemesis gravidarum. These do increase the risks of certain health conditions, such as:
Disorders of the Brain
Constant nausea and vomiting could rid the body of vital nutrients, which results in a weight loss of the mother and, consequently, the child. This could set in motion certain vitamin deficiencies in the body, resulting in various brain-related issues affecting the mother. Symptoms start ranging from a substantial loss in vision, unable to maintain balance, and having trouble with eye and muscle coordination. These symptoms are quite similar to those experienced by alcoholics as well as by people who have gastric problems, resulting in the body failing to absorb nutrients from the food.
Psychological Problems In the Child
A bunch of studies have found a connection between mothers who have had severe morning sickness and their children suffering from various behavioural problems. Offsprings of such women have shown significant symptoms of depression, bipolar, anxiety when they grow up. This seems to be a result of the combination of nutrient deficiency due to vomiting, as well as the stress experienced by mothers due to it. These impact not just the development of the brain in the fetus but may cause problems later in both the child and the mother, leading to various hindrances in forming a strong emotional bond between the mother and the child.
Though morning sickness prevents risks of miscarriage, severe morning sickness works in the other direction and increases the chances of mothers delivering their baby before completion of the full term of the pregnancy. These births generally occur prior to completing 34 weeks and result in delivering a child that is not fully grown. Although vomiting might not be directly responsible for it, its effects on nutritional deficiency and reduced weight gain might trigger the premature birth.
2. Will morning sickness be worse with twins?
The short answer to this is – Yes. Having more than one foetus increases the severity of morning sickness.
Morning sickness is linked to the formation of the placenta. In the presence of more than one child, the placenta needs to provide increased nutrition and blood supply that should be sufficient for all the babies in the uterus. This results in the body producing more and more hormones that allow the placenta to get larger. These higher levels of hormones, thus, resulting in your nausea being even worse than before.
This further gets aggravated by the stress and tiredness the body experiences in carrying the pregnancy of more than one baby. At times, the symptoms may not be as strong as well. Nevertheless, taking appropriate care can help keep this in check.
3. Can the absence of morning sickness be a sign of miscarriage?
Just because morning sickness reduces the risks of miscarriage, does not automatically mean that the absence of nausea increases the risks for it. There have been various cases of women suffering a miscarriage despite having morning sickness, as well as women having fully healthy pregnancies without experiencing any nausea. Morning sickness is temporary and its absence should not be connected with poor pregnancy as such.
Knowing if morning sickness is a good sign in early pregnancy brings a lot of satisfaction and relief to women, especially first-time mothers. As much as this establishes a good sign of a pregnancy proceeding ahead normally, it is important to stick to various other precautions, diet, and exercises to keep this moving ahead in the same manner.