Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

Morning sickness may signal healthier pregnancy

Excerpt from a October 6, 2010Reuters Health Information item

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – New research confirms that women plagued by morning sickness in early pregnancy are less likely to miscarry.

But women who don’t experience nausea and vomiting during their first trimester shouldn’t be alarmed, Dr. Ronna L. Chan of The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, one of the study’s authors, told Reuters Health.

[snip]

because of the nature of the study, the authors could not prove that there was any cause-effect relationship between morning sickness and a healthier pregnancy, just that the two were linked.

A number of theories have been put forth to explain why morning sickness might signal a healthier pregnancy, Chan said. “Some postulate nausea and vomiting during pregnancy is a mechanism to help improve the quality of a pregnant woman’s diet or a way to reduce or eliminate potentially harmful substances from the mother in order to protect the fetus,” she explained.

While these ideas are “plausible,” the researcher said, she thinks the symptoms reflect a pregnant woman’s sensitivity to the sharp rise in certain hormones key for sustaining pregnancy that occurs during the first trimester.

Note from the editor…

About 15 years ago I took several ecology classes. One instructor agreed with one of the hypotheses above,  that morning sickness is a product of natural selection in keeping potentially harmful substances away from the fetus. He gave us several more examples (they elude me now!) of treating conditions that are in reality beneficial. I think some fevers were another example.

 

October 7, 2010 - Posted by | Consumer Health, Health News Items | ,

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