For a smarter baby, try nausea

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Is the secret to healthier, smarter offspring at the bottom of the toilet bowl? Science seems to think so. New research suggests that one of the most uncomfortable pregnancy symptoms – that daily nausea and vomiting – may have a silver lining after all.

Morning sickness is the most common pregnancy ailment, afflicting more than 85 percent of expectant mothers. While no one’s sure what exactly causes this daily suffering, doctors and midwives attribute it to a surge in pregnancy hormones originating from the placenta as baby grows. Whatever the reason, it can certainly color your pregnancy experience for the worse. But now, thanks to new research, fighting morning sickness can also give moms-to-be hope for a brighter future.

Healthier babies

The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Canada, conducted an extensive 20-year study of pregnant women, their experiences with morning sickness and the health outcomes for their babies. If you’re one of the majority who suffers from morning sickness, there’s good news for you: Babies born to women who battle pregnancy nausea were generally healthier, weighed and measured more and had lower risks of pre-term birth. Women in this group also had a lower risk of miscarriage than those who sailed through pregnancy without any nausea.

Morning sickness = Smarter kids?

What’s even more interesting is that this study turned a spotlight to these babies years down the road. Once the babies were born, researchers conducted IQ tests on both groups. The results were certainly surprising! The children in the first group – born to women who had morning sickness – tested with higher intelligence scores than those in the second group. The first group also had better language skills and fewer chances of behavioral problems.

Hope for everyone

So, what if you’re among the group who has been thanking their lucky stars they’ve avoided the dreaded morning sickness during pregnancy? Don’t despair. While the results of this study were significant to note, the gap between the two groups isn’t enough to wish for a bout of vomiting. There’s no need to fear your child is destined for a lifetime of struggling just because you didn’t puke every morning.

Feel like you can’t face another day with your head in the toilet bowl? If this news isn’t enough to buoy your spirits, talk to your doctor or midwife about how you can manage your pregnancy symptoms. There are foods you can eat to help ward off nausea, plenty of natural remedies, and even medications that are safe for you and baby.

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