Sickness is a sign of health
IT has long been dismissed as an old wives’ tale — morning sickness signals a healthy pregnancy.
But experts now say it is probably true, giving encouragement to sufferers, who famously include the Duchess of Cambridge. More than four in five women battle nausea in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, and around half experience vomiting.
Scientists at the University of Reading say the sickness may be a good thing as it is caused by a hormone vital for a healthy pregnancy. Endokinin, which acts on the brain to cause morning sickness, also ensures good blood flow through the placenta so that oxygen and nutrients can reach the unborn baby.
Professor Philip Lowry, from the University of Reading’s school of biological sciences, said he hoped the news would bring ‘‘psychological relief’’ to pregnant women.
“There may be a temptation to use endokinin-blocking drugs to treat morning sickness during pregnancy, but these findings suggest that such drugs could affect the health of the pregnancy and must be avoided,’’ he said.
Morning sickness does not endanger babies and usually clears up by weeks 16 to 20.