Magazine article Work & Family Life

'Morning Sickness' Is a Built-In Survival Mechanism

Magazine article Work & Family Life

'Morning Sickness' Is a Built-In Survival Mechanism

Article excerpt

It seems that morning sickness is not really a "sickness." It's a perfectly normal symptom of early pregnancy and, according to researchers, a good sign.

Nine studies in recent years of thousands of successful and unsuccessful pregnancies have correlated their findings with (a) the incidence of morning sickness or N.V.P. (nausea and vomiting in pregnancy) and (b) the development of food aversions and cravings. All nine studies found that women who experienced N.V.P. were significantly less likely to miscarry.

Cornell University neurobiologist Dr. Paul Sherman, who reported his team's findings in the Quarterly Review of Biology, says that N.V.P. should be called "wellness insurance" because it helps protect both mother and fetus.

Indeed, the researchers suggest that morning sickness evolved for precisely the purpose of protecting the embryo and developing fetus from exposure to natural dietary toxins. This was especially important prior to the availability of refrigeration.

Even now, women in early pregnancy often have an aversion to meat, eggs, fish and poultry -the foods most likely to harbor infectious and toxic organisms. …

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