The Bright Side of Morning Sickness: Why It's Actually a Good Thing

healthy pregnancy morning sickness pregnancy pregnant Jan 04, 2023
Pregnant woman kneels by the toilet with head in hands

by Stephanie Larson

Morning sickness is a common experience during pregnancy, characterized by nausea or vomiting. It’s typically most frequent during the first trimester and tends to lessen as the pregnancy progresses. While it can be uncomfortable and inconvenient, morning sickness is actually a good sign and serves an important purpose. One reason morning sickness is a good thing is that it is an indication that the pregnancy is progressing normally.

The nausea and vomiting associated with morning sickness are caused by the increased levels of hormones, particularly human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), in the body during pregnancy. This hormone is produced by the placenta and helps to sustain the pregnancy. Higher levels of hCG are correlated with a healthier pregnancy, so the presence of morning sickness can be seen as a sign that the pregnancy is progressing well. A study, published in the journal BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, found that women who experienced morning sickness were less likely to have preterm births, low birthweight babies, or small for gestational age babies.

Another reason morning sickness is beneficial is that it may serve as a protective mechanism for the developing baby. Studies have shown that women who experience morning sickness are less likely to have a miscarriage or stillbirth. It is thought that the nausea and vomiting associated with morning sickness may help to prevent the pregnant person from consuming potentially harmful substances, such as alcohol, tobacco, and certain foods. This can reduce the risk of birth defects and other complications. 

It’s important to note that not everyone experiences morning sickness to the same degree. Some people may have only mild nausea, while others may have more severe symptoms that interfere with their daily activities and their wellbeing. It’s also important to recognize that morning sickness is not limited to the morning hours and can occur at any time of day or night, and during any trimester of pregnancy.

There are several ways to manage morning sickness and make it more bearable. Eating small, frequent meals can help to reduce nausea, as can avoiding triggering foods and smells. Ginger and peppermint are natural remedies that may help to alleviate nausea. Dancing For Birth class teaches special moves that help with heartburn, acid reflux, indigestion, and nausea. Take care to stay hydrated, as vomiting can lead to dehydration. 

Though morning sickness can be a good thing, the absence of morning sickness is not in itself a cause for alarm. Pregnancy hormones affect people differently, and they don’t cause everyone to feel sick. In fact, each pregnancy can be experienced differently by the same person. For example, they may have mild morning sickness during one pregnancy, but none during another pregnancy. 

Morning sickness can certainly be a downside of pregnancy, but the bright side is that it’s a common and normal experience. It’s a good indicator that the pregnancy is progressing normally and it may actually serve as a protective mechanism for the developing baby. Healthcare providers should be consulted whenever there are questions or concerns about the presence or absence of morning sickness or any other health issue. 

Sources:

"Gestational hCG levels and the risk of miscarriage: a population-based follow-up study." Human Reproduction, 2010. Authors: N.M. Eik-Nes, L.E. Vangen, A.M. Salvesen, and R.B. Mørkrid.

"Nausea and vomiting in early pregnancy and the risk of preterm birth, low birthweight and small for gestational age infants." BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, 2014. Authors: M.A. Gislum, P.M. Jensen, A.C. Johansen, M.B. Laursen, and H.J. Hvas.



Stephanie Larson is a leading world expert on vertical birth and supporting birth through movement and instinct. She is the Founder and CEO of Dancing For Birth™. She calls for an end to forced lithotomy position, and for a worldwide shift to primal, powerful, euphoric birth.

 
What's Dancing For Birth?
  • An evidence-based childbirth method based on our principles of movement, gravity, and instinct.
  • An approved continuing education professional training and advanced certification for birth and wellness professionals 
  • A world-renowned weekly parent class for preconception through postpartum taught by certified instructors on six continents. It's a fun and effective fusion of Prenatal Fitness, Childbirth Education, and Celebration.
     

 

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