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July 02, 2020 Thursday 12:41:36 PM IST

'Morning sickness' is misleading and inaccurate

Parent Interventions

The term 'morning sickness' is misleading and should instead be described as nausea and sickness in pregnancy, argue researchers led by the University of Warwick who have demonstrated that these symptoms can occur at any time of the day - not just the morning. The researchers call for the change while the most likely time for pregnancy sickness symptoms to occur is in the morning, a significant number of women can experience them at any time of the day. 'Morning sickness' has long been used to describe nausea and vomiting that women often experience in the early stages of pregnancy. Although pregnant women often report experiencing nausea and sickness throughout the waking day, until now no research has described the likelihood of these symptoms occurring at different times of the day.

For this study, the researchers used data from daily symptom diaries kept by 256 pregnant women. In these diaries, the women recorded their experience of nausea and vomiting for each hour in the day, from the day they discovered they were pregnant until the 60th day of their pregnancy. The researchers then used this data to map the likelihood of experiencing nausea and experiencing vomiting in each hour of the day, broken down into weeks following last ovulation.

They found that whilst vomiting was most common between the hours of 7.00 am and 1.00 pm, nausea is highly likely throughout the whole daytime, not just the morning. Furthermore, many women still reported vomiting as a symptom even into the evening. The most common hour for participants to experience nausea and vomiting was between 9.00 am and 10.00 am with 82% experiencing nausea in this hour, and 29% experiencing vomiting. 94.2% of participants experienced at least one of these symptoms during the study, with 58% experiencing both.

In addition, by comparing the occurrence of symptoms across the first 7 weeks of pregnancy, measured from last ovulation, the researchers found that the later the week, the higher the probability of experiencing symptoms. The probability of experiencing nausea is at its highest in weeks 5, 6, and 7 while for vomiting it is in week 7. As the study only examined the first seven weeks of pregnancy, the probabilities after week 7 are not known.



(Content Courtesy: https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2020-06/uow-si063020.php)


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