For many women, one of the first signs of pregnancy (sometimes even before a missing period!) is failing to keep food down.
While it’s commonly called morning sickness, for most pregnant women this intense nausea has no time limits. Hitting morning, noon, and night, it’s enough to throw you for a mental loop.
One way that some women are able to keep sane and ride the waves of morning sickness is holding onto the hope that this discomfort means their baby is growing.
What if you’re not feeling your stomach churning though? Is your baby still growing and healthy? Does not having morning sickness mean anything about the health (or sex) of your baby?
Don’t worry, we won’t leave you in limbo 9 months waiting for an answer to these questions. Just keep reading on…
For a percentage of people, morning sickness is simply a pregnancy symptom they never experience. In and of itself, the lack of nausea and vomiting doesn’t mean anything is wrong.
If you find yourself pregnant without any nausea, you may feel lucky, confused, or even worried. Because morning sickness is such a commonly discussed first trimester symptom, it can seem odd if you don’t have it.
Many people experience morning sickness in the first 4 months of their pregnancy. Factors that contribute to the nausea include heightened hormones and lowered blood sugar. If you are pregnant with multiples or worn down from illness, stress, or traveling, you may experience morning sickness to a higher degree.
Nausea in pregnancy can range from light, infrequent experiences of nausea to extreme hyperemesis, with frequent vomiting which may require hospitalization for IV hydration and nourishment. A
If you’ve been very nauseous in prior pregnancies, take heart that just because you’ve experienced morning sickness in the past there’s no guarantee you’ll experience it again. (For better or worse, morning sickness can vary from pregnancy to pregnancy.)
Whether you’re trying to win the gender reveal party guessing games or are just dying of impatience waiting for your test results, you may want to know whether you have a girl or boy on the way.
You might have heard that decreased morning sickness means you’re having a boy. This is based on the belief that hormone levels are higher when carrying a baby girl.
The logic behind this is that higher hormone levels can cause increased nausea. Thus, girl babies are rumored to come with days of intense morning sickness, and being pregnant with baby boys should be smooth sailing in comparison.
However the science to support this theory is limited.
However, the researchers noted that other factors, including the age of the mother, whether she smoked, and her BMI prepregnancy also affected chances.
Ultimately, you can’t determine the sex of your baby by whether or not you have morning sickness. The only way to really know if you’re having a boy or girl before delivery is through a chromosome test or ultrasound.
Miscarriage is a very real concern for many women (and their partners). Anything that indicates a pregnancy is not proceeding as expected can set off warning bells.
Since morning sickness is such a common pregnancy symptom in the first trimester, not feeling ill might raise some red flags for you. So should we praise nausea and vomiting as signs of a healthy pregnancy?
There is some research to indicate nausea and vomiting may indicate a reduced risk of pregnancy loss.
In order to get a better picture of how nausea and vomiting may be related to miscarriage, researchers in a
This allowed researchers to begin testing for miscarriages earlier and identify more miscarriages. It also allowed them to track women’s nausea with more accuracy throughout the first trimester.
No study is perfect, and this 2016 study was fairly homogenous making it difficult to generalize the results. All the same, this study represents a large step forward in morning sickness and miscarriage research.
The study found that for women who had experienced miscarriage once or twice before, morning sickness was very common during the first trimester and related to a reduced chance of losing the pregnancy by 50 to 75 percent.
There are many theories about why nausea and vomiting in pregnancy are connected to a reduces miscarriage risk. One theory is that it is part of an evolutionary advantage to encourage eating carbohydrate rich foods and to rid the body of any potential toxins that may be harmful to the baby.
Another theory is that the vomiting is related to the body’s increasing hCG levels or markers of viable placenta tissue. More research will need to be done on all these theories in the future as many questions still remain.
While this means that you may welcome nausea and vomiting as a reassuring sign, keep in mind that, as mentioned earlier, it’s estimated that
If you’re newly pregnant and not feeling any morning sickness, you may begin to worry.
But before allowing nightmare pregnancy scenarios to start filling your mind, consider taking a deep breath and pausing for a minute to think about other pregnancy symptoms you might be feeling. (Believe it or not, it can actually be calming to think about all the other ways this pregnancy has you hurting!)
Remember also that every pregnancy is different when it comes to morning sickness. Just because you’ve had it before doesn’t mean that you have to go through it again. Many factors including your hormones, level of rest, and diet can all play a role in how nauseous you feel.
If you ever feel like something isn’t right with your body or pregnancy, don’t hesitate to reach out to your doctor. They can offer you an exam, guidance, or even just some reassurance that you and your baby are doing just fine.
If you do suffer a miscarriage during your pregnancy, there are support groups and therapists available online and locally who can help you process your emotions.