Morning sickness could mean a smarter baby, study says

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Morning sickness during pregnancy could mean a smarter baby, according to a study by researchers at The Hospital for Sick Children.

Doctors at the Toronto hospital said research revealed that a mother's nausea and vomiting during pregnancy, (NVP), could result in a child with a higher IQ.

“Our findings suggest an association between NVP and improved neurodevelopment in the offspring,” says Dr. Irena Nulman, lead author of the study. “NVP is a widespread and puzzling physiological phenomenon that has yet to be sufficiently studied,” adds Nulman, Associate Director of the Motherisk Program, SickKids Associate Scientist and staff physician in SickKids Division of Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology, and Associate Professor of Paediatrics at the University of Toronto.

The research was conducted from 1998 to 2003 and included 121 women split into three groups of mother-child pairs: mothers who experienced morning sickness and were treated with diclectin; those who experienced morning sickness and did not take diclectin; and those who did not experience morning sickness.

Various tests were then given to children aged three to seven years.

The results showed children of women with morning sickness scored higher on performance IQ, verbal fluency, phonological processing and numerical memory. The more severe the morning sickness, the higher the IQ scores, according to researchers.

The results of the study were published in an online version of The Journal of Pediatrics in April 2009.

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