Researchers: morning sickness protects mothers and fetuses

Wednesday, May 31st 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

(Ithaca, New York-AP) -- Morning sickness is Mother Nature's way of protecting mothers and their unborn babies.

That's the word from two Cornell University evolutionary biologists who studied thousands of pregnancies.

The researchers say the nausea and vomiting that accompanies most pregnancies serve a beneficial function. The scientists say morning sickness results in an aversion to potentially harmful foods -- including meat, fish and eggs.

They say the aversion to certain foods is the body's way of preserving the mother's wellness at a time when she has reduced
defenses against food-borne pathogens.

The researchers found that women who vomit during morning sickness are less likely to miscarry than those only experience nausea.

The study is detailed in the current issue of "The Quarterly Review of Biology.