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Anisa Arsenault
Associate Editor

The Perks (We Swear!) of Morning Sickness

Nausea and vomiting are definitely no fun—but there's a seriously awesome silver lining to it all.

Is the only thing getting you through first trimester morning sickness the rumor of a tranquil (and seemingly faraway) second trimester? (You've heard it all: "You'll have so much more energy!" "You won't even feel like you're pregnant!") A new study is introducing a brand new silver lining to your nausea: a healthier baby.

The study, out of The Hospital for Sick Children and the University of Toronto's Motherisk Program, found that nausea and vomiting during pregnancy are actually associated with a more favorable fetal outcome. In particular, moms who were victims of morning sickness experienced three times fewer miscarriages, up to 80 percent fewer malformations and fewer preterm births than those who didn't. This "preventative effect" of nausea even held true for women over 35, whose miscarriage risk is higher.

Who knew queasiness could be such a powerful secret weapon? The hormones that are believed to trigger the nausea that 50 to 90 percent of pregnant women deem " morning sickness" may also be associated with a more favorable prenatal environment.

Out in the postnatal word, things aren't looking so bad for baby, either. Children of moms who experienced nausea scored higher on IQ tests down the road.

Don't worry—we don't expect you to just grin and bear it now that you know morning sickness may serve an admirable purpose. Study author Gideon Koren told the Wall Street Journal that taking medicine to quell nausea and vomiting doesn't mess with a woman's hormonal levels, so it shouldn't negate any of the benefits for baby. Plus, there are other easy ways to settle your stomach, from staying hydrated to snacking on saltines.

PHOTO: iStock