Top Health Tools
Top Health Tools

Top Reports
Top Reports
Top Articles
Top Articles

Top Reviews
Top Reviews
Morning Sickness: Has Anything Ever Been Proven to Work?

Some take ginger tea, vitamins or antacids. Others try to combat morning sickness with sugar solutions or anti-sickness pills.

But depressing as it sounds, expectant mothers may be as well to save their time and money.

Scientists have concluded that, for the condition that can turn the early days of pregnancy into a miserable experience, there is no cure.

They looked at studies of some 4,000 women who were up to 20 weeks pregnant. All were given common treatments for their nausea, but when the women were asked how they felt, it appeared that most treatments had little effect.

The "Remedies"

- Antacids such as Gaviscon
- Vitamin B6
- Sugar solutions containing either glucose, fructose or phosphoric acid
- Acupuncture
- Acustimulation
- Acupressure wristbands
- Swilling mouthwash or sucking mints
- Eating crackers, dry toast or rusks about half-an-hour before getting up
- Dipping a handkerchief in citrus-scented oils
- Eating giner
- Eating little or often rather than having two or three big meals a day

In fact, some of the so-called remedies actually made the women feel worse. Ginger gave them heartburn, for example. The only treatment which did have some effect was acustimulation - a form of acupuncture which gives the body tiny electric shocks. This reduced morning sickness in some women after three weeks.

The research, published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, concluded that overall, the treatments had little benefit.

Lead researcher Dr Anne Matthews, of Dublin City University, said: 'A number of the studies we looked at appeared to show benefits, but in general the results were inconsistent and it was difficult to draw firm conclusions about any one treatment in particular.

'We were also unable to obtain much information about whether these treatments are actually makinga difference to women's quality of life. Despite the wealth of different treatments available, it is not possible currently to identify with confidence any safe and effective interventions for nausea and vomiting in early pregnancy.'

Up to 85 per cent of women experience nausea during pregnancy - and half of these actually vomit.

But although morning sickness is thought to be linked to rising levels of some pregnancy hormones, the exact causes are unknown.

Common so- called remedies include vitamin B6, antacids and sugar solutions, all available over the counter from a chemist.

Women can also take antihistamines, but they must be prescribed by a doctor. Increasingly, mothers-to-be are also turning to remedies such as acupuncture and acupressure wristbands, which are often used to treat seasickness.

Some also take ginger, on its own or in food or tea, which is thought to cure nausea.

But there may be a silver lining.

Research has suggested morning sickness can help ward off breast cancer. In 2007, U.S. scientists found those who had it are 30 per cent less likely to develop the disease than those who had no nausea.

Jane Munro, of the Royal College of Midwives, said: 'It is disappointing. However, there is some limited evidence on the effect of ginger, acupressure and some antihistamines - as recommended in NICE guidelines - and vitamin B6.'

Reference Sources 231
September 10, 2010


STAY CONNECTEDNewsletter | RSS | Twitter | YouTube |
This site is owned and operated by 1999-2018. All Rights Reserved. All content on this site may be copied, without permission, whether reproduced digitally or in print, provided copyright, reference and source information are intact and use is strictly for not-for-profit purposes. Please review our copyright policy for full details.
volunteerDonateWrite For Us
Stay Connected With Our Newsletter