Morning Sickness and Your Child’s Emotional Well-Being

Posted on Sep 23, 2011 | Blog Posts, Morning Sickness News Category | | Print This Article

CL Society 118: Boy crying
Creative Commons License photo credit: francisco_osorio

When it comes right down to it, we know so very little about the human mind. Sure, we’ve come to understand a great deal more about psychological conditions over the past century, but we’ve barely scratched the surface. Being able to identify what causes a person to experience anxiety or bipolar disorder, for example, isn’t easy by any means. There is even some new research that suggests that extreme morning sickness can be linked to emotional problems for your baby.

According to some new research done at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, children whose mothers experience hyperemesis gravidarum (an extreme type of morning sickness) may be more prone to certain emotional disorders. Among the troubles such children may face include depression, bipolar disorder, and anxiety.

We know, of course, that hyperemesis gravidarum can cause problems for you and your baby. When you have this type of morning sickness, you have trouble keeping anything down. You can experience dehydration and even malnutrition if hyperemesis gravidarum isn’t treated.

This is the first study, however, to take a look at what the long-term effects of hyperemesis gravidarum might be for children. What it tells us is that not only does the condition have short-term impact on the physical and mental health of the mother, but it may create lifelong struggles for the baby.

This study looked at women who had experienced hyperemesis gravidarum during pregnancy. In particular, the women reported on the emotional history of their families, and researchers found a definite statistical connection between those whose mothers suffered from hyperemesis gravidarum and those children who experienced various forms of emotional problems.

Just under 300,000 women in the United States go to the hospital each year for the treatment of hyperemesis gravidarum. When treated early enough, the condition doesn’t have to cause problems. Your doctor is likely to make sure you get the nutrients you need via IV, and make sure that you’re staying hydrated.

If nothing else, this research suggests just how serious a condition severe morning sickness can be, both in the short term and in the long term.

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