The study involved only 121 women and were split into 3 groups: those who had morning sickness and took a drug treatment called Diclectin, those who had morning sickness and fought their way through it, and those who did not experience any nausea at all. The study was partially funded by the maker of the drug to show that it did not cause brain development problems. (Did The Onion also fund this study? Hmm…)
At ages 3 to 7, the kids were tested for IQ. The children of women who experienced morning sickness, whether they took the drug or not, scored a few points higher on a range of age-appropriate psychological tests.
Said Dr. Gideon Koren, director of the Motherisk Program at Sick Kids and the study’s principal investigator,
It was very important for us to be able to show that, OK, the babies don’t have malformations but they also develop right. It was a few points of IQ, and other functions such as language development. This does not mean that a woman who does not have morning sickness should be worried; that’s not the idea here.
I must point out that the Motherisk Program runs a special hot line to help women with morning sickness. So these are all self-reporters, or women who are more likely to call such a line for advice. Additionally, the researchers said that the women in this study were from a similar socioeconomic background and had similar IQs and educational backgrounds.
The study is touted as the first to examine the relationship between brain development and morning sickness. Or, for any mother who went through morning all-day sickness, at least something good came out of it!