Despite how poorly you may be feeling, it is extremely unusual for morning sickness to have any negative effect on your unborn baby. Your baby is extremely well-protected in his amniotic sac so that even the most violent retching will have little impact on him.
However, the possible weight loss and dehydration that can accompany chronic morning sickness (known as Hyperemesis Gravidarum) is more concerning for your continued well being and that of your baby. For that reason, it is important that you discuss your morning sickness symptoms with your doctor so your general health is not affected long-term.
What if I lose weight due to morning sickness?
Loss of weight (as long as it isn’t drastic) or lack of weight gain in the first trimester is not unusual and will have no real effect on your unborn baby – once your morning sickness passes, you will begin to gain weight as your appetite improves.
Women suffering from morning sickness often struggle to take antenatal supplements because of the twin difficulties of both physically swallowing tablets (nausea can give you a strong gagging reflex that makes swallowing tablets hard) and keeping them down (women suffering from morning sickness often complain that supplements are ‘hard’ on their stomachs).
Prolonged morning sickness is more likely to have short-term effects on your own health than your baby’s – vomiting can cause muscular soreness in the abdomen as well as gastric irritation.
Can morning sickness cause miscarriage?
Some researchers believe that morning sickness is actually the sign of a strong pregnancy (you have high hormone levels which are causing the nausea but also ensuring your pregnancy is viable) and that a miscarriage is less likely in a sufferer of morning sickness. They also believe that morning sickness may, in fact, be a way of keeping mother and baby safe from potential food-borne illnesses. By keeping mum-to-be’s appetite suppressed in the crucial early weeks of pregnancy, the baby’s organs can safely form.