RCM welcomes article on morning sickness in early pregnancy

By RCM on 07 December 2017 Pregnancy Morning Sickness Smoking Advice Study Research Midwives

A link between morning sickness indicating a healthy pregnancy, and the reason smoking is so detrimental has been found, according to a review published in the Journal of Molecular Endocrinology.

The article discusses the importance of the hormone endokinin for healthy pregnancies, its role in causing morning sickness, and how its normal function may be adversely affected by smoking, leading to poor outcomes in pregnancy.

Responding to the article, Louise Silverton Director for Midwifery at the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) says; “The RCM welcomes the contribution of this article to the scientific basis of early pregnancy and we look forward to further research exploring the suggested links. 

“Morning sickness has often be viewed as a sign of high hormone levels in pregnant women, which could therefore indicate a good functioning of the placenta. However, if the reasoning in this study is correct, it is the hormone endokinin that enables good implantation of the placenta into the wall of the uterus (womb) that gives rise to sickness during pregnancy more commonly referred to as ‘morning sickness’. Blocking the hormone could interrupt this implantation and this may lead to problems later on in pregnancy.

“The growing fetus is totally dependent on the placenta to supply oxygen and nutrients from its mother’s blood and to remove waste products such as carbon dioxide. In later pregnancy a poorly functioning placenta can result in intra uterine growth retardation and even tragically still birth.”

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Notes to editors

The RCM is the only trade union and professional association dedicated to serving midwifery and the whole midwifery team. We provide workplace advice and support, professional and clinical guidance and information, and learning opportunities with our broad range of events, conferences and online resources. For more information visit the RCM website at https://www.rcm.org.uk/.