DENVER (CBS4) – Morning sickness can make moms-to-be miserable, but new research shows it may actually be beneficial for the baby.

Morning sickness is a misnomer — women who have had it know it’s “all-day” sickness. But new research shows if an expectant mother struggles with queasiness it may be better for the baby.

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Beth Hunter getting an ultrasound (credit: CBS)

Beth Hunter getting an ultrasound (credit: CBS)

Beth and Katrell Hunter are thrilled to be having a baby. Beth is 17 weeks pregnant, but getting that far hasn’t been easy. She went through two surgeries and then in vitro fertilization.

“It’s hard to know you’re ready to have a baby and not be able to,” Beth said.

Learning she was pregnant was pure joy for Beth, but being pregnant has been pure misery.

“I have been very sick,” she said. “It’s … starting to get a little bit better, but it is a struggle every day still for me.”

Beth’s sickness may actually be a good sign. Researchers in Toronto have found that pregnant women who suffer from morning sickness are less likely to miscarry or have a premature birth; and their babies have fewer birth defects and may even score higher on IQ tests.

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“It’s the hormones of pregnancy that bring it on, so the healthier the pregnancy, the more hormones are being made,” Dr. Nanette Santoro said.

Santoro is Chair of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine.

“If you’re not sick it’s not necessarily a bad sign, so the converse is not true,” she said.

Beth is hoping her nausea will subside, but if not, she’ll battle through.

“Every time I have an ultrasound and I see that little heart beating I know it’s worth it,” she said.

These days there are some medications that can help pregnant women feel better. Women who have morning sickness in one pregnancy will probably have it again.

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LINK: CU Advanced Reproductive Medicine