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Sorry, pregnant ladies, there's no cure for morning sickness

Linda Carroll writes: Pregnant and looking for a way to quell your morning queasiness? You can forget about nibbling on ginger, tossing back Vitamin B tablets, and wrapping sea-sickness bands around your wrist, a new report suggests. After poring through data from 27 studies that included more than 4,000 women, researchers from the Cochrane Collaboration concluded that there is no therapy proven to be reliable and safe for morning sickness. The report evaluated evidence on numerous treatments, including ginger, Vitamin B6, acupressure, acustimulation (mild electrical stimulation of an acupuncture point), and anti-vomiting drugs. “A number of studies we looked at appeared to show benefits, but in general the results were inconsistent and it was difficult to draw conclusions about any one treatment in particular,” says Anne Matthews, the report’s lead author and a researcher at the School of Nursing at Dublin City University in Ireland. “We were also unable to obtain much information about whether these treatments are actually making a difference to women’s quality of life.” Matthews and her colleagues suggest that doctors tell their patients that there is no evidence showing that there is a safe and effective treatment for morning sickness. Dr. John Fisch begs to differ. “It’s hard to prove that these therapies work because there’s a very, very strong placebo effect when it comes to nausea treatments,” says Fisch, a clinical associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the Magee-Women’s Hospital at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. “So rather than tell a woman we can’t do anything for you, we’ll try a number of different things and in many cases we can help.” In more than 20 years spent taking care of pregnant women, Fisch believes he’s gleaned some wisdom on the topic of morning sickness. “There is no magic bullet,” he explains. “But many things have some usefulness and basically the best course is to try a few different things and see if they are helpful.” Sara Cancro, 34, found that simple life-style changes, along with periodic sips of ginger ale and the occasional ginger candy cut back on the queasiness of her first trimester. “The nausea wasn’t constant, but there were some days that I just wished I could go back to bed,” says the Pittsburgh nurse practitioner who is now at her 13th week. Cancro also turned to dietary changes to keep her morning sickness at bay. “I ate bland foods, switched to frequent small meals and watched my fluid intake,” she says. “I ate the ginger candy when I couldn’t get food.” There are some women for whom none of the alternative therapies work, Fisch says. And in some cases even anti-nausea drugs can’t completely banish queasiness. Did anything help you cope with morning sickness? Tell us about it in the comments.Find The Body Odd on Twitter and on Facebook.