Dietary and psychosocial correlates of nausea and vomiting in pregnancy



Fiurašková K, Havlíček J & Roberts SC (2021) Dietary and psychosocial correlates of nausea and vomiting in pregnancy. Food Quality and Preference, 93, Art. No.: 104266.

Nausea and vomiting during pregnancy (NVP) is a condition that affects women around the world. Previous studies show that NVP is associated with dietary changes and aversions towards certain kinds of food. It has been suggested that these changes could have adaptive functions, such as protecting the embryo from harmful teratogenic substances in certain foods. Here, we used a food frequency questionnaire to record self-reported frequency of consumption of a range of specific food categories by 726 pregnant women. We tested whether the incidence and severity of NVP symptoms varied between women who consumed foods in each category, as well as investigating several potential psychosocial predictors. We found evidence for an association between alcohol, cereals, and (especially) milk consumption on the experience of NVP symptoms. In addition, NVP symptoms were positively correlated with women's self-reported fatigue, stress, and depression, but negatively correlated with perceived level of support from the woman's partner. Finally, NVP symptoms were also associated with use of oral contraceptives during partner choice and we discuss possible reasons for this. Overall, our results contribute to a growing body of evidence for complex and multifactorial effects on the experience of NVP, of which dietary patterns may be a critical component.

Morning sickness; NVP; Maternal and embryo protection hypothesis; Food aversion; Rhodes Index; Food Frequency Questionnaire

Food Quality and Preference: Volume 93

Publication date31/10/2021
Publication date online17/04/2021
Date accepted by journal14/04/2021

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Professor Craig Roberts

Professor Craig Roberts

Professor of Social Psychology, Psychology