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Women with nausea and vomiting in pregnancy demonstrate worse health and are adversely affected by odours

By Brian L. Swallow, S. W. Lindow, E. A. Masson and D. M. Hay

Abstract

The objectives of this study were (1) to determine aversive stimuli that are related to nausea and vomiting in pregnancy\ud (NVP); (2) to determine food and fluid intake in early pregnancy; and (3) to explore relationships between aversive stimuli and health measures. A total of 273 women in an antenatal setting completed a questionnaire survey, incorporating the Nausea and Vomiting in Pregnancy Instrument (NVPI); the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ); measures of perceived mood and illness; food and fluid intake; and open-ended questions relating to perceived aversive and helpful stimuli. Data was subjected to quantitative and qualitative analysis. A total of 57% of women reported aversive stimuli. Of these, the primary sense implicated was olfaction, with 72% reporting food smells. A number of women were affected by the odours of\ud drinks (26%) and other products (31%). Women who were adversely affected by odours had higher severities of NVP,\ud perceived illness and psychopathology scores on the GHQ. In conclusion, odour appears to be an important stimulus related to NVP, with perceived aversive smells related to the severity of nausea. Women severely affected by NVP demonstrated worse health. The role of olfaction in pregnancy and specifically in sufferers of severe NVP should be evaluated further

Topics: C800 Psychology, L510 Health & Welfare
Year: 2005
DOI identifier: 10.1080/01443610500230783
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.lincoln.ac.uk:745
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