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If you’ve suffered your way through morning sickness, then you’ve no doubt heard the old wive’s tale that those waves of nausea are a sign of what gender you’re having or the possibility of twins. A new study, however, has pinpointed a slightly more scientific reason behind those symptoms, which almost never limit themselves to the morning hours.

According to new research from the University of Cambridge, a single protein found in the placenta could be the main cause of morning sickness in pregnant women. The study, which involved 2,229 women who were seen over eight years, found that expectant moms who suffered symptoms, like nausea and vomiting, had higher levels of a protein called GDF15 in their blood.

While scientists were able to determine that a link exists between the protein and morning sickness, it still isn’t clear why higher levels result in those unpleasant symptoms. Researchers believe that it might have something to do with the body trying to regulate your food intake in order to protect the baby from toxins. Either way, the good news is that the discovery can lead scientists to find new ways to treat morning sickness.

Did you suffer from morning sickness during pregnancy? Share your tips for surviving the symptoms in the comments below.