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18th Jan 2016

The No Bullsh*t Guide To.. Hyperemesis Gravidarum

Sharyn Hayden

We recently covered general Morning Sickness In Pregnancy (or ‘All Day Long Sickness’ to some!) which can mean feelings of nausea and/or vomiting during the early stages of your pregnancy.

Most women who suffer from morning sickness do so without any complications but in some cases (approximately 1 in 100), the vomiting becomes so severe and prolonged that it is known as a serious condition called ‘Hyperemesis Gravidarum’.

So what is it?

Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG) can be extremely debilitating for a pregnant woman and in extreme cases can result in feelings of depression at a time when they should otherwise be feeling happy.

The seriousness of it should not be underestimated and you should seek medical advice immediately if you feel as though you are at risk.

You may have HG if you experience some or all of the following:
1.  Prolonged and severe nausea and vomiting
2.  Dehydration – symptoms of which are extreme thirst, dizziness or passing urine that is dark
4.  Body weight loss
5.  Low blood pressure (hypotension) when standing up

What causes Hyperemesis Gravidarum?

The exact cause is unknown but just like morning sickness, a few factors are likely to be involved, including hormonal changes.

Risk factors include: the first pregnancy, multiple pregnancy, obesity, prior or family history of hyperemesis gravidarum.

Will HG harm my baby?

If it’s treated, it’s very unlikely that your baby will be harmed.

And as we mentioned in our Morning Sickness post, don’t worry about eating ‘all the right things’ if you’re feeling awful. Go with your instincts and eat whatever you can to get you through – baby will catch up on nutrients when you’re feeling better.

What treatments are available to me?

In cases of severe dehydration, some pregnant women are admitted to hospital and put on an IV drip.

There are also anti-sickness tablets available to women suffering from Hyperemesis Gravidarum through your maternity hospital and GP.

Speak to a medical professional at the first sign of this extreme pregnancy sickness and request the treatment that will work for you.

Good luck!