Extreme morning sickness during pregnancy is no joke
About 70%-80% of all pregnant women experience morning sickness according to the americanpregnancy org.
Some are lucky with just the nauseous feeling and some women are dealing with it the whole pregnancy.
The extreme form of morning sickness is called Hyperemesis Gravidarum (also called HG)
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What is hyperemesis gravidarum?
Pregnant women suffering hyperemesis gravidarum have the following symptoms:
- severe nausea
- weight loss
- possible dehydration (less urinating, unelastic skin)
- Some may feel faint and dizzy when standing up
- low blood pressure
- Headache and confusion
- malnutrition caused by severe vomiting
While most of them are normal signs of the usual morning sickness hyperemesis gravidarum is more extreme.
It is believed to be cause by a rapid rise of the HCG (Human chorionic gonadotropin) hormones that are released when a women is pregnant.
This extreme form is experienced by about 200.000 women each year and is considered a rare condition but can be life-threatening if not treated (according to Hyperemesis org)
About 60.000 of those cases require a stay in the hospital.
Hyperemesis gravidarum can get so bad that it requires hospitalization where you get treated with IV fluids against the dehydration and anti-nausea medication.
Mild cases can be treated with dietary changes, antiacid medication and rest.
How long does it last?
The normal morning sickness usually start around 4-6 weeks of pregnancy and are worst around 9-13 weeks.
Most women feel better around 14-20 weeks of pregnancy or the second trimester.
If you experience really bad morning sickness it may require medical attention throughout the whole pregnancy.
Can it cause a miscarriage?
There is no 100% answer to this but according to current research there is no higher risk than any other pregnancy for miscarriage if you suffer from HG.
But if the HG causes you to lose a lot of weight your baby can end up smaller than normal so it is important to take it serious. (According to NHS Uk)
What is the difference to normal morning sickness?
At first sight it may not be that easy to distinguish between the “normal” morning sickness or the severe morning sickness.
Starts as early as 4 weeks and gets better towards the end of the first trimester
Sometimes causes vomitting
You can still stay hydrated even with vomitting
You can still keep some food down
The Nausea keeps going on during pregnancy
Causes severe vomitting
Can lead to severe dehydration
Any food comes right back up
>> If you think that you have the severe form of morning sickness please consult your doctor asap!<<
When should you go to the hospital?
You should call your doctor when your nausea gets so bad that you can not keep any food down, you have to vomit a lot (more than 3-4 times aday) and the morning sickness is present during the whole day.
Alternatively you can also go straight to the ER and tell them what you are experiencing.
What can be done to treat hyperemesis gravidarum?
If you have to be hospitalized the treatment consists of IV fluids to get you hydrated again, extra nutrition and vitamins for your body and medications for nausea.
If you can stay at home the usual treatments against morning sickness might give you some relief too.
- Rest is the best thing you can do – I know it is easier said than done when you have other children and in that case please don’t be afraid to ask for help from friends and family.
- Peppermint tea or peppermint in any other form can be a lifesaver. I was lucky to only have a very mild form of morning sickness and just sucking on a tic tac did the trick for me.
- Ginger tea can be a serious lifesaver too. Instead of buying the tea you can make it yourself with fresh ginger and boiling water.
- Homeopathic or over the counter medication (before you take anything consult with your doctor)
- Acupuncture can help with morning sickness as well as other pregnancy problems.
This support forum for women suffering hyperemesis gravidarum can help you to understand it better and feel less alone.
You got this!