Hyperemesis Gravidarum: A Big Name for a Big Problem
Everyone knows that when you get pregnant, you’re going to get sick. Women who experience very serious forms of morning sickness may have what is known as Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG). Kate Middleton’s disastrous experience during pregnancy has brought light to this sometimes-overlooked condition of pregnancy. The fact is that morning sickness blows, and sometimes it blows a lot.
Do I have HG?
In the early weeks, it can be hard to tell if you just have regular morning sickness, or something much worse. It is called morning sickness, but let’s be honest. It’s more like morning, noon, night, especially on the drive home from work sickness. If you haven’t eaten in awhile, it will get you. Experts believe morning sickness is caused by the surge in pregnancy hormones, primarily human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). When levels of hCG drop off around 12 weeks, most women experience a significant improvement in their morning sickness. But if yours does not get better, or just seems worse than the typical experience, you may have HG. Consider these symptoms:
* Loss of 5-10 percent body weight
* Nausea and severe vomiting
* Consistent dehydration
* Nutritional Deficiencies
If this sounds like you, then it’s time to get help.
How is HG treated?
No one said pregnancy was a walk in the park, and hopefully you didn’t believe anyone who did. But pregnancy should not be an experiment in agony. Luckily, most HG sufferers can be helped with diet, rest and sometimes medications to treat reflux. Women who cannot seem to keep food down or are consistently losing weight may benefit from a hospital stay for fluids and more aggressive monitoring.
Sometimes the best thing about pregnancy is that it won’t last forever. Thankfully, in time you’ll have your baby, and you can worry about their vomit instead of yours.