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Most women experience extreme nausea, vomiting during pregnancy. This is generally harmless but can be quite discomforting especially for the mother. Most women experience an extreme kind of morning sickness called Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG) in which the mother gets severe nausea and vomiting. 

It should be known that morning sickness and HG are very different conditions. The complications and side effects are different for every woman. So, to completely treat the condition it is necessary to distinguish between the two.

Morning sickness generally includes nausea followed by vomiting. These symptoms disappear after 12 weeks and the vomiting doesn’t cause severe dehydration. This condition typically starts during the first month of pregnancy and goes by the third or fourth month. 

While HG includes nausea followed by severe vomiting that doesn’t go away after 12 weeks. This condition can cause severe dehydration as the fluids or any food doesn’t get in the stomach. The symptoms begin within six weeks of pregnancy and can be extremely severe causing fatigue to last for weeks and months. 

Symptoms of Hyperemesis Gravidarum

Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG) starts within the first trimester and can last through the whole pregnancy. While some of its symptoms may vary for each woman, the most common symptoms are:

  • loss of appetite
  • feeling constant nausea
  • vomiting more than three or four times a day
  • dehydration
  • the feeling of light-headedness or dizziness 
  • losing more than 10 pounds or 5 percent of your body weight 

Some factors could increase your risk of getting HG such as:

  • having a history of HG in your family
  • being overweight
  • being a first-time mother
  • being pregnant with more than one baby

When to see a doctor?

In case you are having severe vomiting and cannot even stand the sight of any food without feeling nausea, immediately contact your gynaecologist. The doctor will ask about your symptoms and your medical history. 

The doctor will prescribe medicines according to your conditions and you may compare prescription drug prices to better evaluate your options. Mostly, the medicines are extracts of natural nausea prevention sources such as ginger or vitamin B-6 and can be taken orally or through an IV or suppository.

In most cases, a standard physical exam is enough to diagnose. But sometimes, urine and blood samples may be necessary to look for signs of dehydration which is harmful to the baby. 

What You Can Do?

Avoid consuming over-processed junk foods as they can be heavy on the stomach. Try taking raw foods as much as you can such as a plant-based diet which has proven to be beneficial for most women. There is no need to eat a full heavy meal as the food may not get digested properly and you may end up vomiting. So small, frequent meals should be taken such as fresh fruit salad, dry foods i.e crackers and lots of fresh juices. 

It should be noted that the symptoms of HG will disappear after the delivery. But, postpartum recovery may be longer for women with HG.


Photo by Camylla Battani on Unsplash


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