Do you have severe morning sickness? You may have what is known as:
Hyperemesis gravidarum (HG) is a severe, debilitating nausea and vomiting in pregnancy that generally leads to more than 5 percent weight loss and may require fluid and nutritional supplement. It is different from the more common nausea and vomiting known as morning sickness.Dehydration, malnutrition, and other serious complications are the result of the "unrelenting, excessive pregnancy-related nausea and/or vomiting that prevents adequate intake of food and fluids.
Hyperemesis is considered a rare complication of pregnancy but, because nausea and vomiting during pregnancy exist on a continuum, there is often not a good diagnosis between common morning sickness and hyperemesis. Estimates of the percentage of pregnant women afflicted range from 0.3% to 2%.
What Causes Hyperemesis Gravidarum?
Unfortunately, researchers are still unsure exactly what causes hyperemesis gravidarum. It was once believed that this disease was purely psychological, however, this is now known not to be the case. The disease does appear to be biological in origin, but the exact cause remains a mystery. Possible causes of the hyperemesis gravidarum disease include:
high levels of the pregnancy hormone, hCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin)
high levels of estrogen during pregnancy
the Helibacter Pylori infection (which causes stomach ulcers)
Vitamin B deficiency
acid reflux disease
Who Gets Hyperemesis Gravidarum?
Hyperemesis gravidarum is a relatively rare illness during pregnancy, occurring in approximately 1% of pregnant women. Though any woman can potentially develop the disease, there do appear to be certain factors that can increase your risk of getting hyperemesis gravidarum.
These risk factors include:
having previous hyperemesis gravidarum
being of young maternal age
Natural relief or treatment:
Some women opt to use natural treatment methods to handle side effects of the illness. Acupuncture, acupressure, and hypnosis have proven to be effective treatments, and produce no side effects in baby.
Contact your OB for further information or details.
Natasha Baker, Birth & Postpartum Doula