Friday, July 2, 2010

Morning Sickness or Hyperemesis?

Hi Ladies! There are a lot of misconceptions out there regarding morning sickness and hyperemesis gravidarum (HG for short) and I thought I would start off my clearing some of them up.

Morning Sickness is miserable and affects most pregnant women. It involves nausea with or without vomiting; usually starting around the 6th week of pregnancy and continues until around the 12th week. Usually morning sickness can be kept at bay by taking vitamin B6 and eating small meals throughout the day, constantly taking small sips of water. Morning sickness is probably the most talked about pregnancy symptom, and everyone has a "cure" because most women who have been pregnant have had it (some statistics say it occurs in about 80% of pregnancies) and have found ways to live with it.

Hyperemesis is a completely different animal. It involves nausea, vomiting (many times per day) and the inability to keep food and/or fluids down, and there is next to nothing that can or will make you feel better. HG is truely unbearable, and when you have it, your life stops and until you find a medication or treatment that works, you are a zombie. HG is extremely dangerous to both mother and baby, especially if more than 5% of pre-pregnancy weight is lost. There are medications that can help, and patients should not be shy about going in to the hospital for IV fluids.

I had morning sickness with my first pregnancy and hyperemesis with my second, I was on medications for both. Being pregnant and sick with my first was scary and miserable, but I could have never imagined what it would be like to be VERY sick. Over the next couple days, I will share with you the story of each of my pregnancies.

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