Having hyperemesis gravidarum during pregnancy can be a struggle. Learn all about it, and some helpful tips to cope with this severe morning sickness.
After experiencing it twice with both my kids, I learned a lot of what it means to have a hyperemesis pregnancy.
Hyperemesis Gravidarum vs Morning Sickness
The most notable difference between hyperemesis gravidarum and morning sickness is the amount of times you throw up. It can last all the way up until the 3rd trimester, can lead to severe dehydration and malnourishment, and it can be hard to keep food or water down.
With morning sickness, you can find things to help. It also usually only lasts during the first and sometimes second trimester. You are still able to hold some food and water down though.
Hyperemesis gravidarum treatment
Depending on your situation, your OBGYN may offer the following as solutions:
- IV fluids (can sometimes be done in outpatient)
- IV nausea medicine
- Prescription nausea/vomiting medicine
- hospitalization (if extremely severe and leads to passing out from dehydration)
- start drinking ensure to help prevent malnutrition
Tips for Surviving Hyperemesis Gravidarum
Here's a brief summary of the tips for you can use to help get you through hyperemesis gravidarum:
- Find what helps you decrease your nausea/vomiting
- Find a good OBGYN
- Take your prenatal vitamin at night
- Understand that most people won't understand it
- Sleep when you can
- Clean your toilet regularly
- Stay informed on the possible negative effects associated with Hyperemesis Gravidarum
1. Find what helps you decrease your nausea/vomiting
I'm not going to shoot off some miracle product that will instantly make things better, because as of right now there isn't one. What did seem to help ease nausea for a little bit were the following:
- Preggie pops-a hard candy you suck on that helps easy nausea and morning sickness
- Seasick arm bands- utilizes pressure points to help relieve nausea and vomiting
- Anti-nausea medicine- medicine that will help relieve symptoms but this is usually given as a last resort when nothing else helps
2.Find a good OBGYN
This might seem like a trivial thing to say, but you want to make sure you find an OBGYN that will listen to you and help you find a solution to the nausea/vomiting. Surviving hyperemesis gravidarum will require getting all the help you can get.
My doctor worked with me to find different methods to try before finally resorting to Zofran. Later on, she also did lots of extra ultrasounds because of the use of Zofran to make sure there were no residual birth defects caused.
Another reason why it is so important to find a good OBGYN is that you need to talk to them if/when things start going bad (can't stomach water, so dehydrated you want to pass out). If they know your situation, they can help get you the necessary help you might need (IV fluids).
3. Pre-natal Vitamin
Your pre-natal vitamin can also play a huge part in surviving hyperemesis gravidarum. If you are having trouble swallowing your pill, talk to your doctor about the gummy vitamin alternatives.
Also, your doctor will most likely have some free samples they can let you try to see if it will work better than what you are on now.
Another thing I learned that help at least keep my pre-natal vitamin down was to take it at night (right before bed). It's bad enough trying to swallow a huge pill when you can't even keep water down, but if you can take it and go to bed, hopefully it will stay in your stomach.
4. Be Prepared for people to not understand what you are going through
As I previously mentioned, most people don't understand when you utter those two little words: hyperemesis gravidarum. Unless of course they too went through it.
You will need to get a thick skin because believe me, there are a lot of mean and insensitive comments that come with this diagnosis.
You will want to sleep a lot more than normal. This is because it might be the only time you find relief from the constant vomiting. This will also contribute to the comments unfortunately, but try to ignore it and get the sleep you need!
6. Clean Your Toilet, and regularly
I probably cleaned my toilet once if not twice a day. When you see more of that ceramic bowl than anything else, it can certainly be a stomach turner if it isn’t spic and span.
Not only that, but also brush your teeth often. Stomach acid is horrible on your teeth, as well as cause bad breath.
7. Be prepared for some negative effects of hyperemesis gravidarum on baby
There can be some problems associated with your baby if you are suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum.
If you didn't gain much weight, you should discuss the possibility of IUGR with your doctor. (IUGR is a medical term for when your baby has trouble and/or stops growing).
HG made it so hard to eat anything that my daughter was not growing right inside of me. At my 39 week growth scan, they deemed her IUGR.
It was actually a bit scary. My doctor came running back from the ultrasound office and into her office. She was already on the phone to the hospital making arrangements for me to be induced that day.
Hyperemesis Gravidarum FAQ
The Mayo Clinic describes hyperemesis gravidarum as extreme nausea and vomiting that can cause dehydration and extreme weight loss in pregnancy.
Many women who suffer from this could need IV fluids if dehydration got so severe, and medication to help ease side effects.
While The Mayo Clinic offers a great explanation of what it is, no body really knows why some people suffer from this severe form of "morning sickness" and others don't.
There's no cure for it, but there are things you can try to help manage your symptoms. For some it eventually goes away later in their pregnancy, others continue to throw up and have nausea until they give birth.
According to the National Institutes of Health, it occurs in about 0.3%-3% of pregnancies.
How to Cope with Hyperemesis Gravidarum?
If you were recently diagnosed, you might be wondering how to cope. You might also want to know how to survive it, because it really becomes a matter of surviving hyperemesis gravidarum.
I won't sugar coat it, things are going to suck. People will roll their eyes when you shoot off this fancy name for why you aren't gaining any weight or can barely stand to get a foot away from your bathroom.
You will go through having to listen to EVERYBODY telling you what you should try to "fix" it. You might also have a few people who are just plain rude and think you are making the whole thing up.
As if I could make up throwing up 20+ times a day.
You may also have to take a leave of absence from your work depending on where you live, because you can't go five minutes without needing to throw up. I ended up quitting my job because my work was getting so sick of it.
You are going to HATE pregnancy, at least until you find relief!
Now I say all this not to scare you, but to let you know what things are going to be like. With that being said, there are a few things you can do to survive hyperemesis gravidarum.
All in all, if someone says they have hyperemesis gravidarum, don't think they are nuts or making excuses. It is a real thing.
It can cause a lot of problems for mom and baby.
If you are personally dealing with this horrible problem, know that it will get better, it might take a long, long time, but it will get better. I also want to tell you that you are in my thoughts and prayers, and try to remember that you will have that precious baby in your arms before you know it.
If you went through hyperemesis gravidarum, please leave a comment below and let us know what was the biggest help for you. Thanks!