Hyperemesis Gravidarum - When Vomiting becomes Excessive.

Posted by Teddy & Me on

According to scientisits expectant mums really do bloom – because being pregnant has a “rejuvenating effect” on women. In fact research suggests that women could feel younger during pregnancy, because pregnancy helps regenerate tissue and slow down the ageing process. 

Try telling this to an expectant mum who is being sick constantly. We know pregnancy isn’t an illness but it can make you feel poorly…

Nausea and vomiting is common in pregnancy and effects 50-90% of pregnant  women. It usually begins around the sixth week of pregnancy and generally starts to settle by about the 13th or 14th week. Often worse first thing in the morning, hence the term ‘Morning Sickness’, although in reality it can occur at any time of the day.

A severe form of nausea and vomiting in pregnancy is hyperemesis gravidarum, which can have a negative effect on daily life. Vomiting can become excessive, making it hard to keep food or water down. Estimated to occur in 1–1.5%of pregnant women, hyperemesis gravidarum can result in weight loss and dehydration.

Signs and symptoms of Hyperemesis Gravidarum  include:

  • Prolonged and severe nausea and vomiting 
  • Dehydration – not having enough fluids in your body because you can't keep drinks down; if you're drinking less than 500ml a day, you need to seek help
  • Ketosis – a serious condition that results in the build-up of acidic chemicals in the blood and urine; ketones are produced when your body breaks down fat, rather than glucose, for energy
  • Weight loss
  • Low blood pressure (hypotension) when standing

Unlike regular pregnancy sickness, hyperemesis gravidarum may not get better by 14 weeks. It may not clear up completely until the baby is born, although some symptoms may improve at around 20 weeks.

If you are being sick frequently and can't keep food down, tell your midwife or doctor, or contact the hospital as soon as possible. There is a risk you may become dehydrated, and your midwife or doctor can make sure you get the right treatment.

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