How will you know if your morning sickness is Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG)?
Severe morning sickness
Morning sickness can often be the first sign that you’re pregnant – and despite its name, can actually happen any time of day/night or all of the time.
Most mums-to-be experience morning sickness in the first trimester. It’s not nice, but it is not harmful to mum or baby and women can usually go about their day-to-day life and activities. It can also be a welcoming sign that you are pregnant. This will usually start to subside around 12-14 weeks.
You can also have an early pregnancy scan, which can also be called a viability or dating scan from six weeks onwards. This can also be reassuring as sometimes sickness can also be associated with a multiple pregnancy – twins! So, having an early pregnancy scan can answer this question for you.
Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG)
Rarely though, it can become very severe and excessive, leaving women not just nauseous but totally unable to keep down any food or fluids. This can be debilitating and make you feel quite unwell. This is known as Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG) and affects around 1% of pregnant women. You can be sick up to 50 times a day and symptoms can go on for several weeks or even months. Extreme nausea and vomiting affects a woman’s ability to eat or drink properly – this leads to weight loss, dehydration and malnutrition. Beyond the debilitating symptoms, HG can also take a toll on a woman’s mental health. It’s not uncommon for women with HG to become depressed.
Doctors usually decide to admit women into hospital when suffering from Hyperemesis Gravidarum so they can hydrate them with an intravenous drip and also administer medication to help with the sickness.
Although Hyperemesis Gravidarum can make you feel so poorly, it is unlikely to harm you or your baby if treated. If you do lose a lot of weight this may result in your baby being born smaller than it should for dates.
If you are experiencing sickness for prolonged periods, you should contact your doctor or midwife for advice.
If you are struggling with morning sickness you can also speak to the Pregnancy Sickness Support charity, which offers both telephone and online help. https://www.pregnancysicknesssupport.org.uk/