Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG) is the excessive nausea and vomiting that some women experience during pregnancy. It is thought to affect around 1 to 3 women in every 100, and can be extremely serious with dangerous consequences if left untreated. To answer the first question that most people think of when it comes to HG – yes, it’s the same condition that Kate Middleton suffered from in her pregnancies!
Many people do not correctly understand what Hyperemesis Gravidarum is, and so simply believe it to be the same as morning sickness – but this is definitely not the case. HG can be extremely debilitating and is much, much worse than the normal morning sickness that around 8 out of 10 women experience during pregnancy.
If you’d like to read a very honest account of my experience with Hyperemesis Gravidarum, you can read it on the Your Baby Club UK website, where I wrote a piece covering this in all its gory detail.
Unfortunately, doctors don’t know exactly what causes Hyperemesis Gravidarum. It is thought to be due to the hormone changes a woman experiences in pregnancy.
There does seem to be some evidence to suggest that Hyperemesis Gravidarum runs in families, but that is not to say that you will definitely suffer from the condition if, for example, your birth mother did.
The most obvious symptom of Hyperemesis Gravidarum is excessive nausea and vomiting. Other symptoms include dehydration, weight loss and low blood pressure – although these symptoms usually only develop if the HG is very bad or is left untreated.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for HG. It can, however, be treated, to minimise the symptoms experienced. Treatment can be given in the form of anti sickness drugs, vitamins and steroids, and many women find these treatments greatly improve their quality of life.
The NHS website states ‘if you have had HG in a previous pregnancy, you are more likely to get it in your next pregnancy than women who have never had it before, so it’s worth planning in advance’. This is something I queried often with my midwives whenever it naturally came up in conversation – some agreed with this statement, advising that yes, I am likely to experience HG in my second pregnancy, whereas others disagreed with this and said it does not necessarily mean that will be the case. They could just be trying to make me feel better, sure, but it does provide comfort to know it is not something guaranteed. Like many things in life, it almost seems completely down to luck.
HG can become very dangerous in some scenarios. If left untreated, the extreme vomiting can cause serious dehydration and weight loss, which can then result in potentially dangerous consequences for both mother and baby. It is therefore extremely important that if you do believe you are suffering with HG, you seek the appropriate medical advice and keep a careful eye on your symptoms.
If treated effectively, HG should not cause or put you at any additional risk of experiencing a miscarriage. The most dangerous risks of HG on your unborn baby is dehydration and weight loss, which may pose a risk of low birth weight. Extreme dehydration can potentially cause other harm to your baby, which is why it is important to seek medical advice if you have HG and closely monitor the amount of fluids you are able to keep down.
If you have any other questions about HG or my experience with it then please let me know in the comments below or feel free to shoot me a DM on Instagram – I’m always happy to help!
Severe Vomiting in Pregnancy – NHS
My personal account of my experience with Hyperemesis Gravidarum – Your Baby Club