When the royal family announced Kate was pregnant this week, the first question that raced through the internet was, “How far along?!”
Not far, and that might have puzzled people who are used to the typical 12 week point before hearing about most pregnancies, especially one of the most high profile in the world. But it all made sense when shortly after the first announcement, a second followed stating Kate had been hospitalized with hyperemesis gravidarum.
And somewhere in my “OMG ROYAL BABIES!” excitement, I felt so much sympathy for her. Especially when I see it being compared to “morning sickness – just a little worse,” or being brushed off as her not being able to handle the first trimester of a pregnancy.
HG isn’t “just” morning sickness. It is a horrible condition that affects only a small number of pregnant women, somewhere between .5 and 2%. It’s more than a morning throw up or that feeling of being nauseous all day. It’s debilitating, depressing, and in many cases causes an entire families’ world to change for the next 8 months. Smells can be 100x more powerful than before, making everything nauseating. Throwing up never stops, I once threw up for hours on end until my medication (Zofran often helps with the nausea) was refilled. At the time I was 6 months pregnant, well past the point most pregnant women are still sick.
During both pregnancies, the majority of the time I wanted to lay on the couch and die. No light, no sound, no smells, no anything. I wasn’t hungry, thirsty, and nothing made it better.
Hyperemesis gravidarum isn’t something that is helped by peppermint, Sea Bands, ginger, or drinking more water. There is no cure for it except giving birth.
Wondering if you might have hyperemesis gravidarum and not just plain regular morning sickness? Read on to find out the difference! Then talk to your midwife/OB about options to help subside the nausea and get you and your baby the nutrients and relief you need.
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