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Hyperemesis Gravidarum is Not *Just* Morning Sickness: 5 Ways That It Differs

Photo Credit: PacificCoastNews.com

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.


  • Nausea that continues well after the first trimester 1 of 5
    Nausea that continues well after the first trimester
    7 months pregnant and still throwing up? Very common with women who have HG.
    For more info: LiveStrong.org
  • Vomiting not related to eating 2 of 5
    Vomiting not related to eating
    You haven't eaten all day and yet you can't seem to stop vomiting.
    For more info: lpch.org
  • Vomiting after meals or drinking 3 of 5
    Vomiting after meals or drinking
    Everything that does down must come - up? If you have hyperemesis, that's just the case. From Cheerios to water.
    For more info: lpch.org
  • Dehydration due to vomiting 4 of 5
    Dehydration due to vomiting
    If you're finding yourself constantly thirsty, consider calling your doctor. In later pregnancies severe dehydration can trigger early labor.
    For more info: American Pregnancy Association
  • Weight loss that isn’t ceasing 5 of 5
    Weight loss that isn't ceasing
    Can't seem to pack on the pounds no matter how hard you try? It isn't easy when you spend all day trying to eat food you can't stand the sight or smell of only to vomit it back up.
    For more info: American Pregnancy Association

 

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Diana blogs on raising a toddler daughter and the loss of her twin boys on the aptly named Hormonal ImbalancesSmaller glimpses into her day are on TwitterFacebook, and Pinterest.

 

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