Guest blog by Mommy MD Guides member, Dr. Jennifer Gilbert, DO
Once upon a time, there was a beautiful duchess who lived in in a faraway land. To everyone’s delight, the duchess became pregnant with the second addition to her royal family. And that’s when her story takes a turn—since this poor duchess suffers from a severe type of morning sickness called hyperemesis gravidarum (HG).
So, if you’re struggling with morning sickness, how do you know if it could it be HG? Here’s how HG compares with “regular” morning sickness:
What is it?
A rough Latin translation of hyperemesis gravidarum (HG) provides a basic description; it means serious vomiting, or acute morning sickness. Moms-to-be with HG experience severe nausea, vomiting, weight loss, and electrolyte disturbance. The nausea and vomiting can become so bad that it’s impossible to keep any food down. Morning sickness is defined as nausea and vomiting in pregnancy that despite its name can happen at any time of the day or night. The nausea and vomiting don’t generally prevent you from keeping food down.
How common is it?
Only 2% of pregnant women experience HG, however more than half of all moms-to-be will have morning sickness.
When do you get it?
HG usually begins between 4-6 weeks and might peak between 9-13 weeks. Fortunately it usually starts to ease between weeks 14- 20, but 20 percent of women with HG have it throughout their pregnancies. Typically, morning sickness usually begins in week 6 and ends around week 12.
How is it treated?
Doctors treat mild cases of HG with rest, dietary changes, and sometimes antacids. If a mom-to-be has severe HG, she might need to be hospitalized to get IV fluid and nutrients. Typical morning sickness can usually be managed by self-care and home remedies, such as eating small, more frequent meals, avoiding lying down after eating and chewing Sea-Band Ginger Gum, sucking on Sea-Band Mama Ginger Lozenges, or wearing Sea-Band Mama Wrist Bands.
About the author: Jennifer Gilbert, DO, is a mom of twins, an ob/gyn at Paoli Hospital in Pennsylvania, and a contributor to The Mommy MD Guide to Your Baby’s First Year and www.MommyMDGuides.com.