highwaystarz/Fotolia

11 Things You Need To Know About Hyperemesis

By
Share
Ad failed to load

Remember those analogy questions from standardized tests? Well, they are still a useful way to make some distinctions. For instance, morning sickness is to hyperemesis gravidarum as a thunderstorm is to a violent typhoon. It's the same thing but only on a much larger scale. If you are even considering the possibility of becoming pregnant, there are some things you need to know about hyperemesis beforehand. Because this is one condition you do not want to take you by surprise.

First, some positive perspective: the severe morning sickness known as hyperemesis gravidarum (HG) is relatively rare, manageable, and temporary (even the worst cases end once you give birth). Chances are, none of your pregnancies will be affected by it, and you can get through your bouts of regular morning sickness with the reassuring (?) knowledge that it could be much, much worse. If none of the other women in your family have dealt with it, then you just might be in the clear.

But for the few women who do have to cope with hyperemesis — even Kate Middleton found herself among those numbers — the constant nausea and vomiting can be debilitating. Read on to know how to differentiate hyperemesis from morning sickness, what methods of treatment are available, and why the blandest foods on the planet may be your new favorite eats.

Ad failed to load

1Kate Middleton Struggled With Hyperemesis

giphy

Even royals have had a brush with the condition, as Kate Middleton famously suffered from hyperemesis. Although no one wants the beloved Duchess of Cambridge to struggle with such a nasty disease, her public battle with HG has perhaps helped to raise greater awareness about hyperemesis. Hopefully, by making knowledge of HG more mainstream, more women will not have to suffer through the condition with inadequate help.

2It Is Not "Just Morning Sickness"

giphy

Sure, there are plenty of jokes about pregnant women and morning sickness, but by all accounts hyperemesis is no laughing matter. (Not that regular morning sickness is a cake walk; it too can get pretty gnarly.) But hyperemesis takes this condition to the next level. As noted by Healthline, morning sickness generally lets up by the fourth month of pregnancy, whereas hyperemesis leads to symptoms of severe nausea and vomiting that will not subside. It is persistent.

3Its Visibility Has Increased

giphy

Plenty of women's health issues have historically been kept rather secret, but it looks like more and more information about these conditions has hit the mainstream. As an example, real-life accounts of hyperemesis have been featured in The Huffington Post and other prominent publications. And it has shown up in other areas of pop culture. For instance, the popular TV show Jane The Virgin featured a character who suffered from hyperemesis in its second season.

Ad failed to load

4Hyperemesis Has No Cure

giphy

Perhaps one day there will be a cure for all pains. But at this time, there does not appear to be any way to prevent hyperemesis from developing, as explained in the Cleveland Clinic. Unfortunately, it can only be managed.

5Its Exact Cause Is Unknown

giphy

Women who want to know the cause for HG will be sadly disappointed. According to the American Pregnancy Association, the exact cause of hyperemesis is unknown, although it is possibly hormonal in origin. More research into this area is still needed (although the idea of your body becoming violently ill from its own hormones may not be the most reassuring thought, either).

6It May Be Hereditary

giphy

Perhaps you've inherited your mother's hazel eyes or her megawatt smile. Well, it's possible you got some less than favorable genetics from her, too. According to Kids Health, hyperemesis may be hereditary because it appears more common among women whose close family members also suffer from the disease. But if there were ever something you didn't want to keep in the family, hyperemesis would be it.  

Ad failed to load

7Hyperemesis Affects Less Than 2 Percent Of Pregnant Women

giphy

HG is fairly rare. Although different reports vary, the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) estimates the occurrence of hyperemesis gravidarum at around .5 to 2 percent of pregnant women. In contrast, according to the NORD, around 50 to 90 percent of pregnant women experience some form of nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. So the odds are high that you will experience some feelings of nausea, but not of the debilitating variety associated with hyperemesis.

8Hospitalization May Be Required

giphy

According to the American Pregnancy Association, severe cases of hyperemesis may require hospitalization to provide the mother-to-be with intravenous fluid and nutrition. Unfortunately, it's possible to get to the point where you can't keep anything down.

9What You Eat May Affect Symptoms

giphy

When it comes to things you should eat while suffering from hyperemesis, the operative word is bland. This is probably good news; chances are you don't want to dig into a bowl of spicy chili right now. Some typical safe foods for hyperemesis include dry toast, mashed potatoes, or bananas.

Ad failed to load

10Medication May Help

giphy

Some medical help may be available. According to the Mayo Clinic, you may receive anti-nausea medications if the condition get too bad.

11It Is Temporary

giphy

Although women in the throes of hyperemesis may feel as though they've been sick forever, it may help you to remember that the condition will not linger for the rest of your life. As noted in WebMD, all the symptoms of hyperemesis will one day stop, soon followed by the arrival of your new baby.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

21 Moms Share The Most Surprising Part About Having A C-Section

Honestly, I don't think we, as a culture, talk about C-sections nearly enough, especially considering so many mothers experience them. And because of a number of factors, the little we do talk about it always seems to be a familiar narrative: "It's n…
By Jamie Kenney

13 Yummy Instant Pot Recipes To Make Under 30 Minutes

A Instant Pot seems to be the must-have appliance in every kitchen these days. If you are anything like me and never knew the beauty of a Instant Pot, you are about to have your life changed. Basically, you put some ingredients into a pot, set the te…
By Kristin Manna

9 Things The First Six Months Of Motherhood Will Teach You About Your Baby

Personally, the first six months of motherhood was a mixed bag. I learned some harsh lessons about myself that made taking care of my baby seem overwhelming. For example, I was clueless, and no amount of research could help me feel like anything but …
By Steph Montgomery

These Photos Of North West Then & Now Will Take You On A Sweet Trip Down Memory Lane

When Kim Kardashian welcomed her first daughter, North West, with her husband, Kanye West, in 2013, her whole life was changed. The social media and reality TV star became a mom for the first time and her Instagram presence took a very adorable turn.…
By Casey Suglia

11 Photos You *Must* Take During The Last Days Of Your Pregnancy

During my first pregnancy, I took a photo each week to document my growing belly. I stopped around 36 weeks, though. I hated how I looked in those pictures, and didn't think I'd want to relive those moments. I was wrong. My second pregnancy was a dum…
By Steph Montgomery

This Is What It Means If Your Pregnancy Test Changes Overnight

The time between when a woman suspects she might be pregnant and when it is confirmed for sure is the longest of her life. Regardless of whether you are hoping for a positive or a negative result, the odds are good that you are sweating bullets when …
By Shannon Evans

6 Red Flags To Definitely Look Out For After Your Baby Falls

The first time my infant son tried to take a few steps, he tumbled and bumped his head on the coffee table. My blood turned to ice in my veins and I froze. There truly isn't anything quite like the feeling a parent gets when their little one gets hur…
By Sarah Bunton

These 9 Instant Pot Recipes Will Make Even The Pickiest Eater Happy At The Table

Like any parent, I've had my share of parenting hits and misses, but one of my favorite "wins" is my daughter's diverse palate. I don't even know if I can take credit for it, but I would like to think I had something to do with her love for lentils, …
By Caroline Shannon-Karasik

Turns Out, Kim Kardashian's Favorite Mom Products Look A Lot Like Your Own Faves

Being a mom is really hard work, especially for the first few months, and Kim Kardashian West is no different in that regard. Now the mother of three, Kardashian says that there are a few products she just can't live without when it comes to raising …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

Soda Might Hurt Your Fertility, Study Says, & Here's What You Can Do

Who doesn't love sugary drinks? I stopped drinking soda years ago, but I still love gulping down those fancy Starbucks coffee beverages. I don't have a big sweet tooth, but I am a sucker for sugar-sweetened beverages every now-and-then. Turns out, th…
By Annamarya Scaccia

10 Things No One Tells You About Having A Baby In Your 30s

If you're like me, you evaluate the pros and cons of any major life decision. When my husband and I were considering starting a family, I thought about my career, education, and financial stability. I wanted to know how a pregnancy and childbirth wou…
By Steph Montgomery

This Woman Thought She Had An Eyelash Stuck In Her Eye. Then It Moved.

I'm not a person who is easily icked out. As a kid, I collected bugs and thought I was going to be an entomologist and asked Santa Claus for ant farms and nets to catch bees. I'm still super curious about anything that flies and crawls, which might s…
By Karen Fratti

5 Red Flags Your Toddler Isn't Eating Enough

Toddlers are notoriously picky eaters, at least in my experience. You offer mashed potatoes, they want french fries. You give them crackers, they scream for chips. It's frustrating, to be sure, but it's usually their way of vying for independence. It…
By Candace Ganger

35 Moms Share The Most Disgusting Things Their Husbands Do

I'm a human being who revels in challenges. I like when people present me with one, especially if they don't think I can meet or succeed it, and I like taking a challenge on, especially if it's unexpected. So when I aimed to uncover the most disgusti…
By Jamie Kenney

How Having Kids In Your 20s Affects You Later In Life

For parents, like myself, who had kids in their 20s, there are a number of questions that come to mind. When you're deciding what your future will look like, you'll likely consider what this means for your health, career, and more down the line. Thin…
By Tessa Shull

Study: Drinking Two Glasses Of Wine A Day Is Good For Your Mind — Here's Why

There’s more scientific proof that a daily drink or two isn't necessarily a bad thing and could have a place in an overall healthy lifestyle. A new study out of the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) in New York found that — in mice, at le…
By Tiffany Thomas

8 "Mistakes" I'm Glad I Made During My First Pregnancy

As an adult, I've learned you never really stop hating being told what to do. When I was pregnant I was getting instructions at every turn, from doctors, relatives, and complete strangers on the subway. I would nod and smile but then go about making …
By Liza Wyles

Research Says Eating Carbs Can Lead To A Healthy Pregnancy, So Bring On The Pasta

In the world of me, no food is better than bread. I know it's supposed to be pretty terrible for you, high in calories, low in protein, and full of that modern-day demon, gluten... but guys, it's really yummy. Especially warm out of the oven, when th…
By Jen McGuire

These Photos Of Prince George Then & Now Will Give You Serious Baby Fever

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting their third child in Spring 2018. With all of the excitement surrounding the new baby, it's easy to forget all of the good times that have already passed. The couple's eldest is already well into the sc…
By Azure Hall

This Is, Hands Down, The *Grossest* Thing Babies Do Inside The Womb

Your baby's life in the womb may be safe and warm, but it's also kind of grody. Seriously, the whole process of growing into a human being includes more than a few icky moments along the way. But this is the grossest thing babies do inside the womb b…
By Lindsay E. Mack