Rarely, morning sickness is so severe that it progresses to a condition called Hyperemesis Gravidarum. Hyper means ‘Excessive’ and emesis means ‘Vomiting’ and Gravidarum means ‘Pregnant Woman’.
This is when someone with nausea and vomiting of pregnancy has extreme symptoms that may cause severe dehydration or result in the loss of more than 5 percent of pre-pregnancy body weight.
It is thought to be a result of high levels of pregnancy hormones, but the exact cause is not known. Hyperemesis gravidarum may require hospitalization and treatment with intravenous (IV) fluids, medications and rarely a feeding tube.
More severe HG is traumatic and can impact one for years. It might affect your ability to work and take care of your family. It may even lead to depression due to misery and physical depletion.
If you are in your first trimester and showing symptoms of HG do make it a point to discuss with your gynaecologist. DO NOT take any medications for this condition without consulting your doctor first.
Contact your doctor if…
- If you are experiencing excessive nausea and vomiting that prevents you from keeping any food down
- If vomiting is accompanied by pain or fever
- If nausea and vomiting persists well into the second trimester (after the 12th week)