Every woman — and perhaps most men too — knows that the symptom commonly referred to as “morning sickness” is usually a sign of pregnancy. However, some may still not be aware that there is morning sickness which is completely normal, and then there is a similar condition which is much more serious.
The condition is called hyperemesis gravidarum, and it’s become common knowledge through the worldwide media’s coverage of Kate Middleton’s pregnancies. The condition is described in plain English as extreme morning sickness. The symptoms, however, are more serious and incapacitating than a few extra trips to the ladies’ room would be.
Hyperemesis gravidarum is an incurable condition that affects some pregnant women. It is characterized by strong and constant nausea, as well as frequent vomiting. These symptoms can lead to dehydration and weight loss, which ultimately affects the health of both the expecting mother and unborn baby.
The condition only manifests during the gestation period, but it may get worse with each pregnancy, as the odds of experiencing it again rise each time the woman becomes pregnant after she first experienced it.
Aside from the physical symptoms, hyperemesis gravidarum also takes an emotional toll on expecting parents: the mother may feel devastated about not being able to live her life and having to carry a child in such conditions, while the father may deal with feelings of guilt for putting his partner through such pain and helplessness and not being able to help her.
There is, of course, some sort of advantage to the repeating pattern of the condition, as both doctors and expecting mothers will now be prepared for it and have a notion of what works and doesn’t in each specific case.
A good tip that works for every pregnant woman, especially those who suffer from any degree of morning sickness, is to stay hydrated. This is because vomiting does take a toll on the body, and both mother and fetus need to maintain healthy water levels.
Adding a B6 supplement to the prenatal vitamins is also a good idea, because it will help expecting mothers maintain their physical and mental health, as well as gain some of the energy that the condition undoubtedly drains out of them.
When all is said and done, hyperemesis gravidarum is more uncomfortable than it is dangerous, particularly if treated with adequate care and rest. It makes pregnancy harder than it should be, but the journey ends with a much yearned-for baby being brought to the world.