Most pregnant women experience “morning sickness,” the nausea and vomiting associated with the surge of hormones during the first trimester, or the first 12 weeks. For a small number of women, the nausea and vomiting is persistent and severe. This is called hypermesis gravidarum (HG) – the same condition Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, is facing.

A diagnosis of acute morning sickness can have serious consequences for both mom and baby:
• Severe dehydration
• Electrolyte imbalance
• Malnutrition
• Weight loss
• Light headedness

Because HG limits the intake of food and fluids needed for a healthy pregnancy, obstetricians treat the condition with IV fluids and medications that can help ease the intense nausea. HG often lasts up to 20 weeks, but can continue through an entire pregnancy.

For HG and more typical morning sickness, a few lifestyle changes may also help:
• Eating small, frequent meals – include dry foods, like crackers
• Staying well-hydrated – try water, seltzer or ginger ale
• Vitamin B6 – medical experts suggest less than 100 mg daily ( this also includes the amount in pre-natal vitamins)

Pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnant? Connect with the Birth Advisor at Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical Center for free guidance from an experienced labor and delivery nurse.

For more info, check out this video from 9 News Now  featuring Shady Grove Adventist Hospital Obstetrician, Dr. Sheri Hamersley.