The Duchess is having a baby! Coping with Hyperemesis Gravidarum – Severe morning sickness

With the recent news of the Duke & Duchess of Cambridge expecting a new baby next year, we felt a need to highlight the plight of many women suffering from hyperemesis which is a severe form of morning sickness. The Duchess Kate has suffered from this with her previous pregnancies and it has become apparent that she is suffering once again.

Many women suffering from what we call ‘morning sickness’ when pregnant. The name isn’t entirely accurate however as many women suffer from it at various points throughout the day. It can range from a sense of nausea to actual vomiting. Morning sickness is caused by the increase of the HCG hormone on the blood which is necessary to keep an early pregnancy viable. Not everyone suffers from morning sickness though and some women may have it in one pregnancy and not another. Some women find that changing what they eat can help such as avoiding fatty, oily foods, spicy meals and eating little and often. Most morning sickness will disappear around the 12-14 weeks gestation mark as the HCG levels start to fall.

Hyperemesis Gravidarum is a severe form of morning sickness and occurs usually with particularly high levels of HCG in the blood but not always. Women find that they repeatedly vomit throughout the day and some women have to stay in hospital in order to become re-hydrated with the help of an intravenous drip. It can be a particularly awful time for many women suffering from this especially if they cannot keep any fluids down. If you find that you are vomiting to this point then you need to seek the advice of your care provider.

Here are some tips that may help:

Water – Carry around a bottle of water with you and take regular sips. It is important to try and remain hydrated during pregnancy and even more so when suffering from morning sickness.

Eat Early: Keep some dry snacks such as cracker by your bedside and try and eat a couple before you get up for the day.

Diet: Aim for a diet high in protein such as chicken and fish.  Add complex carbohydrates such as whole grains and vegetables. Try to avoid rich, fatty foods as you may be more likely to suffer. Try to eat more cold foods as the smell of hot foods can trigger nausea. A good example would be a tuna sandwich with zero or limited butter.

Eat little and often: Eating meals that are too large can cause nausea and vomiting but not eating enough can also have the same effect. Try to balance it by eating little and often. If you had 3 meals per day before, try to have 5-6 small meals/ snacks instead.

Ginger: Some women have  reported that Ginger biscuits have helped them with morning sickness

Sea bands: You can buy these from your local pharmacy. Designed originally to help with sea sickness, they have been used in recent years to help some women in their pregnancies.

Do seek help and support from those around you if you suffer from hyperemesis gravidarum as it really can be a debilitating effect of pregnancy and you won’t feel like doing much.

Unfortunately for Kate, even the Royal family are not exempt from hyperemesis and she has to cancel a public engagement event today due to feeling unwell. We do congratulate them however on the wonderful news of their expected 3rd child and wish Kate a speedy recovery from her sickness.