It can leave an emotional mark on both mother and child…
Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG) is a poorly understood condition where little is known about its causes. It is a condition that is deliberating rendering the mother unable to function normally. It is a condition that begins in early pregnancy and can be suffered throughout pregnancy. It is often passed off as a ‘bad’ case of morning sickness which is quite different, where mild nausea and vomiting starts around five weeks and begins to abait by eighteen weeks.
The difference: Morning sickness does not cause dehydration and it allows the mother to keep some foods down. These symptoms taper off from twelve weeks. Sometimes the nausea is accompanied by vomiting.
Hyperemesis Gravidarum is more serious causing the mother to vomit multiple times throughout the day and in more severe cases lead to weight loss of more than 5% of the pre-pregnant body weight. Dizziness, dehydration, inability to keep any food or drink for more than twelve hours and the colour of the urine is very dark. Symptoms of this condition is often misunderstood until the situation leads to hospitalisation. In turn, creating anxiety leading to depression and medication. Certainly fatigue in the extreme cases and its dangers are potentially life-threatening especially when it there is rapid change in the well being of the mother. Food aversion is common. The consequences are also very serious for the unborn baby.
The treatments include hospitalisation, where it may be necessary to tube feed, use of medication, bed rest, IV for re-hydration. Other remedies that have been used are acupressure, hypnosis , homeopathic remedies ,herbs and nutrients via IV .
If you are suffering from a “bad” case of morning sickness, feeling unable to cope , feeling dizzy when standing, visit your doctor immediately and especially if you are still suffering from this condition in your second trimester. It is important for the well being of yourself and your baby and to rule out other diagnosis .
The causes of the condition of hyperemesis is not clear, however in primitive cultures, excessive morning sickness is unknown. Only after civilisation had reached these cultures that pregnant women started suffering from this complaint (Peretz 1958).
In 1891 Kaltenbach researched hyperemesis gravidarum and concluded that the condition in pregnancy of vomiting was usually a manifestation of neurosis, somewhat allied to hysteria and was amenable to suggestive treatments.
In letters to the editor of the American Family Physician, 1999 Jul.1;60(1):56-61 a group of 138 patients suffering from HG responded to the treatment of hypnosis of which 88% of patients stopped vomiting. The number of sessions varied from one to three and were conducted by a physician hypnotherapist.