Even English royalty throws up when they are pregnant.
The Duchess Kate Middleton made international headlines when she announced she was pregnant and even more headlines when it was announced she was hospitalized.
Middleton joins a slim population of women who are diagnosed with hyperemesis gravidarum, which is extreme morning sickness. Only .5 percent to 2 percent of women get hyperemesis gravidarum.
“It’s really scary for the mothers,” said Dr. Phillip Garza who specializes in obstetrics and gynecology for Banner Health. “You have to ease their minds. This is rare but can be treated.”
Most pregnant women experience morning sickness in the first trimester from weeks 8-12. Some women have symptoms up to the third trimester and 5 percent of women go into delivery with nausea. With hyperemesis gravidarum, women experience weight loss, dehydration and keytones in their blood work, which is caused by starvation.
“It’s a horrible feeling,” Garza said. “It’s a constant thing. They never have relief. It’s a terrible feeling.”
Garza said some women even terminate the pregnancy because the nausea is too much.
Many mothers with hyperemesis gravidarum go in and out of the hospital in the first trimester because they can’t even keep water down so they need to get an IV to rehydrate themselves and the baby.
“It’s a vicious cycle,” Garza said. “You eat, you throw up, so you don’t want to eat. The whole point of the treatment is to break that cycle of nausea.”
Garza said the best thing for nauseous pregnant women is to snack every three hours.
“The trick is to always have small, frequent meals,” Garza said. “An empty stomach produces the nausea.”
Garza said granola bars and 100-calorie snack packs are good to have. He also recommends keeping snacks in your purse and by the bed for when you wake up.
There is no way to tell whether you will have hyperemesis gravidarum, Garza said. It is an old wives’ tale that if your mother had it, you will have it. Garza said there are no genetics that can tell you.
Garza said the best thing to do is keep your doctor informed. They can tell you what is and isn’t normal.
“Especially first-time mothers,” Garza said. “They think this is the norm of pregnancy. We can tell you what is not normal. With pregnancy in general, there has to be a close relationship to the patient. They don’t know what to expect. It’s your job to inform them. Pregnancy is a beautiful thing. You want to give them a positive experience.”
Especially first-time mothers. They think this is the norm of pregnancy. We can tell you what is not normal. With pregnancy in general, there has to be a close relationship to the patient. They don’t know what to expect. It’s your job to inform them. Pregnancy is a beautiful thing. You want to give them a positive experience. \n
Dr. Phillip Garza\n
on hyperemesis gravidarum