December 11, 2012 at 4:09 pm
The Duchess of Cambridge was rushed in to hospital recently after suffering from a severe form of pregnancy “morning” sickness.
Although feeling queasy and even vomiting is common in the early weeks of pregnancy, some women suffer a more serious type of sickness – a condition known as hyperemesis gravidarum (HG) – which can last much longer than 12 weeks.
The symptoms include prolonged and severe nausea and vomiting, dehydration, weight loss, low blood pressure when standing up.
This unpleasant condition makes it hard to keep any fluids or food down and can warrant a hospital admission for treatment with intravenous fluids. Doctors may also prescribe anti-sickness drugs, including antihistamines.
Only around one in 200 pregnant women are unlucky enough to get HG in pregnancy; it usually occurs between the 7th and 22nd week, but in rarer cases can persist through the entire pregnancy.
Doctors still don’t know for sure why some women get it and others don’t, but it’s said to be common if you’re expecting twins or even triplets, or if you’ve suffered from travel sickness or migraines previously or had a mother or sister with the condition, says the British Medical Journal.
Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do to prevent HG, although IV fluids and anti-sickness drugs prescribed by a doctor can lessen the symptoms if they do start.
Even the exact cause of normal pregnancy sickness is still unknown; according to some theories it’s down to hormonal changes, and some believe it’s caused by a slowing down of the workings of the small intestine due to the hormone progesterone.
In normal pregnancy sickness, midwives advise trying to minimise the symptoms by getting plenty of rest, eating dry toast or a plain biscuit in the morning, before getting up slowly, eating small, frequent, high carbohydrate meals, avoiding tight waistbands and obvious triggers for your nausea such as the smell of fried food or petrol. Nibbling ginger biscuits or sipping ginger ale may help too.
How did you and your partner cope with morning sickness? Do you have any tips to help others? Did ginger biscuits work for you? What smells triggered your nausea? We’d love to hear about your experience – so why not post below?