General Question

scamp's avatar

Do you know anyone who suffer with Hyperemesis Gravidarum?

Asked by scamp (13129points) August 19th, 2009

My daughter is pregnant with her second child, and she is terribly ill. This condition is much worse than normal morning sickness, and I’m wondering if anyone has experienced it, or can give me any tips on what she can do to keep food down. She hasn’t been able to keep even tablespoons of water down, and the medicine the doctors give her are of little help.

Her problems are way beyond what you would sip ginger ale and eat soda crackers for. She lost 20% of her body weight during her last pregnancy, and it looks like this one will be worse. she is only 7 and ½ weeks now, and already she has to go weekly to the doctor’s office for IV fluids to re-hydrate her.

Do you know anyone who has had this problem? What did they do?

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15 Answers

MagsRags's avatar

have they tried her on zofran? For severe hyperemesis, it’s usually the best treatment option.

casheroo's avatar

I feel like @ubersiren suffered from this. I could be wrong.

I’m only familiar with other women getting it. I know most had to be hospitalized for fluids at some point. I’m so sorry your daughter has to suffer through that :( And it totally sucks when people say “But isn’t it worth it??” Because it so does not seem like it’s worth it at the time.
Like @MagsRags said, Zofran is an amazing drug..and safer than phenergan for pregnant woman.

JLeslie's avatar

I know three people who had this during pregnancy. One was a teacher of mine when I was in high school, so I was not close friends with her, but what I do know is she only suffered for 4 months with it, she had actually considered aborting it was so severe, and she had tried for months to get pregnant, she did not abort and luckily things got better and she had a beautiful baby boy.

My other two friends wound up in the hospital a few times during their pregnancy to get IV to rehydrate themselves. It was a very difficult 9 months for each of them. I will say this about the two that suffered for their entire pregnancies…one has three children and was only sick with that one pregnancy, which was her final child. The other woman suffered with her first child and was terrified to get pregnant again, but when she finally did her second pregnancy was fine.

Zofran is a great drug, there are other ones out there too. I don’t know if zofran is safe for pregnancy or not? Maybe she should get a second opinion from another doctor?

MagsRags's avatar

Zofran is category B for use during pregnancy, the same category as medications like acetominophen and penicillin. No known harmful effects.

JLeslie's avatar

Oh, thanks @MagsRags I’m glad to know that for other friends…I was going to look it up in the PDR.

She could get a pic line to keep her hydrated so she can do the IV at home, but that might be drastic since she is so early in the pregnancy still and the doc probably wants to be able to check her. I would definitely ask for the Zofran or some ther anti-nausea. If I remember correctly it is very expensive, so maybe the doc is worried it won’t be covered by insurance?

casheroo's avatar

@JLeslie The other option is Phenergan, which is category C..but much cheaper.

scamp's avatar

She is taking both Zofan and Phengran at present. She was only able to get 6 pills of Zofran until the insurance company authorizes more, so the doctor gave her Phenegran to take while she waits.

This bout is worse than it was with the last pregnancy, and the Zofran isn’t helping very much. She hasn’t had as much as a full glass of water in weeks because she can’t keep anything down. Tomorrow, she is going to the doctor’s office to get IV fluids so she can hydrate enough for some bloodwork. She is so dehydrated, they can’t even draw blood on her.

I’m thinking of taking a leave from work under the family leave act so I can go down there and help her with the other baby so she can get some rest, but I don’t know how long I can go, and when would be the best time. I’d hated to go now and find out she needs me more later on, ya know?

Thanks so much for your input!

JLeslie's avatar

After hearing this last post I really think they should give her an IV at home. This can be very dangerous, her electrolytes could get very out of whack which can lead to a heart attack. Some doctors are reluctant to give IV’s at home simply because they rarely order them and have little experience setting up the service. She does not have to get a pic line, she can get a regular IV and nurse will come and change the placement every three days or so with the hopes that as she gets farther along in the pregnancy the nausea will be alleviated.

MagsRags's avatar

I’m sorry to hear she is having such a difficult time. Has she tried acupressure wrist bands? There’s some decent research showing some benefit for nausea and vomiting of pregnancy, and the nice thing is no additional meds involved.
There is also some research to support the use of ginger, either in capsules, or grated and brewed as a tea.

scamp's avatar

@JLeslie I think she is headed for that very soon. With a small son (just turned 1 on the 17th,) It will be hard for her to get to the doctor’s office, so I agree, she should have a home nurse come periodically. this problem lasted her entire pregnancy last time. I hope she doesn’t have a repeat. :(

@MagsRags thanks for the idea. I’m going to shop online and find one for her. She says she doubts it will help since the medicine doesn’t, but I say it certainly can’t hurt!

Understanding's avatar

I’m so sorry that I am just stumbling on to this site. You may not even check the responses anymore but if you do I definitely know someone with it. That someone is me and unless you have experienced this for yourself you have no idea what she is going through. In short terms Hell on earth. Mine was so severe my doctor told my mom if I hadn’t come in when I did I would have been dead before the morning. I went from weighing 145 at the time of conception to weighing 90 by my 8th week. It’s not morning sickness. It’s 24 hours around the clock sickness! NO BREAK IN BETWEEN! I definitely know what she is going through and I am so sorry. I’m like this with every pregnancy. However there is some relief. Not much but every little bit helps. She needs fruit with alot of juices in it. NOT FRUIT JUICE! THE ACTUAL FRUIT! TRUST ME! She can’t gobble it up. She have to nibble. She need that green melon. I believe it is called Honey Dew. She also need cantaloupe. Watermelon maybe depending on the person. Believe it or not Red and White hard peppermint candy works for the nausea. No other type of mint will work. They’ll just make it worst. Like I said it works briefly because once her body get used to it it will start to reject it the same way it reject everything else. Unfortunately she will have to continue with the fluids once that stop working for her and she needs to stay cool. My husband and children freeze in my house. I’m sorry for them but I have to stay cold. My doctor gave me some type of white pill that is supposed to dissolve in your mouth for the nausea. It just made everything worst. Hopefully you are still checking this because you said she was only in her 7th week so she might still be sick. I pray she is not. Hopefully this will help someone like us. GOD Bless Her and everyone that suffers from this condition.

scamp's avatar

@Understanding Thank you so much for posting here. I think hearing from someone who actually suffers from this condition may make those who don’t know what it it truly understand. My daughter has finally got the insurance company to cover the medication she so desperately needs. It seems to help a little, but she still isn’t able to eat or drink much.

I will tell her what you said about trying melons and other fruits. That sounds like a very good idea, because she would get some nutrition as well as fluids into her system that way. She lives in Florida, so her AC is on 24/7, so she does keep comfortably cool. She is now past her 13th week, and things do seem a little better, but as you know, this condition never really stops until the baby is born.

It seems that she is able to eat more on the wekends when her husband is home from work, because he can prepare meals for her. That way, she doesn’t have to smell the food as it’s being cooked, which usually makes her so sick she can’t take even one bite. She’s very lucky to have such a considerate spouse.

While I’m glad to know there is someone who really understands this problem, I’m very sorry to hear how much you’ve suffered with this. Do you know what the the dissovable pill your doctor gave you is called? She is taking Zofran, Unisom and B6 at present, but maybe there is something else more cost effective she could use. The doctor gave her Phenegran until the Zofran was approved, but it didn’t help much because it makes her drowsy. She couldn’t take it during the day while she was at home alone with her son. Thanks again for answerenig, and welcome to Fluther!

t16423's avatar

I know how she feels.I had severe hyperemesis.Just to warn you I cant spell.Im an ob Scrub Tec I had it and have seen others.I lost 30 lbs. and was in the hospital on and off for 2½ months .#1 you have to keep taking her to L&D everythime she gets dehydrated which might be every 2 or 3 days to get fluids no matter what if she cant keep ANYTHING down.I tried everything wrist pressure-ginger root-meds-.Everything .Zofran helped a little-but i still could not eat . #2 all meds need to be given IM not oral I could not even swallow my own salava.Now some Dr.‘s think this is all in her mind if that is her Dr. get another one-You have to get relief from the nausa first—cold sensation helped A little and a little red /white hard pepperment a little.If it ever subsides a little I tried to eat a few grapes -that was it.I felt like I was dyeing..Only one thing helped in the end I got a feeding tube—It was awful awful awful But it nurished me till i could eventually eat.It was placed past my stomach.I only looked for brief periods of sleep To keep the nausia a bay.This is when I started with the grapes—I eventually moved to baby food fruit-It took me 4 weeks after the feeding tube CAME OUT to start eating table food really which was around 20 weeks ges.I only had the tube about a week-but it got things working again.Hopefully this ends for her by 16–24 weeks .Some people have it the entire time.The next pregency will be the same.I adopted my second child.The most important thing is to keep her hydrated and there is no cure I have ever seen for true hyperemesis.Tell her she is not alone.

geeky_mama's avatar

I had HG (Hyperemesis Gravidum) with my 3rd pregnancy and my sister-in-law had HG with all 3 of her pregnancies.

In both our cases we required IV hydration (there are home nursing agencies which can come help with this) and we both had Zofran (which, for me did diminish the number of times per day I vomited, but never relieved the nausea. All nine-months, it was like being sea sick. I narrowly avoided a PICC line – mainly by finding ONE thing I could eat – even though it had no nutritional value. Purely by taking in some calories I was able to avoid that medical procedure.

At my worst I was bed-ridden due to severe dizziness (like being on a listing boat – with the worst sea sickness of your life). At my best, I was still constantly nauseated.
I can’t really suggest what she might try to eat—because frankly, the only thing I’ve learned from other women who’ve had HG is that each of us has to find her own “thing” to keep down.
For me it was Nerds candies. I’m really not kidding. Never liked them before (nor do I care for them now), but they were one thing I was able to keep down from about 22 weeks of pregnancy onwards. Nonetheless I lost over 45lbs, approx 30% of my body weight early in the pregnancy – and then held steady from about 25 weeks onwards.

I recommend the HER Foundation support groups and links for education and support:


I suspect the reason her doctors are still having her come to the office for IV hydration either they do not find her to be a severe case (the criteria for true HG is over 25% body weight lost), or they are not aware of home nursing services available to her. Perhaps you can help research and advocate for her – if she’s open to having you do this.

Also, if you are in the same town – being there to help take care of her other child or helping out any way you can (load of laundry, meals for her family) would be a BIG help.

glamorous724's avatar

I have HG right now I am 4 months pregnant . It has been the worst experience in my life. I literally throw up ten times or more threw at the day. Zofran does not work for me. the only thing that will actually let me eat and drink anything is if I smoke marijuana. I hav been to doctors daily for iv fluids they will not draw blood on me and my blood pressure is very off. Mind u I am 21 and I had to drop out of college and every thing. If u have hg go to doctors.

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