Hyperemesis Gravidarum – What You Need to Know

Baby, Children, Family, Love / Saturday, October 1st, 2016

Hyperemesis Gravidarum is the name given to severe vomiting during pregnancy.  So severe in fact,  that it can cause women to become dehydrated and lose weight.

I suffered from HG during both of my pregnancies, each time not believing that I would be able to get through it.  It’s hard to admit, but there were also times when I regretted my situation as this illness can be so debilitating.

When you have HG it is almost as if time stands still, you cant go back but you don’t know how to move forward – knowing how to get out of bed would be a start.

Drawing from my own personal experiences with the condition, here are a few things you need to know:

  • Hyperemesis Gravidarum is not just morning sickness.  HG is far worse.  Not only are you feeling sick but you are constantly being sick.  Hanging your head over the toilet for the thirtieth time in less than twenty four hours, feeling faint and dizzy, being in a constant state of exhaustion and feeling like your head is going to explode is extreme.  Don’t get me wrong, sickness of any kind is not pleasant and I feel for anyone with morning sickness. HG however, is on another level and it is not to be taken lightly.
  • Dry crackers are not going to cut it.  You can eat crackers until your mouth feels like the bottom of a bird cage, you will still feel sick and be sick.  I lost count of the amount of times crackers were pushed under my nose, only to be thrown back no more than thirty seconds later.  My advice is eat what you can when you can.  Even if that happens to be a couple of chocolate biscuits, or a double cheese burger.  You’re probably going to throw it back up anyway, so you may as well enjoy the bits you do get to eat!  A few calories are better than none so it’s always worth a shot.
  • ‘Stick your ginger where the sun doesn’t shine’ (shamefully, these are my words!).   This one does again relate to food, but it deserves its own point!  I used to love ginger – cake, biscuits, gingerbread men – you name it.  In my early days of HG before I was medicated my friends, family and even my GP told me ginger would do the trick.  It did NOTHING! Now I can’t stand the stuff, I am nearly six months post-partum and the thought of ginger still makes me feel nauseous.  I know you’re trying to be helpful, really I do – but f**k off with your ginger!
  • Don’t let anyone tell you ‘you just have to get through it’.  Seven weeks into my first pregnancy I literally could not stop being sick.  Water, food and sips of energy drink all came back up to say ‘Hi’.  Medical professionals hadn’t taken my condition seriously enough.  One particular consultant said ‘I don’t care about sickness, everyone gets that’.  Funnily enough this was a MALE consultant.  Therefore it wasn’t long until I was admitted into hospital,  suffering from dehydration.  I spent a night on IV fluids and anti-emetics, surrounded by people who understood that I was ill.  I left hospital the next day with a package of medication, that would see me through the next few months.  To this day I cannot thank these people enough – they made my first pregnancy less traumatic and more bearable than I could ever have imagined.
  • It’s OK to medicate.  I know that medication during pregnancy is a very personal choice, it’s certainly not for everyone.  If this is something you are open to though and you are advised only by your Doctor, it is OK.  It can mean a less traumatic pregnancy, you will most probably be able to eat bits and function day to day.  I’m not saying they are miracle drugs, you’re still going to feel like s**t – but being able to get out of bed makes HG life a bit more bearable.
  • Accept help.  This is not always easy, but accepting help takes the pressure off.  If the house wants cleaning or the children need looking after call in some favours, lean on those around you.  It won’t be forever but HG is a serious condition, there is no shame in accepting help whilst you are not at your best.
  • You will get through it.  It doesn’t seem like it now but it will pass.  By the end of this horrific journey you will have a squidgy little munchkin, and it will all have been worth it.  You won’t look back on those days fondly.  There are people out there to guide you if you need help coming to terms with your experience.  Just know that one day it will be over, you are strong enough to get there.  Just take each minute as it comes!


It turns out that HG doesn’t discriminate, here are a few celebrity sufferers :

    • The Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton had HG during both of her pregnancies.
    • The Saturdays singer, Frankie Bridge suffered during her second pregnancy.
    • Property guru Kirstie Allsopp has been a sufferer.
    • Nineteenth century English novelist Charlotte Bronte.  Charlotte Bronte was thought to have died from the condition, around four months into her first pregnancy.

78 Replies to “Hyperemesis Gravidarum – What You Need to Know”

  1. I remember all the snide remarks about Kate Middleton when she was hospitalised for HG in her first pregnancy and it used to make me so angry. People really can be ignorant and cruel. I was lucky in that although I had really bad nausea all through both pregnancies I was never actually sick. I know how ill and tired I felt, to not be able to keep anything down to boost your energy must be horrendous, and very serious for mother and baby. I’m glad you were able to get the help you needed despite the first doctor being an idiot x

  2. oh gosh just so awful! I was quite sick for 17 weeks with all 3 pregnancies but not like that! So not fair, but thankfully babies are worth it #anythinggoes

  3. This sounds horrific! I can’t imagine feeling this ill for so long
    Thanks for linking up to #AnythingGoes 🙂

  4. God I can’t imagine what it must be like. Funnily tho I have a similar aversion to ginger after having to drink a ginger flavoured laxative in hospital – it was so gross I couldn’t touch the stuff for years ! #fortheloveofblog

  5. Hi there,
    Thanks for sharing, I’ve only met a handful of people who had HG, I think we’ve somehow gravitated towards each other at baby groups and pick up on subtle comments.

    I had the same experience as in Doctors not having a clue what to do with you and only hospital staff seemed to get it. I was so weak I couldn’t advocate for myself, so I think it’s important to take someone with you who can.

    I think the worse thing for me was the dark place it took me to and I isolated myself. Plus the guilt I felt for not enjoying my pregnancy.

    I’m always in awe of women who’ve gone through it a second time, right now I don’t think I could. My husband even less so, he’s still quite traumatised by it all.

    Also agree ginger can f@#k right off!

    Natalie x

    1. Hi,

      I dont’t know anyone else personally who has suffered, so it’s nice to meet people who understand.

      I don’t think there is anywhere near enough awareness surrounding the condition, that includes medical professionals! I isolated myself a lot too, and with me having two so close together I only just feel like I’m coming out of the otherside. We certainly won’t have anymore, similarly it isn’t something that Hubs could go through again either.

      Haha, ginger is the worst! Thankyou so much for stopping by,

      Zoe x

  6. Oh wow! that sounds horrendous! You are so strong to have gone through it. For 2 months of my pregnancy with my twins I had nausea but that was all, I realise how lucky I was. Thank you for making me aware of this though xxx #Justanotherlinky

  7. I never knew about this until it was mentioned in the press about the Kate Middleton…as someone who had morning sickness and hated every minute of it, I can totally sympathise and can’t imagine it being worse. I also hated the ginger remarks, it just didn’t work!! Thanks for linking up to #dreamteam xx

  8. I suffered with HG when I was pregnant with my daughter (she is now two) and it was horrific. It lasted from about 6 weeks until I gave birth at 41 weeks. I also suffered with it during my second pregnancy – it started even earlier and I was hospitalised by 6 weeks, unfortunately the pregnancy was not meant to be which seemed even more cruel because I had to deal with the HG again and I didn’t get my baby at the end off all that sufferent and sadly I know now that I can never go through HG again

    1. I take my hat off to you, right through until 41 weeks is absolutely awful. I’m so, so sorry to hear about your second pregnancy. Sending you lots of love x

  9. So much respect to you for going through this twice. I was sick from about 6 weeks through to 32 when I was pregnant with my son, and at it’s worst it was around every 30 minutes all day and night. But somehow I escaped HG and severe dehydration – no idea how, as I couldn’t keep anything down. I definitely found that whenever I complained I was just told ‘it can be like that sometimes’. I only found out much later that you can get medication for it, it was never once mentioned to me. Like you, I could happily have told people where to stick their ginger, and I also had people tell me that ‘pregnancy is not an illness’ and to pull myself together. I’m so glad that people who’ve had these experiences are talking about them more, and it’s becoming more widely known about. #KCACOLS

    1. Oh bless you, that sounds absolutely awful – any kind of sickness is horrible. I think it’s so important to raise awareness around the issue, women should not have to suffer so badly. Thanks for stopping by x

  10. Thanks for a really informative post! I had horrendous morning sickness when I was pregnant with SB (I remember saying something about shoving ginger somewhere too!) and that was hard enough to deal with, can’t imagine coping with HG.#MarvMondays

    1. Yuck, the ginger! I doubt that stuff ever works, haha! Any kind of sickness is awful, it’s a good job they are worth it, thanks for stopping by x

  11. A good friend of mine suffered with this for her entire pregnancy. She couldn’t work, she couldn’t eat. It was so awful for her. Good on you for writing this post and raising awareness a bit. I know people can be very dismissive of it because they don’t understand how debilitating it is. #bigpinklink

  12. Oh this sounds so awful. I had morning sickness and that was bad enough, I can’t even imagine what this must have been like for you. I’m so glad you got help from the people in the hospital and the medication you needed to feel better. I can’t believe your consultant said that to you!xx #anythinggoes

    1. We couldn’t believe it either, luckily second time around we had someone very understanding! Thanks so much for stopping by x

  13. I’ve read about this condition previously because of Kate Middleton. I’d never heard of it until she had it but it sounds horrendous. It’s terrible that so many people thought you were just being a bit dramatic. Hopefully the fact Kate made it more well known will help people in the future…although that shouldn’t have to be the case. Thanks for sharing your story! #KCACOLS

  14. I honestly cant imagine how awful HG is and it really winds me up when people say it is “just morning sickness”. ive had a few friends with HG and it is NOT regular morning sickness. they’ve been in hospital for days, on drips and they’ve decided against having more children because of HG. really great post for raising awareness. Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next Sunday 🙂

    1. It can be so serious. It’s so sad when people decide against having more children because of it, but it just feels like such an impossibility to go through it again x

  15. Ahh, sorry, I don’t think my first comment submitted!!!!

    Anyway! Ughhhh. It annoys me to no end when people downplay HG as “just” morning sickness.
    I had a friend who actually had to have a feeding tube surgically installed into her stomach because she was just losing so much weight during her pregnancy. Like, I really don’t think people understand the severity of this disorder, and that it can literally KILL a woman. Thanks so much for raising awareness <3 #KCACOLS

    1. That poor, poor woman. That must have been incredibly traumatic, that’s horrific. So true, people just don’t realise how bad it can get x

  16. Bless you. So so strong and brave of you. Thank god they’re worth it in the end! Love the ginger comment. I had sickness not this bad though but if anyone else told me to eat ginger I would have screamed!!! #twinklytuesday

  17. Having experienced morning sickness which had got worse with each of my 3 pregnancies I completely sympathise with people who have HG. Morning sickness can be so debilitating and so to be suffering so severely with HG while others label it as “just morning sickness” must be beyond annoying!! Thanks for sharing for #marvmondays xx

    1. Oh bless you, any kind of sickness is just awful! It can be frustrating when people don’t fully understand how bad it can be! Thanks for stopping by x

  18. This condition is no joke. I was so horribly sick with my twins- everyday all day was like the worst hangover of my life. I imagine HG would be about 1 million times worse- shudder.


  19. This is definitely one of those conditions that people really don’t know what they’re on about when they pass comment so flippantly. I had awful morning sickness in my 2nd pregnancy, like couldn’t lift my head off the pillow without feeling dizzy and sick sickness. I too regretted my situation during that time as awful as it seems to say it. I began researching morning sickness & HG (in short bursts because scrolling the computer made me feel sick-honestly (!)) and as I was only sick about twice a day I knew it wasn’t HG so I can’t imagine what HG must be like. Well done raising awareness about it. I suffered ante-natal depression which I’m sure was sparked by the morning sickness which is another rarely spoken about condition. A lot of people say things like ‘pregnancy is not an illness’ which is such an off hand comment that passes off all these things we as women sometimes go through. #KCACOLS

    1. You are so right, it is so ignorant to make such flippant comments on the issue. It really is horrific. It sounds like you had an awful time, I hope that you are now feeling much better. Speaking about these issues, including ante-natal depression is so important. Anything that raises awareness can only be a good thing. Both of my pregnancies were definitely combined with illness, they were worth it but that doesn’t mean it was easy – far from it. Thanks so much for stopping by x

    1. It should never get that far, if treated earlier enough things like that can sometimes be avoided! I hope you friends are doing well now x

  20. I didn’t know it could be that bad and you could die from it like Bronte! Or is it one of those legends maybe? I was pretty good when I was preganant but sometimes, you have to take it… gorgeous pic of the baby! Its’ so all worth it, right? #StayClassyMama

    1. No not a legend, she died from severe dehydration and malnutrition! So glad to hear you had a good pregnancy, and yes they are so worth it! Thanks for stopping by x

  21. This is a really interesting post. My best friend had HG and she was so ill. She was bed bound for months. It affected her mental health. We’re actually doing a post on it together soon. #stayclassy

    1. Oh bless her, it really is horrible. It’s great you are doing a post, anything to raise awareness around the issue can only be a good thing! x

  22. I don’t have any personal experience of HG but I was petrified I would get it after my sister suffered horrifically with both her pregnancies. Her second pregnancy was much worse, she was hospitalised for dehydration for 6 weeks in total, lost 2 stone in weight and ended up having a planned c-section at 38 weeks as she was so ill. She really wants another baby but cannot face going through it again. I remember the only thing she could eat for a long time was glace cherries randomly!! Thing is though, when I was pregnant and had normal sickness, she was so so sympathetic and I used to think this was nothing compared to what she went through! Even now I honestly don’t know how she did it, especially with a job and a 4 year old! Well done for highlighting this condition as it really isn’t that we’ll known #coolmumclub

    1. What you sister went through must have been truly horrific. It is totally random, but you just have to eat what you can! Thankyou for such an insightful comment, you’re right highlighting this condition is so important x

  23. Wow I have never even heard of this, I think it’s great that you are sharing this with everyone as there are people out there that need the support, such a great post! And I’m so sorry you had this for both of your pregnancies, I can only relate this to when I had a deadly stomach bug and even that was only 48 hours, so I can’t imagine how difficult this must be. Thank you so much for sharing with #StayClassyMama!

  24. Oh gosh, that sounds awful. I hate being ill, I’m sure I would have spent so much time crying. And it’s obviously serious and is something no to be taken lightly by anyone. I feel educated – thank you for sharing #coolmumclub

  25. I’ve had HG in two pregnancies. Both times I’ve been wheeled into theatre for a section still puking up stomach acid. The relief the the babies were born was immense. First time I was told to get on with it, Second time i demanded medication. It did help take the edge off. Am tweeting this in the hope that people will stop talking about fucking ginger like it’s a miracle.


  26. Thank you for sharing this. I wrote a very similar post months ago as I suffered dreadfully with HG throughout both of my pregnancies. I’m not joking when I say I think I have post traumatic stress from the experience. It was like living in a waking nightmare that wouldn’t end. I can barely think about it without wanting to retch and the smells of certain products that I used around that time will still set me off.
    The most important thing if you are suffering is to seek medical help as soon as possible and take all the help you can get. As you say, you will get through it and it is worth it but my God it’s hard. Thanks for raising awareness. #fortheloveofBLOG

    1. I know what you mean about certain smells. I also had a CD in my car with my first, and now I genuinely cant listen to the songs on it. Getting help is so important x

  27. I was very lucky not to suffer from very severe nausea during both my pregnancies – the feelings of nausea I had all day were unpleasant enough but I can imagine it must be utterly hideous to spend your entire pregnancy not being able to keep very much down at all. My elder sister suffered from HG in her third pregnancy and I remember her being hospitalised for it and being given medication to help. Thank you for helping to raise awareness – it’s something that is all-too-often brushed off as being “just pregnancy sickness” and not recognised for the serious and horrible condition that it really is. #coolmumclub

    1. Any kind of sickness is just awful. I’m so sorry to hear about your sister, medication can be a total game changer. Thanks for stopping by x

  28. What a terrible conditition to suffer but the little one makes it worthwhile Thanks for linking to the #THAT FRIDAY LINKY come back next week please

  29. I was very lucky when pregnant with my twins that I never had any morning sickness. I”reheard of Hyperemesis Gravidarum, mainly after hearing about Kate Middleton having suffered from it during her pregnancy. It sounds awful. Thanks for linking up to #ThatFridayLinky

  30. This sounds dreadful, I had heard of it but had no idea to the extent and how bad it is! I didn’t realise you could medicate either. It’s meant to be a happy time :(. Stopping by from #bigpinklink xx

  31. This must be so awful to have to live with and especially when people presume they know best and it’s just ‘normal’ morning sickness. The end result is more than worth it, but my word I would not wish this on my worst enemy.

    Thanks for linking up to #Picknmix and well done for getting awareness out there and making other women with it feel less alone.

    Stevie x

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