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What is Hyperemesis Gravidarum?

What is Hyperemesis Gravidarum?

Pregnancy
Nov 16, 2017

Hyperemesis Gravidarum: also known as HG, or extreme morning sickness, is being talked about a lot lately as it has one very royal sufferer.

Her Royal Highness, Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, is expecting her third child and, as when carrying Prince George and Princess Charlotte, Princess Kate has been suffering from Hyperemesis Gravidarum. She has even needed to be hospitalized.

Vomiting in pregnancy has been described as early as 2000 BC and almost 75% will experience some form of nausea or morning sickness in the first trimester. However, for around 2% of women this typical sickness may develop into something more severe and require medical treatment.

Hyperemesis Gravidarum is characterized by several factors including, three or more episodes of vomiting per day, weight loss (5% or more of weight pre-pregnancy, or 3kg), severe nausea and vomiting (often causing dehydration and not allowing the suffer to keep any food down) and electrolyte disturbance. Other symptoms can include, but are not limited to: food aversions, decreased urination, headaches, jaundice, extreme fatigue, rapid heart rate, low blood pressure, and more.

Morning Sickness Tips

For some, Hyperemesis Gravidarum will pass with time, often getting better after 20 weeks, or can be controlled with diet changes. Others will need medication or hospitalization for treatment via IV. Like anything in pregnancy, be sure to consult with your healthcare provider if you think something is wrong or have a treatment you would like to try.

Check out Hyperemesis.org for more info!

We encourage you to learn more about our "What in the World" series. Please see our A to Z index for a whole host of pregnancy, postpartum, and parenting information and terminology.


Heather Crossan is a certified DONA birth and postpartum doula certified Lamaze childbirth educator, certified breastfeeding educator, as well as a certified Henna artist. She has been an active doula in Calgary for the past eight years, is the past-president of the Calgary Doula Association, and was the former provincial representative of Alberta (SPAR) for DONA International. She is also the only DONA Advanced doula in Alberta. Heather is also a birth doula trainer and the owner of Doula Essentials. She is well-known within the international doula community and greatly respected by the medical providers in the city of Calgary and surrounding areas. She takes great pride supporting her clients through the entire journey.