What Is The Difference Between Morning Sickness And Hyperemesis Gravidarum?

 You have been hearing on the news that Kate Middleton and Amy Schumer have been suffering from what people believe is severe morning sickness. But the fact of the matter, this is not at all the case. These women did not or are not suffering from morning sickness at all, even though it has been acknowledged to have been severe. What Kate Middleton had during her pregnancies, and what Amy Schumer has during her pregnancy is a condition called hyperemesis gravidarum or HG which literally means excessive nausea and vomiting during pregnancy to the point that medical intervention is needed. And, it is quite debilitating. People really need to know the difference between both conditions.

What Is Morning Sickness?

Morning sickness is when a pregnant woman experiences nausea and occasional vomiting, and it usually only happens in the first trimester. By the second part of the second trimester, the symptoms usually go away or the mom may have some queasiness here and there during the rest of the pregnancy. Morning sickness is believed to be caused by the surge in hormones as well as low blood sugar and low blood pressure. Even though this unpleasant pregnancy symptom is referred to as morning sickness, it can happen during the day at any time. However, it is mostly experienced in the morning likely due to low blood sugar. And, remedies for this form of pregnancy nausea are effective such as ginger and crackers, or peppermint tea. And, even though the mom may not be feeling well, morning sickness does not stop her from living her life. She can still work, manage the home, run errands, and eat. About 80% of women experience morning sickness, and it can sometimes only involve nausea without vomiting. However, if vomiting happens, it is occasional, and instant relief is felt after. That is not said to be the same with HG.

What Is Hyperemesis Gravidarum

HG is a severe form of nausea and vomiting that only 2 to 3% of pregnant women experience as Kate Middleton did and as Amy Schumer currently is experiencing. Remedies that are used for morning sickness to do not help. And, these women who have HG can vomit up to 50 times a day and nausea does not end. These women need to be hospitalized and are given strong antiemetics do not always help. Those who have this condition are unable to work, care for anyone else, or care for themselves. They frequently have to be hospitalized for a larger part of their pregnancy, or they need to be cared at home by a nurse and need to be on IVs. Unfortunately, unlike morning sickness as well, HG does not go away in the second trimester as it can last throughout the entire pregnancy. Most women with this condition cannot eat, and they have to rely on IVs or even TPN, and they almost always need to have a PICC line since their veins from needing IVs can easily blow. Unlike morning sickness as well, women who have HG are at a much greater risk for developing prenatal or antenatal depression because they are not only constantly sick, but they are unable to function and are trapped as a result due to needing constant care. Even though they are being fed via IV or TPN they still are constantly vomiting bile or even blood.

There is very little understanding about how impact HG is on a woman’s life that is experiencing it as they say it is a special kind of hell that no one could understand unless they have been through it or have had a loved one experiencing it themselves. Remedies that are meant to help relieve morning sickness not only fail to work but they induce vomiting instead. And, many women with HG also suffer from excess salivation. HG would be every pregnant woman’s nightmare and those who have had it understandably become enraged whenever people refer the condition to severe morning sickness. Even with morning sickness that is severe, those who are experiencing a bad case of it may need to be temporarily hospitalized, but eventually, do end up going back to living their normal and everyday lives. Women with HG seldom have that luxury unless it is mild and it is successfully managed. But that is the exception for those who suffer from HG, and not the rule. If you come across a pregnant woman with HG, do not refer it to as morning sickness at all. The illness is different and a lot more serious and debilitating.