How to Cope with Hyperemesis Gravidarum

According to the NHS About 8 out of 10 pregnant women experience morning sickness. It has become a very common condition for many pregnant women. Hyperemesis Gravidarum happens when someone experiences an extreme form of nausea and vomiting or morning sickness during her pregnancy journey. This may cause dehydration, rapid weight loss and poor metabolism. HG is a serious illness and can put a significant impact on one’s quality of life and mental health. You are not alone who is suffering from this condition, many others are also suffering from this condition and worried about how to cope with hyperemesis gravidarum. However, fortunately there are treatments available for this sickness including medications to prevent its symptoms.

Morning Sickness vs. Hyperemesis Gravidarum

Since, few of the symptoms are same among morning sickness and hyperemesis gravidarum so you must be thinking that they are the same but they are not. Around 80% of pregnant women experience morning sickness but this is not as severe as hyperemesis gravidarum. Hyperemesis gravidarum causes dehydration and weight loss which morning sickness doesn’t. You may experience occasional vomiting and nausea due to the morning sickness and this does not put you or your baby at any risk. The morning sickness disappears after 12 weeks of pregnancy but hyperemesis gravidarum may last more than 12 weeks and can become severe. The vomiting may happen several times of the day if you are suffering from HG (hyperemesis gravidarum). The dehydration and weight loss caused by HG may become severe and you may require serious treatment or can be hospitalized.

One of the significant differences is you may notice little blood in vomit if you are suffering from HG whereas you won’t notice such a thing while you suffer from morning sickness. HG can make you feel anxious and depressed due to deteriorating health conditions and unlike morning sickness this may last till late pregnancy.

Morning sickness and hyperemesis gravidarum are not the same however, when the morning sickness becomes severe then you can call it hyperemesis gravidarum.

Causes of Hyperemesis Gravidarum

Without knowing the root cause you may not find the exact treatment that you need to cope with the diseases. Experts still don’t know the exact cause of hyperemesis gravidarum. However, it has been assumed that since a woman experiences many changes in her body during pregnancy, hyperemesis gravidarum can be a result of rising hormone levels during this period. HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin), which is considered as a pregnancy hormone, gets produced very quickly and in large amounts during the pregnancy period by our body. At the 10th week of pregnancy HCG level increases in maximum level and reportedly most of the women experience the hyperemesis gravidarum during this period only.

Another hormone is Estrogen which also increases during this period and may also play a role in causing HG.

Genetics can be one of the reasons why a woman can experience severe nausea or vomiting during pregnancy period. If close family members such as mothers and sisters have had experienced severe morning sickness then there is a high chance that you may suffer from this.

Few more reasons includes:

  1. Carrying twins, triplets, etc.
  2. History of motion sickness
  3. Obesity
  4. Younger age of the mother
  5. HG in a previous pregnancy

Signs and Symptoms of Hyperemesis Gravidarum

Symptoms may come and go and in some cases you might need to be admitted to the hospital for the treatment. You may experience extreme nausea and vomiting throughout the day. The common symptoms include:

  1. Extreme and frequent vomiting
  2. Dehydration
  3. Yellowish and strong-smelling urine
  4. Tiredness or feeling weak
  5. Lightheadedness or dizziness
  6. Blurred vision
  7. Hard to keep food or drink down
  8. Frequent weight loss

Some other less common symptoms are:

  1. Lower blood pressure
  2. Confusion
  3. Increased heart rate
  4. Dry skin

Pregnant people may also experience symptoms like:

  1. Their sense of smell may change
  2. Constipation and headache
  3. Fainting

These symptoms can last till weeks, months or upto delivery. Due to these symptoms your normal activities may get disrupted hence an immediate treatment is highly required.

Complications of Hyperemesis Gravidarum

The HG can lead you to different complications. Such as:

  • Poor nutrition and B vitamin (thiamine) deficiency
  • Liver damage
  • Yellowing of the skin, eyes, and mucous membranes
  • Dehydration, fluid and electrolyte problems in body
  • Adverse effects on baby’s development

Can Hyperemesis Gravidarum Harm Your Baby?

HG will not harm your baby if it is treated well. However, since this causes heavy weight loss hence this can cause low birth-weight of your baby. Also there is an increased risk that your baby may be born smaller than expected.

How to Cope with Hyperemesis Gravidarum?

Suffering from HG can affect you physically and emotionally. You may feel isolated, anxious and lose the feeling of happiness of being pregnant. Having severe morning sickness is hard to cope with and may put you into bad mental conditions such as depression and anxiety. But you should never lose hope. There is a way out to come back to normal condition and enjoy the pregnancy journey. When you ask how to cope with Hyperemesis Gravidarum this means you are ready to accept all the possible options that can help you to manage the symptoms. Hence, we are going to address all the possible ways that can help you to cope with the HG. This includes Home remedies and medical treatments too.

Rest or Sleep More:

It has been observed that people suffering from HG have experienced fewer symptoms while sleeping or resting. Suffering from HG can be periodical which means at times you may feel better or feel worse. Especially after taking medicine people feel better and start working like normal. But this exactly should not be done. If you are experiencing HG then take a break from work and enjoy resting for some time and you will notice that your symptoms have decreased.

Choose Your Foods:

Due to excessive vomiting and nausea it becomes difficult to keep down whatever you eat. Hence, choosing proper food and amount of consumption are very important. Since HG causes weight loss, it is better to eat foods that make you feel eat no matter whether it’s healthy or not.

Dietary Changes:

Eating periodical small meals can help you to manage nausea. Eating dry foods like toast, crackers, white potatoes or rice are great for eating during this time. Studies suggest that eating high fat foods contribute to nausea so it is suggested to avoid those and eat high-protein foods such as high-protein snacks.

Stay Hydrated:

Dehydration is very common in HG so to cope with Hyperemesis Gravidarum a person needs to drink more water. It is recommended to drink a minimum of 500ml water a day. There are some tips we have highlighted below to avoid dehydration:

  • You can try sucking ice cubes made of juice or anything that is tolerable to you.
  • We found bottled mineral water is more palatable than tap water. Hence drinking this may help you to keep down the fluid.
  • Take a small sip of water through straw.
  • Eating fruits like cucumber, watermelon, grapes and oranges are more helpful for managing hydration.

Still, if you are facing any issue to keep down any of these items then you must consult your doctor and might need to be admitted to the hospital for IV fluids.

Avoiding Nausea Triggers:

During this time you become more sensitive towards any taste or smell. Hence, it is highly required to understand which are the things that can trigger your feeling of nausea/vomiting. This is the best answer to your question of how to cope with hyperemesis gravidarum. Few sensory stimuli like bright lights, noises and certain smells can become intolerable for few women who are suffering from HG. Hence, managing the environment which you are surrounded in is required. You can do following things to manage the nausea triggers:

  • Brushing teeth atleast thrice a day with a small tooth brush and unscented toothpaste can help.
  • Avoid visiting any outside during sunny days.
  • Avoid watching any screen with high brightness.
  • Reduce exposure to cooking smells or take a tissue in your hand and put some essential oil that you can tolerate and cover your nose with it so that intolerable smell gets blocked-out.
  • Sleep atleast 8 hours a day.
Meeting People & Coping Emotionally:

Talking to expectant mothers with HG will help you to cope up with the situation. This will help you to feel that you are not alone who is suffering from this illness. Avoid counting days. Talking to more people and engaging yourself in watching TV or reading books will help you to stop thinking about nausea. If watching TV or reading books make you feel nauseous then listen to the radio or audiobooks.

Loneliness can lead you to think about nausea and may result in severe morning sickness. Ask your friends to come over to your house or call people to talk, which can help you to avoid feeling lonely.

When Should I Call the Doctor?

Dealing with hyperemesis gravidarum can become very difficult. Being unable to keep down foods or liquid and experiencing severe nausea and vomiting are not the normal part of healthy pregnancy. Sometimes you may require treatment or call a pregnancy care provider to manage the symptoms if the home remedies don’t work. Here are those situations:

  • Nausea for the whole day.
  • Vomiting 3 or more times a day for several days.
  • Vomit with blood or streaks of blood in vomit.
  • Extreme weight loss.
  • Fainting or dizziness, extreme tiredness
  • Confusion and deteriorating mental health
  • Stopped peeing or the color or the pee is dark.


Well, when you ask how to cope with hyperemesis gravidarum, this doesn’t only include the home remedies but medical treatments too. The medical treatment includes medicines that are safe to use during pregnancy, vitamins and steroids or may be combination of these. However you must not take any of these without consulting your doctor. Some medical treatments includes:

Intravenous Fluids: Sometimes you also may need to be admitted to the hospital where your doctor may inject you Intravenous fluids to restore hydration, electrolytes, vitamins, and nutrients.

Tube Feeding: In most cases when hospitalized, a flexible tube is placed in your nose or stomach to pass the nutrients into your body.

Medication: Your doctor may prescribe you some antihistamines medicines to treat allergy symptoms, anti-nausea medication and anti-reflux medications as well.

Other Treatments:

Apart from these hospital treatments there are some more treatments that may help you to reduce the symptoms of hyperemesis gravidarum. This includes:

Acupressure: There are some pressure points which can help you to reduce the feeling of nausea. Putting pressure firmly on the area located at the middle of the inner wrist for 3 minutes would help you to reduce the nausea.

Treating with Herbs: Herbs such as ginger or peppermint help to reduce the symptoms of nausea. Research shows that Ginger helps to reduce the symptom by increasing gastric tone and motility and the peppermint also acts as gastric relaxant which also helps to reduce the symptoms of nausea and vomiting.


We hope that you have got your answer on how to cope with hyperemesis gravidarum after reading the article. Coping up with the HG has never been easy for any woman which results in mental and physical health deteriorations. However, applying these above provided remedies will surely make your life easier and the pregnancy journey smooth. For many women only home remedies may help to reduce their symptoms of HG but for few medical treatments may be required if the symptoms do not go away easily and become severe day by day. When it comes to medication it is very important to understand its risks and side effects hence, you must not take or consume any medicine without doctor’s advice.

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