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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
Hyperemesis gravidarum is a severe form of nausea and vomiting that happens during pregnancy. Hyperemesis is more severe than morning sickness. It may cause you to have nausea or vomiting all day for many days. It may also keep you from getting enough food and liquid.
- Medicines and supplements may be given to help decrease nausea and vomiting. Vitamin and mineral supplements may be given to help increase the level of vitamins and minerals in your body. Take only the vitamin or mineral supplement that your primary healthcare provider (PHP) or obstetrician recommends.
- Take your medicine as directed. Contact your PHP or obstetrician if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
Follow up with your PHP or obstetrician as directed:
Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
- Avoid foods that make you feel nauseated, such as foods with strong odors.
- Eat small meals often throughout the day. Eat a small snack, such as crackers, dry cereal, or a small sandwich before you go to bed.
- Eat foods that are low in fat and high in protein. Examples are lean meat, beans, turkey, and chicken without the skin.
- Eat bland foods such as dry toast, dry cereal, plain pasta, white rice, and bread. Other bland foods are bananas, apples, rice, and popcorn without butter. Do not eat spicy, greasy, or fried foods.
- Keep crackers or dry toast at your bedside. Before you get out of bed in the morning, eat some crackers or dry toast. Get out of bed slowly, because sudden movements could cause you to get dizzy and nauseated.
- Drink liquids between meals instead of with meals. Wait at least 30 minutes after you eat to drink liquids. Drink small amounts of liquids often throughout the day. Ask how much liquid you should drink each day.
- Eat foods that contain ginger, or drink ginger ale. Ginger may help to decrease nausea and vomiting.
- Learn what triggers your nausea and vomiting or what makes it worse.
- Take a short walk, turn on a fan, or try to sleep with the window open to get fresh air. When you are cooking, open the windows to get rid of smells that may cause nausea.
- Do not smoke cigarettes. Ask other people not to smoke around you.
- Do not brush your teeth right after you eat if it makes you nauseated.
- Rest as much as possible. Take naps or lie down whenever you feel tired.
- Counseling may be recommended by your PHP. Some women who have hyperemesis feel depressed or anxious because they cannot do their regular daily activities.
Contact your PHP or obstetrician if:
- You are losing weight.
- Your nausea and vomiting get worse.
- You cannot keep any food or liquid down.
- You have a fever.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
Seek care immediately or call 911 if:
- You have signs of dehydration. Examples are dark yellow urine, dry mouth and lips, dry skin, and urinating less than usual.
- You have severe stomach pain.
- You feel too weak or dizzy to stand up.
- You see blood in your vomit or bowel movements.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.