Living Healthy: Hyperemesis gravidarum

Many pregnant women suffer from morning sickness, but a small percentage of expectant moms experience a much more severe case.

Princess Kate Middleton recently brought attention to this problem but of course many every day moms are experiencing the same thing.

Cecelia Klingele and her husband have a busy household with eight beautiful children but the process of having them was a difficult one.

“When I first started to get ill with my pregnancy I assumed it was normal. And I thought wow, this is really terrible,” she said.

Things progressively got worse.

“One day when i was about six weeks pregnant, I got to the point where I vomited 40 times in a single day and I passed out on the bathroom floor. When I came to, I looked at my husband and said I don’t think this is normal,” Klingele said.

She was diagnosed with hyperemesis gravidarum, a severe form of morning sickness.

“Hyperemesis gravidarum is differentiated from the more benign form of morning sickness by being associated with weight loss, dehydration and malnutrition,” gastroenterology specialist Dr. Samara Saha said.

For help Cecelia turned to Saha, the first physician in the country to complete a training program in gastroenterology with a focus on women’s health.

“She continued to be quite symptomatic in that she wasn’t gaining weight appropriately and really suffering from some of the other consequences of the disease such as fatigue and the inability to concentrate,” Saha said.

“I was able to get a backpack that held IV fluids to help with the nausea and I wore it 24/7, so it was a challenge certainly, but we found a way to make it work,” Klingele said.

The treatment helped Cecelia manage her pregnancy till her delivery day.

“The beautiful thing is that within minutes of delivering, i’m fine. By that night I had a pork chop, so it was a happy day. Food, and a beautiful baby I don’t know what else I could have wanted,” she said.

Other serious side effects of having HG is depression, or feelings of isolation.