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Last Updated: 4/25/07
Hyperemesis Information, and How it Relates to Allison

Beyond Morning Sickness:
Battling Hyperemesis Gravidarum
by Ashli Foshee McCall
Effects of HG

A hyperemetic mother can vomit between four and twenty (or more) times a day for months. If, starting at six weeks, a particular woman vomits an average of fifteen times a day she will have endured several hundred emetic episodes by twenty weeks. Imagine the discomfort of vomiting that much in such a short span of time! The vomiting can be so frequent that the stomach acid erodes tooth enamel. The emesis itself is often bile-filled and blood tinged (the blood usually comes from small tears in the esophagus, stomach or duodenum), and the cycle is self-perpetuating and relentless. In addition to the excessive vomiting, a severely hyperemetic mother suffers from weight loss, dehydration and metabolic disturbances.

For more information on Ashli and her book on Hyperemisis, please click here: Beyond Morning Sickness

What does Hyperemesis Gravidarum have to do with Allison today?
By Kimber Wakefield MacGibbon, RN HER Foundation

Many are asking why the media is reporting on Allison's pregnancy complications as if they still have an impact on Allison. How can that be true? Hyperemesis gravidarum is a disease of pregnancy that typically ends on or before delivery. So, can that be influencing her now, a year and a half after delivery? My answer is unequivocally yes.

HG is a pregnancy disease that impacts many women for years after delivery, and sometimes for life. It's not necessarily the physical effects that continue for so long, but the emotional scars. Too little research has been done on HG to identify the long term effects on both mother and child. However, it can obviously be said that HG is a very serious disease since women still die from it. Others may suffer permanent neurological damage due to malnutrition and dehydration. Autopsies of women with HG show signs of starvation and organ damage. The adverse effects of HG typically last at least until week 20 of pregnancy, and cannot be reversed in just a few weeks.

For Allison, HG persisted throughout pregnancy preventing her from gaining more than 10 of the 45 pounds needed to sustain a twin pregnancy. Consequently, one of the twins had a low birth weight with reflux, and Allison had chronic preterm contractions for weeks before delivery. Children born to mothers with HG have a greater risk of chronic disease in adulthood, as well as neurologically-based learning, emotional and behavioral disorders. A mother's sacrificial love is crucial to these children's success.

Full Article

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