Preparation for an HG Pregnancy
If you've suffered hyperemesis gravidarum before then, unfortunately, the chances are you will suffer again: the most recent research estimates recurrence rates of 60-80% (i.e.: out of 10 women who have had HG in one pregnancy, 6-8 of them will have HG again). Therefore planning and preparation is key to reducing the impact of the condition, particularly if you now have small children at home.
If your previous pregnancy ended with loss, either through termination or miscarriage, it is important you take time to grieve and come to terms with the loss before heading back into a tough nine months. Also if there is trauma or anxiety remaining from the previous pregnancy then take time to recover and seek help with this before moving onto another one.
There is good evidence that the early, pre-emptive, use of a B6 (pyridoxine) supplement and antihistamine (such as Promethazine or Cyclizine) is effective for preventing the deterioration which results in hospital admission. Speak to your GP about using this treatment if you have suffered Hyperemesis Gravidarum in the past. A recent study found a significant decrease in severity of HG if treatment was started BEFORE symptoms start compared to started when symptoms first appear. To read the research or to print off for you doctor please click here.
We have produced two documents which may help you to prepare for another HG pregnancy, which you can download.
The first is a worksheet for you to work through, perhaps with your partner to think about your previous experience and to think about the future pregnancy.
The second is a detailed care plan to help you work through with your GP/Consultant.
This last document can go into your Patient Held Maternity notes and a copy can be scanned for your GP/hospital notes so that all the doctors in your practice can access it and so on.
The book Hyperemesis Gravidarum: the definitive guide may be useful for you and your support people to read before planning another pregnancy.
Books for kids
If you have kids at home, it can help to prepare them for what HG looks like. Members in our support group recommend the following books to read with children:
How to be an HG Hero by Caitlin Dean. Caitlin is the Chair of Pregnancy Sickness Support.
Mama Has Hyperemesis Gravidarum (but only for a while) by Ashli McCall.