The 3 most important things to do if you have Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG)

  1. Find a doctor who offers compassionate and expert treatment of HG. The HER Foundation website has a list of doctors throughout the United States and in over 15 countries worldwide. These doctors have been recommended by those who experienced HG.
  2. Find an advocate to speak on your behalf to doctors, nurses and family/friends so they know what you need and how you are responding to treatment. When ill, it’s difficult to remember details and deal with issues about managing HG.
  3. Find an educated group of HG women who know what you are enduring. This is why the HER Foundation was created over a decade ago. So many myths surround HG, people will make rude and insensitive comments like “Just eat some crackers” or “Oh, I had that and just had to force myself to eat.” HG survivors can help you deal with those uneducated about HG and direct you to HER Foundation web pages with expert information you can share with them. You will find support on our website forums and Facebook page.

The HER Foundation can help you find a doctor in your area and provide you with a supportive volunteer. If you need immediate help contact GetHelpNow@HelpHER.org.

 

No HER5K This Year, Will Continue in 2016

The HER Foundation has struggled mightily with the decision to take a year off from the HER5K. For 2015, we want to take the time to simply focus on the mission and vision of the Foundation and we need to raise more funds in order to make the race happen!

The HER Foundation relies 100% on donations, as it receives no private or government funding. This year we plan to focus more on educating the medical community by attending medical conferences that include nurses, midwives, nutritionists, and OBGYNs who need to hear our plea of better healthcare for HG women. This is one of the most important reasons the HER Foundation exists . . . to make sure your stories and your voices are heard by us speaking up for you. The medical community must understand that better healthcare is crucial for HG women.

As we look forward to sponsoring the race again in 2016, we want the many of you who have attended and supported the event in the past to know that 100% of whatever you choose to contribute will directly support our charitable endeavors. We hope you will join us next year and want to once again thank you for your continued support, dedication and friendship over the years!

That said, don’t forget that MAY 15TH is the annual HG Awareness Day. We are in the process of putting together “HG Meet up Groups” around the globe. On the weekend of May 15th, women can find a nearby group to meet and discuss all things HG or just simply enjoy each others company while hopefully having a fantastic meal, which we all miss so much during our HG pregnancies. We hope you will share your photos on our Facebook page and appreciate all the fundraising you do as well.

WE HOPE TO SEE YOU IN DC FOR THE 2016 HER5K!

HER Foundation Responds to Announcement of Duchess of Cambridge Pregnancy, Treatment for Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG)

Washington, DC – Sept. 8, 2014 – In response to this morning’s announcement of the Duchess of Cambridge’s pregnancy and treatment for Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG), the Hyperemesis Education and Research (HER) Foundation extends best wishes for the health of both mom and baby during a joyful yet challenging time.

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What is the difference?

 

We’ve complied a chart that differentiates between morning sickness and Hyperemesis Gravidarum.

Morning Sickness Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG)
You lose little if any weight. You lose 5-20 pounds or more. (> 5% of prepregnancy weight)
Nausea and vomiting do not interfere with your ability to eat or drink enough each day. Nausea and vomiting cause you to eat very little and get dehydrated if not treated.
You vomit infrequently and the nausea is episodic but not severe. You have significant discomfort and misery. You vomit, or feel the need to, often and may vomit bile or blood if not treated. Nausea is usually moderate to severe and constant.
Traditional remedies like diet or lifestyle changes are enough to help you feel better most of the time. You will probably require fluid hydration through an IV and/or medications to ease your symptoms.
You typically improve after the first trimester, but may be queasy at times throughout pregnancy. You usually feel some relief by mid-pregnancy, but may be nauseous and/or vomit until late pregnancy.
You will be able to work most days and care for your family, though less than usual at times. You will likely be unable to work for weeks or months, and may need help just caring for yourself.
You may feel a bit depressed at times, especially if you have more severe nausea, but are able to be your usual self most of the time. You will likely forget most of the unpleasantness after delivery. You may feel anxious about what lies ahead if you had HG before. You will likely become depressed due to misery and physical depletion. More severe HG often is traumatic and may impact you for years to come.
©HER Foundation

NEW DRUG RESEARCH FOR Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG) – Neurologist conducts trial research over the next 4 years

guttuso

From left to right: Dr. Tom Guttuso Jr., MD., Kimber MacGibbon, RN (HER Co-founder), Dr. Marlena Fejzo, PhD, and Ann Marie King (HER Co-founder)

“Although the preliminary data look promising, there is far too little evidence available at this time to recommend using gabapentin to treat HG. In the circumstances where a patient’s Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG) symptoms are severe, have not responded to any other treatments, and are to the point where the patient is considering terminating her pregnancy, a trial of gabapentin could be considered if the obstetrician and the patient are agreeable. In 3-4 years, we should have the results of our large study that will provide the necessary evidence to guide clinical practice regarding gabapentin use for HG.” said Dr. Tom Guttuso, MD.

Meet Dr. Thomas Guttuso, Jr., MD, Associate Professor of Neurology, Obstetrics & Gynecology at the University at Buffalo and HER Foundation Advisory Board member. Dr. Guttuso is currently conducting research trial with HG women using a drug called gabapentin. Dr. Guttuso met the HER Founders and Dr. Marlena Fejzo, PhD of University of California Los Angeles, who is also a HER Advisory Board member, this past fall in Pittsburgh at the Biology of Nausea and Vomiting conference.

Kimber MacGibbon, co-founder and Director of Research and Education of the HER Foundation had this to say about Dr. Guttuso’s current research, “We are excited to have Dr. Guttuso on our Advisory Board and we appreciate Dr. Guttuso’s interest in the treatment of HG. His new research trial of the medication gabapentin (Neurontin) for women with refractory HG is novel and if effective, offers new hope to pregnant mothers who have given up on finding effective care, or have had adverse reactions to currently available treatments. The HER Foundation will continue its mission to seek out and support responsible researchers and clinicians that provide compassionate care to women with HG.”

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One Small Step for Woman, One Huge Leap for HG Awareness #LEAP4HG

Meet Nicola Lennon, brave HG mom of two boys and skydiver!  Nicola did her part to help HG women by taking a huge leap for HG awareness – jumping out of a plane and skydiving! On Saturday, August 16th 2014 at Black Knights Parachute Centre in Lancaster, UK she took the plunge to show every HG woman that if you can get through HG, you can do anything. “Jumping out of a plane is easy compared what I endured with my HG pregnancies,” said Lennon.  “I wanted to show my support and awareness for HG women and help out the HER Foundation who was such a great support for me during my pregnancies. This is my way of saying thank you to HER and letting HG moms know that HG gave me a new perspective on life.  Take nothing for granted and enjoy each day!” Nicola also raised funds for her local HG support organization in the UK and HER Foundation sister charity, Pregnancy Sickness Support (PSS).

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2nd Annual HER5K was a great success!

Maribel and Chris LaLanne from LaLanne Fitness Crossfit in San Francisco warm up the HER5K particpants (Read the LaLanne’s thoughts on the HER5K here)

For race results go to www.CharmCityRun.com

It was an emotional day, but one that was filled with excitement and hope. On May 31, 2014 over 300 participants and volunteers came to the National Harbor in Washington D.C. to be a part of the day to raise awareness for HG. The weather was perfect and the location beautiful. HG women and their families came from all over the United States and even an international participant! Some of the states represented were California, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, West Virginia, New York, Michigan, Massachusetts and Pennslyvania. The day started with a rally speech from Ann Marie King, co-founder of the HER Foundation, (read Ann Marie’s speech).  King then proudly introduced an HG survivor and her husband, Maribel and Chris LaLanne from San Francisco, who own a very successful fitness gym in the Bay area, LaLanne Fitness Crossfit. The couple got the crowd stretching and moving before the race began. “We are so greatful to Maribel and Chris for being here today, they are dedicated to the cause of helping raise awareness for HG and we are so proud to have them as part of our HG awareness volunteer team,” said King. Once the race began everyone was ready, many HG moms showing how they are back to being stronger than ever for the 5K walk/run.

Once the run ended Caitlin Dean,  a trustee for the UK charity and sister charity of HER, Pregnancy Sickness Support, (PSS) was introduced and gave a speech about the international collaboration that would be happening between HER, PSS and Beyond Morning Sickness to truly raise the level of awarenes for HG women worldwide. (read Caitlin’s speech) Awards were given to those runners with the top times in their age groups and then HG women and their children gathered for a great the annual HG sisters picture at the National Harbor. We hope to see everyone again next year!!!

HG and Your Teeth

By Sharon Boyd
Registered Dental Hygenist

dentalpicWhen I attended dental hygiene school we were taught that pregnancy has absolutely no affect on the health of a woman’s teeth. After getting out into private practice I found that my patients constantly told me otherwise. Not yet being a mother myself, women consistently explained that they never had dental problems until they were pregnant, and then they seemed to all come at one time. Dental professionals are always told about the effects that bulimia nervosa and gastrointestinal reflux have on eroding tooth enamel, but we’re taught to think that a vomiting pregnant woman doesn’t affect dental health at all. Then there was hyperemesis gravidarum, aka “HG.” If any pregnant women had problems with their teeth, it was these moms.

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A Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG) pregnancy – Backwards Baby Weight

By Brynn Quick

Screen Shot 2014-03-03 at 11.26.27 AMI can vividly remember the first time I wanted to eat while I was pregnant. I was about 18 weeks along and had had my PICC line since about week 12. I had lost close to 30 lbs. in the pregnancy thus far, and the most I had been able to eat at any given time was a handful of popcorn or an apple slice. During my first hospitalization of 11 days it took me 72 hours to eat a tiny bowl of dry AppleJacks cereal. But here I was at 18 weeks, lying on my parents’ sofa bed with TPN coursing through my veins, and I DESPERATELY wanted a bite of pizza. Just one bite. I wanted to taste it. My shocked parents and husband quickly ordered a pizza and we all hoped that my “window of opportunity” wouldn’t close before it arrived. When it got there my mom slowly, cautiously brought me a slice. We all knew that nothing I ate would stay down, but I took a bite anyway. And it was the Single. Most. Spectacular. Thing. I. Had. Ever. Eaten. I had never tasted anything so amazing in my life. I started crying before I had even gotten a chance to chew. “Oh my God, it is so good!” I sighed, with tears running down my face. About 4 minutes later I ran to the bathroom to be sick, and when I returned to bed I looked my mom straight in the eye and said, “If I make it through this, and the baby makes it through this, and everything is ok in the end, I swear to you and to any god that is out there – I will NEVER complain about my weight again. Even if I gain 200lbs. after this, I promise I won’t care. I just want to eat again.”

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Zofran Safety

We have received emails expressing concern over the recent article citing possible cardiac complications due to the use of Zofran. However, the risk was stated by the FDA to be in patients given 32 mg of Zofran in a single dose, which is not done in pregnancy or for HG. While safety is not proven for any drug during pregnancy, it appears that any potential risk of Zofran is quite low and needs to be assessed with an understanding of the risk of not using the medication. Read more >>