Although numerous depending on one's individual biochemistry, severity of symptoms, and the medical interventions given, many potential complications may result from HG. With an aggressive and proactive approach to treatment, many sequelae can be avoided. If care is inadequate, ineffective, or delayed, cases of morning sickness or mild HG may progress to moderate or severe HG. Women suffer greatly with HG, and effective intervention early in pregnancy can greatly ease the misery and stress associated with this disease.
Long term complications (often with vague, chronic symptomology) will likely occur without proper intervention in the early stages. Fortunately, there are usually few immediate, adverse effects of HG on the baby unless weight gain continues to be poor during the second half of pregnancy, or symptoms are severe and prolonged. Acute or chronic complications reported by women to the HER Foundation include gall bladder disease, tempero-mandibular joint disorders, depression, anxiety, difficulty with weight management, diabetes, motion sickness, and dental caries. Some just say they never have felt the same as before they were pregnant. Women with prolonged HG are also at greater risk for preterm labor, and pre-eclampsia.
Emerging research is showing the possibility of potential future health risks to the infant if the mother is malnourished during pregnancy. This should strongly be considered when caring for women with HG, as the care provided affects not only the mother, but also the child for decades to come.
Signs of Severe HG:
- Debilitating, chronic nausea
- Frequent vomiting of bile or blood
- Chronic ketosis and dehydration
- Muscle weakness and extreme fatigue
- Medication does not stop vomiting/nausea
- Inability to care for self (shower, prepare food)
- Loss of over 5-10% of your pre-pregnancy weight
- Weight loss (or little gain) after the first trimester
- Inability to eat/drink sufficiently by about 14 weeks
Updated on: Apr. 18, 2013