Find a Health Care Practitioner to Treat Hyperemesis Gravidarum
Doctors who treat complicated pregnancies (perinatologist or high-risk OB's) are often more experienced with hyperemesis gravidarum (HG) and may provide you with the best care. Unfortunately, midwives are not trained in treating HG, especially more complex cases, and are often very conservative in their care. If you want a midwife to deliver your baby, find a group of health professionals that includes both a high-risk OB and a midwife that can co-manage you. High-risk doctors are more likely to intervene earlier and may be more aggressive in treating your symptoms, thus potentially decreasing your risk of complications.
Also, physicians that are associated with research centers, universities and/or medical schools are often most up to date on HG management and causes (meaning they won't suggest it is a psychological issue). Sometimes they have a greater number of treatment suggestions for you. Each practitioner will vary greatly in the treatments offered, so it is best to discuss your specific symptoms with more than one before deciding.
Ways to Find a Health Professional
- Contact a health professional on our Referral Network
- Ask your primary care doctor for a referral
- Search online directories:
- Review provider list for your health care plan
- Post a request for a HG Support Group
- Contact a local medical school OB clinic (Find a medical school at www.aamc.org)
- Look in the phone book for a perinatologist
- Search online for a university-based doctor researching HG
- Find a OB/GYN clinic who treats high-risk pregnancies
- Ask a large, multi-specialty OB group for a referral
- Search your hospital's website for high-risk OB's
- Call your hospital and ask the maternity unit for a name
If your health care provider seems to be unsure of how to manage your symptoms, you may want to consider a interviewing one of these more specialized physicians about your situation. There may be a charge for a consultation. Others will only discuss treatment during a visit, so consider talking with them during an annual visit. Avoid waiting until you are pregnant if at all possible. If a physician is unwilling or too busy to discuss HG care when you are not ill, there is concern you will receive the same treatment when you are ill.
If you are not improving with your current treatment options and are losing weight rapidly, or are being told there is nothing your doctor can do, seek the care of another practitioner as soon as you can. Sometimes it helps to have a friend or spouse help you advocate for yourself. That is difficult to do when you are ill. Whatever you do, find help quickly, especially if you are in your first trimester when symptoms are most severe.
Updated on: Apr. 18, 2013