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


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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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 >>

We’re Turning 10!

At the HER Foundation we are ushering in our 10th anniversary with what we hope will be a fun and inspiring celebration, marked by gratitude for the achievements of the past decade and vision for the future of HG awareness, research, treatment, and support.

Among the highlights:

  • A 10-day social media party on our Facebook page and Twitter handle, October 14th through 23rd.
  • A “10 for HER 10” Giving Challenge aimed at jumpstarting funding for the next decade of HG help and hope.
  • Our First Annual “Heroes for HG” Honors, to be announced on our website and social media October 22nd.

Please join us in celebrating 10 years of help and hope – and in looking forward together, toward the next decade of advocacy for HG moms.