She can't eat & has lost weight. Will the baby be ok?

Frequently asked questions by family and friends of HG sufferers.

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She can't eat & has lost weight. Will the baby be ok?

Postby admin » May 26, 2004 11:57 pm

In most cases, women who lose weight during their first trimester have normal babies. Adequate nutrition is important for the baby, but fetal requirements are minimal during the first few months. Her body should have sufficient stores for the baby during this time. High-quality vitamins can be helpful for most women, but those with HG often cannot tolerate them, especially if they contain iron. Studies show vitamins seem to be most critical during the few months prior to pregnancy and up to about 6 weeks gestation. This is when the risk of miscarriage is great and the spine is forming. Folic acid and antioxidant requirements are greatest at this point according to these studies. Since HG often does not make vitamins completely intolerable until around this time, just encourage her to take them as long as she can. She can try sublingual (under the tongue) forms of vitamins (especially B and folic acid) that can be ordered online or found at some health food stores. If she is admitted for IV fluids, make sure a multivitamin is added to her fluids, especially if she has been vomiting frequently for more than two weeks. This is not routinely done, unfortunately.

The risk to the baby is greatest if the mother is dehydrated for extended periods of time, loses 10% or more of her pre-pregnancy weight and does not receive vitamins or other nutritional support, or fails to gain weight for two consecutive trimesters. Obviously, if the mother develops other complications, they also present an increased risk. Most studies, however, show that women with hyperemesis have normal babies unless they are severely ill and receive little treatment.

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