Friday, January 22, 2021

Could Extreme Pregnancy Sickness Harm The Fetus?


Pregnancy sickness or morning sickness often occurs in the first four months of pregnancy but can strike at any time. It usually ceases by week 16 and eating little and often eases the symptoms.

sick pregnant woman

Hyperemesis Gravidarum

1 in 1000 women suffer from extreme sickness also known as Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG). This can result in constant vomiting and dehydration, whereby even water is troublesome to keep down. The risks associated with this are:

* Psychological distress
* Chronic depression
* Undue strain on the internal organs

Reasons For Extreme Pregnancy Sickness

Hormones are usually blamed for the sudden change in chemical imbalance causing mood swings, nausea and ultimately vomiting. Why some women suffer more than others is a mystery and can affect her home life, family and other siblings.

Can It Harm The Unborn Baby?

Even those who have the sickness so severe, they are given a dehydration drip, have little or no problems and give birth to a healthy baby. The action of vomiting stretches the stomach and pushes on internal organs but can’t harm the baby as they are encased in the womb and the amniotic fluid. Although excessive vomiting can cause malnutrition and a low birth weight.


Regular morning sickness can be treated with remedies such as nibbling on ginger, drinking herbal teas and sucking ice. HG is more of a problem as it develops into symptoms similar to full blown depression. The first step is going to the doctor to discuss the drugs available before deciding what to take. Most drugs are unlicensed for use in pregnancy and the doctor can discuss those which contain safe ingredients but also consider the options. In the 1960s, a drug called Thalidomide, caused much controversy, where babies were born with missing limbs after their mothers took the anti-sickness drug. Now there are very few drugs available. Some would argue it is better to be a well mother-to-be who is eating and feels good compared to one who is depressed. The main side effect with the drugs is fatigue but for sufferers it is better to be asleep all day rather than vomiting.

Managing The Sickness

  • Eat little and often – try six smaller meals a day rather than three big ones.
  • Avoid refined sugary foods such as donuts and cakes
  • Drink plenty of fluids, especially water, although ginger beer is said to be easy on a sensitive stomach
  • Eat plain non citrus foods such as bananas, rice, bread and potatoes
  • Take plenty of exercise such as walking and Yoga for pregnancy.

Home Remedies

The internet is full of alternative remedies such as fruit flavored ‘preggy pops’ to suck on at intervals throughout the day, squeezing acupressure points on your wrist when nausea strikes and hypnosis.

Regular morning sickness can be treated with alternative remedies and may not last long, also it may not re-occur in future pregnancies or it can come back twice as bad. HG on the other hand has a 75% chance of re-occurring and can affect the mother’s mental state but whether it can harm the unborn baby remains untested.

Gloria Brown
Women's health and wellness retreat leader providing vacations and trips for women to get in shape -- and stay that way! On you can find my articles about weight loss, health and women's issues. Please feel free to contact me on

Staying Well After Your Depression Is Treated

If you have had an episode of depression, gotten treatment for it, and are now feeling better, this is great news. But...

Difference Between Chronic and Acute Stress (Examples)

I have realized that there is a difference between chronic stress and acute stress. Chronic stress is a form of stress with...

Sun Allergy: Why Exactly? And What to Do.

Some people who have mild sun allergies will not even realize that they have the allergy at all. In...

Why Grow Your Own Vegan Food?

The biggest change anyone (vegan or not) can do is to take more responsibility for one’s food.

COPD: Caues, Signs & Symptoms, Alternative & Medical Treatments

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a lung disease that makes breathing difficult. The lungs become damaged and the air ways become...

Ayurvedic Ghee: How-To, Cooking & Uses

Ayurveda Ghee or clarified butter is a form of natural fat that is used a lot in Indian ayurvedic diet and cooking...