Planning for an HG Pregnancy
If you've suffered hyperemesis gravidarum before then, unlike with regular pregnancy sickness which can differ in each pregnancy, the chances are you will suffer again. Therefore planning and preparation is key to reducing the impact of the condition, particularly if you now have small children at home.
If your previous pregnancy ended with loss, either through termination or miscarriage it is important you take time to grieve and come to terms with the loss before heading back into a tough nine months. Also if there is trauma or anxiety remaining from the previous pregnancy then take time to recover and seek help with this before moving onto another one.
There is good evidence that the early, pre-emptive, use of a B6 (pyridoxine) Supplement and antihistamine (such as Promethazine or Cyclizine) is effective for preventing the deterioration which results in hospital admission. Speak to your GP about using this treatment if you have suffered Hyperemesis Gravidarum in the past. A recent study found a significant decrease in severity of HG if treatment was started BEFORE symptoms start compared to started when symptoms first appear. To read the research or to print off for you doctor please click here.
We have produced three documents which may help you to prepare for another HG pregnancy, which you can download. The first is a worksheet for you to work through, perhaps with your partner to think about your previous experience and to think about the future pregnancy. The second is about making a detailed plan to help you work through with your GP/Consultant; however, it is fairly long and many doctors may dismiss it because of that so the third document is a sample care plan with boxes to tick and so on, which can then be tweeked and adjusted during your appointment and each section agreed on with your doctor. This last document can then go into your Patient Held Maternity notes and a copy can be scanned for your GP/hospital notes so that all the doctors in your practice can access it and so on. Please click on the links below for the documents:
This document helps you to reflect on your previous pregnancy to work out what worked, what didn't and what you could do differently this time.
This document helps you to work through the document below and gives you the references and information needed to discuss the plan with your doctor
This care plan is designed to use with your GP or consultant; it is "doctor friendly", in a format they will hopefully recognise and respond to. Your midwife may find it helpful too.
Other tips for preparing for a difficult pregnancy:
- Childcare is crucial! Whether it is through friends and family or formal childcare with a nursery, child-minder or nanny it is important that you are able to rest and concentrate on staying hydrated and nourished as much as possible.
- Prepare meals for the freezer. Whilst planning your pregnancy get as many meals in the freezer as possible so that your family can cope without you preparing a meal every day.
- Stock up on drinks/foods you like and were able to tolerate last time.
- Get support! contact our support network in advance so that we are ready to support you when the time comes. Also join our forum, we have a whole section for women preparing and trying again!
- Get in shape; although it may be helpful to have a little 'extra' to lose when the sickness strikes, it is also important that you are fit and ready to deal with the rigours of a difficult pregnancy.
- Contact your GP, Midwife and any other professionals that will be involved. Explain that you want a plan in advance, discuss what worked and didn't work last time, give permission for husband/relatives to discuss care if applicable and get a baseline weight documented.
If you would like to speak to someone who has been through an HG pregnancy more than once then please contact us. For more information on preparing for pregnancy see our conference paper Preparation for the hyperemesis pregnancy