What you need to know about severe morning sickness (hyperemesis gravidarum)

More than just feeling queasy, here’s what you need to know about severe morning sickness and how it can affect you

What is hyperemesis gravidarum and how can it affect me?

Severe morning sickness or hyperemesis gravidarum, can he harmful, check out this guide on what you need to know

Baby asleep with teddy bear

A small percentage of mums-to-be, of which The Princess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton was one, suffer terrible sickness during pregnancy, that not only can be tough to bear but can be potentially harmful to you.

Known as hyperemesis gravidarum, this condition is much worse than usual morning sickness. Causing relentless nausea and vomiting, it can often result in hospital treatment. But if you're being sick all the time and can't keep food or drinks down, it is important to tell your midwife or doctor as soon as possible.


The symptoms not only make your life a misery but may lead to further health problems including: • Dehydration – because you’re struggling to keep fluids down 

• Ketosis – a serious condition that is caused by a raised number of ketones in the blood and urine. (Ketones are poisonous acidic chemicals that are produced when your body breaks down fat, rather than glucose, for energy.)

• Weight loss

• Depression 


It’s possible a lack of vitamin B6 in your diet may cause hyperemesis gravidarum, so it’s worth topping up. You get vitamin B6 in a lot of foods, including cereals, wholemeal bread, cod, potatoes, milk and bananas. You can think about taking Vitamin B6 supplements but do make sure you chat with your midwife or doctor first though, to ensure it’s safe.

Treating hyperemesis gravidarum

Unlike morning sickness, hyperemesis gravidarum needs specialist treatment in hospital. This can include being given intravenous fluids through a drip to treat the ketosis, as well as treatment to stop the vomiting – a huge relief!

Your healthy baby

Hyperemesis gravidarum can be truly unpleasant, but the good news is it's unlikely to harm your baby. That said, if you lose a lot of weight, there’s a risk your baby’s growth may be affected, so make sure you get all the help you can to manage the symptoms.

What you need to know about severe morning sickness (hyperemesis gravidarum)