What is Hyperemesis (HG)?

Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG) is an extreme form of pregnancy sickness affecting around 1-2% of pregnancies in the UK. It causes women to vomit excessively and causes relentless and debilitating nausea which leads to dehydration and significant weight loss. In many cases, women experience an improvement in symptoms between 16 and 20 weeks, but for some, they suffer throughout the whole 9 months of their pregnancy.

Unlike the pregnancy sickness that most women experience, HG affects every aspect of a woman’s life, leaving them unable to eat, drink, work or even look after their children. Understandably, it can have a devastating impact on both physical and mental health and requires medical intervention. Whilst it is unclear exactly what causes HG, there are strong genetic links and an increasing variety of medications that can be used in pregnancy to manage vomiting and nausea.

Although pregnancy lasts 9 months, the impact of HG can reach far beyond pregnancy particularly on the emotional wellbeing of sufferers. Women can suffer PTSD, PND and Post Natal Anxiety as a result of their experience and many women make difficult decisions about having subsequent pregnancies based on the risk of HG.

My HG experience

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Pregnancy #1

Until I was 14 weeks pregnant with my first daughter, I had never heard of Hyperemesis Gravidarum. I expected to sail through pregnancy as everyone else did but by 6 weeks, it was clear that pregnancy would look very different for me. I spent my first pregnancy in and out of hospital, trying up to 10 different medications, endless bags of IV fluids and never really feeling as though anything helped. I spent a lot of time alone, feeling like nobody understood; unable to do any of the things I enjoyed, too weak to even shower without help. Throughout this I was aware that for everyone else, life was carrying on as normal while for me, life was at a standstill. I was able to return to work around 24 weeks but on a significantly reduced timetable.

Once my daughter was born, I realised how little I had prepared for the baby part of pregnancy. I was so focused on getting to the end of HG, I hadn’t really thought about having a baby. I was diagnosed with Post Natal Depression when my daughter was 6 months old and started seeing a Counsellor shortly afterwards. I had no idea that so much of what I was struggling with had HG at it’s roots.

Pregnancy #2

It took 3 years to pluck up the courage to consider having another baby after HG because I knew the chances of having it again were around 85%. I needed to be prepared so spoke to my GP about starting medication early and basically having a plan to get on top of symptoms before they got out of control. Which is exactly what I did and it meant my second pregnancy was very different. I still had HG but I felt more able to advocate for myself and knew when I needed more help.

Emotionally, I found the second pregnancy easier although the guilt of not being able to look after my older daughter was heartbreaking at times. I continued seeing my Counsellor regularly throughout the pregnancy which was invaluable, providing a space to offload and share my concerns in a safe space. I enlisted the help of friends with practical things like shopping and checking in on me and I didn’t spend so much time alone which helped with the isolation that had felt so intense in my first pregnancy.

I felt much more prepared for the baby this time around and although I was diagnosed with Post Natal Depression again, I felt less anxious and more able to ask for help.

How I can help

your life and soul counselling

During HG

I provide sessions either via Zoom or telephone whichever feels more useful for you. I know when you are suffering with HG, looking at a screen can trigger vomiting so often telephone feels easier. Sessions last 50 minutes, but as it can be difficult to talk when suffering with HG, I can offer shorter sessions if needed.

Hyperemesis Recovery

Recovery from HG looks different for all of us and it can take a long time to feel ready to talk about your HG experience. I am available to explore any aspect of your pregnancy that you feel remains unresolved for you and I will take your lead as to where you need to go with it. 

Planning another pregnancy

Would you like another baby but are scared of having HG? Need support to consider whether having another baby is something you could do after HG? Maybe you aren’t sure whether your relationship could cope with another HG pregnancy. Whatever you’re struggling with, I can help. 

Hyperemesis Support Available

Options available:

1:1 Counselling Sessions


50 minute session
Monthly Support Group


Contact me for more information

“Let go of who you think you’re supposed to be;

embrace who you are.”

Brene Brown

your life and soul

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    There is huge power in sharing your experience with someone who really gets it especially with a condition like HG which is so widely misunderstood.