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The Motherisk Nausea and Vomiting of Pregnancy (NVP) Forum

Motherisk receives questions from around the world about morning sickness symptoms, effects, treatments and ways to cope. Those questions and answers are posted here for anyone to read, provided the reader acknowledges and accepts the proviso and disclaimer below.

Severe NVP in first trimester - Medicine not helping

NVP Counselor
Date: 2004-03-09

Question:
No one can really give me a straight answer to some straight questions Im asking so I thought I would try here. My wife was admitted to the hospital for severe morning sickness and dehydration. This was after being given a Unisom, B-6 supplement, zofran, and Tigan. She would still vomit, 6 - 10 times a day, just about every time some food or drink was swallowed. She is now 9 weeks pregnant. After the treatment for about a week, she felt better, but could still only eat maybe a bite of food here in the morning, a bite here and there in the afternoon, and a bite here and there for dinner. all in all, it would be something that would make me collapse after two days only to never been seen or heard from again. There are some days she wont eat a thing. She does this on a daily basis and just about cannot eat anything. She is now on Reglan which helped the vomiting 100% almost, but her appetite is all but gone. My question is, at what point is this harmful to the baby and my wife? I keep being told by the nurses and doctors at the hospital that both will be ok as long as she eats something, no matter how small. My rationale tells me this cant be true, is it? She spends just about 100% of her time in bed in a constant state of nausea, being a nurse she is very concerned about how she feels. We are just kind of stuck as to what to do, Im quite afraid more for her psychological well being as I was told by the doctors the physical aspect would be ok. Thank you.

Answer:
A lot of women who suffer from severe NVP in their first trimester are unable to eat or drink much at all. You should not be overly worried about negative effects on the baby.

If at all possible, even if she has no appetite or desire to eat, your wife should try to absorb very small amounts (ie. one bite or a few crumbs) of any food. Having a small amount of food in her stomach will help. Any liquid, juice, fruit pulp can be made into popsicles or slushies. For women who have no appetitie at all, we suggest a can of Boost or Ensure or similar nutritional supplement made into a slushy with ice cubes that can be absorbed over time (1 tiny tea spoon at a time). Most women are able to do this and it will give her some nutrition.

The fact that treatments such as B6, Unisom, Tigan and Zofran did not offer sustained relief may suggest other stomach-related issues. We have seen reports of women who are H.Pylori positive (stomach bacteria) who had severe symptoms that were similar to NVP, but required different forms of treatment. You and your wife may want to discuss this with her doctor. Her doctor may also wish to review the NVP treatment algorithm on this website under Newsletters and Updates, Update Archives, February 2002.

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