IV Feeding Saved Me and My Babies

By Christine, mother of two

Chris and the Kids (2)Hyperemesis gravidarum.

Even the word itself sounds miserable. It’s severe vomiting, dehydration, and weight loss during pregnancy. Most women experience some nausea and vomiting during their first trimester, but for a small percentage of women like me and Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, those symptoms lasted throughout our pregnancies. But thanks to Kate, we are more aware of this complicated condition, and pregnant women are getting treatment earlier.

Just before I was 6 weeks pregnant, I started vomiting. It was relentless—all day, all night. At first, I thought it was normal, but when it didn’t stop, I knew something was very wrong. Unable to keep a bite of food or sip of water down for several weeks, I quickly lost a lot of weight—20 lbs. to be exact. For me, not a single medication or IV fluid could stop the vicious nausea-vomiting-dehydration cycle, and soon I saw my 5-foot, 8-inch frame register at 99 lbs. on the scale. There are no words to describe my fear and my sadness.

Some people told me to “just eat.” Others said, “Maybe this is all in your head.” An emergency room clinician asked—without an ounce of compassion in her voice—if I was anorexic. “I’m just pregnant, please help,” was my reply. With my health and the health of my baby at serious risk, my OB admitted me to the hospital where I was given IV nutrition.

That nutrition support I received saved me—and saved my beautiful baby—not just once, but twice. When it happened with my second pregnancy, I was given that same nutrition support even earlier. And that, too, was life-saving.


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