HYPEREMESIS GRAVIDARUM (HG) BREAKING NEWS: DUCHESS OF CAMBRIDGE GIVES BIRTH TO BABY BOY
Very little was reported about The Duchess’ battle with HG during her pregnancy, although her pregnancy was frequently compared to those of her mother-in-law, Diana, Princess of Wales; it is believed that the Princess suffered from HG, but was misdiagnosed with morning sickness accompanied by bulimia. With the birth of the prince, this devastating disease needs to be reintroduced to the general public and treated as a worldwide priority. Nothing was mentioned about the true impact of HG: the pregnant mother fighting to survive each day, the father who lives in constant fear of losing his wife and child, and the family who is left picking up the pieces, both financially and emotionally, when one or both do not survive.
The extreme vomiting and nausea caused by HG leads to more than 5 percent weight loss. Dehydration, malnutrition, and other serious complications are the result of the “unrelenting, excessive pregnancy-related nausea and/or vomiting that prevents adequate intake of food and fluids.” Treatment often consists of feeding tubes, intravenous and/or oral anti-nausea medications, home health care, and frequent hospitalization.
HG is not morning sickness and should not be placed in the same category. This debilitating disease is considered a rare pregnancy complication by most medical professionals. However, in recent years, increased awareness has provided contradictory evidence. HG is the most common cause of hospitalization in the first half of pregnancy and the second most common cause of hospitalization during pregnancy overall. It is associated with serious maternal and fetal morbidity, such as Wernicke’s encephalopathy, coagulopathy, peripheral neuropathy, fetal growth restriction, and even maternal and fetal death.
Ayden Rae Foundation, a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization, creates awareness and provides support for women and families suffering from HG. The foundation was founded by Vanessa and Perry Pack in 2011 and is named in honor of their daughter, Ayden Rae Pack, who lost her life to HG at 23 weeks gestation.
“Our goal is to eliminate Hyperemesis Gravidarum; a disease that will no longer be allowed to claim the innocent and destroy the lives of those who are left living without the babies they loved and wanted,” says Vanessa.
Foundation headquarters are based in Helendale, California. There are currently 45 chapters worldwide. The foundation’s goal is to have a local chapter in every city, state and country. Chapters are lead by local HG survivors and their families.