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As Seen on TV: Raising HG Awareness on the Today Show


During my second pregnancy in 2008, I had the opportunity to share my experience with Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG) on the Today Show, thanks to the invitation from the Hyperemesis Education and Research (HER) Foundation. It was an incredibly challenging time, as I was enduring my second battle with HG, a condition that had already made my first pregnancy a nightmare.


Facing the Unrelenting Symptoms of HG


Practically from the moment I discovered I was pregnant the relentless nausea and vomiting began. It was far more than the typical morning sickness; it was a constant, all-consuming illness that affected every aspect of my life. I lost 10% of my body weight because I couldn't eat or drink anything, I was constantly dehydrated and I had to rely on a IV’s, a zofran pump, and powerful anti-nausea drugs usually reserved for cancer patients to survive.


The Misunderstanding and Shame


During my pregnancy, I faced numerous challenges, not just physically but also emotionally and mentally. Many people, including some family members and friends, did not understand the severity of my HG. I count myself very fortunate in that at least my OB was competent and took my illness seriously. Many women aren’t so lucky and are actually questioned about if they have an eating disorder, if they truly wanted their baby, or if they were exaggerating their symptoms for attention. These types of questions are not only infuriating but also deeply hurtful to women who are suffering and in need of help.


The Importance of Awareness and Support


I was truly honored to be invited to share my story with the Today Show. I felt—and still do—a profound responsibility to speak up for other women who didn't have the words to explain their symptoms or were too sick to advocate for themselves. The segment allowed me along with other expecting mothers and healthcare professionals to shed light on the struggles of women with HG and the need for more research and better treatment options.


Now, more than 15 years later, I'm happy to share we do know what causes HG: reactions to fluxuations of the GF15 hormone during pregnancy (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M1jADKIVM40). Hopefully along with improving our understanding of HG new and more effective treatments will be developed. While we still have a ways to go before relief is widespread, there is renewed hope for future HG warrior women.


My Message to Other Women with HG


To all the women currently suffering from HG: I want you to know that you are not alone. There is support available, and it’s important to reach out and seek help. The HER Foundation and other support networks can provide valuable resources and connect you with knowledgeable healthcare providers and specialists.


Reflecting on my journey and the opportunity to raise awareness about HG on the Today Show, I am reminded of the importance of advocacy and support. By sharing our stories, we can help ensure that women with HG receive the care and understanding they need.


You can watch the full Today Show segment here.




 

If you are struggling with Hyperemesis Gravidarum or know someone who is, please connect with me through my website or follow me on Instagram. Let's continue to support each other and raise awareness about HG.

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