February is Heart Health Month, and the HER Foundation wants you to protect your heart during and after HG.
Four Ways to Protect Your Heart
1. Take your thiamin. Thiamin deficiency (wet beriberi) can affect your heart. Recommendation is 100 mg/day before 20 weeks and 250 mg/day after 20 weeks.
2. Get an EKG if you’re on multiple medications. If everything is normal, you don’t have to do anything else. Arrhythmias and cardiac arrest can result from certain combinations of multiple meds in sensitive patients, or some electrolyte abnormalities.
3. Learn how to take your pulse. Rapid heartbeat (tachycardia) can be a sign of dehydration or even sepsis (especially if you have a PICC, midline, or other catheter).
4. Check your blood pressure at the doctor’s office, at a pharmacy, or even at home! Those with prolonged HG are twice as likely to develop preeclampsia and more likely to experience eclamptic seizures, and high blood pressure in the second half of pregnancy can be a symptom.
It’s important to be proactive with your treatment.
SHARE THE FACTS
- HG, hyperemesis gravidarum, is a pregnancy disease marked by rapid weight loss, malnutrition, and dehydration due to unrelenting nausea and/or vomiting.
- HG is not the “morning sickness” of healthy, normal pregnancies. It is a distinct diagnosis marked by severe and relentless symptoms that pose significant risks to the health of both mother and baby. Over 1/3rd of HG babies do not make it to term.
- HG babies are at increased risk for low birth weight, small size for gestational age, and preterm birth. In utero exposure to HG is linked to a 3.6-fold increased risk of emotional/behavioral & developmental disorders.
- Nearly 20% of HG pregnancies are lost to therapeutic terminations, citing “no hope for relief.” Current treatments are not adequate to prevent termination of these planned, wanted pregnancies.
- Mothers with HG’s most severe forms can experience pneumothorax, organ rupture, retinal detachment and blindness, eardrum and jaw damage, rib fractures, esophageal tears, the neurological syndrome Wernicke’s encephalopathy, or even death.
- 18% of women report full criteria of post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSS) following an HG pregnancy. More than half of mothers have post-traumatic stress symptoms.
- In 2009, inpatient treatment for HG in the U.S. cost more than $250,000,000. HG is the leading cause of hospitalization in early pregnancy, and is second only to preterm labor as the most common overall cause of hospitalization during pregnancy.