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Doing Battle With Morning Sickness

Doing Battle with Morning Sickness

Those Rare, but Serious Cases

If nothing seems to work and morning sickness is getting in the way of your everyday activities, then doctors might suggest anti-nausea drugs that are safe for pregnancy, says Dr. Niebyl. "It depends on how sick you are. If you can't take care of your kids or go to work, most would prefer to take a medication."

In about 1% of all cases, morning sickness can be so severe as to cause dehydration and imbalances in the body's chemistry. When that happens, a woman will probably need to be hospitalized so that she can be treated with intravenous fluids and anti-nausea drugs. "If a woman can't keep anything down for 24 hours or she's lost weight, she should go to the hospital or contact her physician," says Niebyl. "It just not good for the mother."

Erick says women often wait too long to seek medical attention. "I think people get really out of control with being dehydrated because they read a book that said, 'Oh, this is normal' or somebody said, 'Buck up, it's only pregnancy. Meanwhile, they can't get out of their pajamas and fail to differentiate that some morning sickness is one thing, but outrageous morning sickness is not a good thing."

Kim Clifford of Western Springs, Ill., knows firsthand how bad morning sickness can get. She was so sick she could barely keep any solid food down, except sweets. "I kept waiting for it to stop, and the doctor and nurses said, 'When you get to be 10 or 12 weeks, it'll stop.' " But about 10 weeks into her pregnancy -- and 15 pounds lighter -- Clifford was hospitalized and when she was discharged she had to continue wearing a feeding tube to get nutrition directly into her bloodstream for the next three months.

"I remember being at the doctor's office and just crying," Clifford says. "Everything I ate or drank made me sick, and I was thinking, 'Oh my God, what's wrong?' " Still, she delivered a healthy 8-pound, 8-ounce baby boy, Patrick, now 15 months old, and the morning sickness is a distant memory. "Nobody wants to be sick like that, but it's a relatively short period in your life, and once you have that baby it's all worth it."

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