MAFS: Martha Kalifatidis reveals how severe illness affects her pregnancy

Hyperemesis gravidarum (HG) is a condition that causes persistent and excessive vomiting during pregnancy.

Sufferers can be sick lots of times every day and be unable to keep food or water down, impacting their daily life. 

It is unlikely to harm the baby, but if it causes a women to lose weight during pregnancy there is an increased risk their baby will have a low birth weight. 

It is different to sickness during pregnancy — often called morning sickness — which is normal and affects eight in 10 pregnant women. For most, this stops or improves around weeks 16 to 20.

Meanwhile, HG may not get better by this point and can last until the baby is born. 

Symptoms of HG include prolonged and severe nausea and vomiting, being dehydrated, weight loss and low blood pressure.

Being dehydrated raises the risk of having a blood clot — deep vein thrombosis — but this is rare. 

It is not clear what causes the condition, or why some women get it and others don’t. 

Some experts think it may be linked to the changing hormones in the body that occurs during pregnancy. 

And there is some evidence that it runs in families and women who suffered it during their first pregnancy are more likely to have in any subsequent pregnancies.

Women suffering from HG can be given medicine to improve their symptoms, such as anti-sickness drugs, vitamins B6 and B12 and steroids.

Some women have to be admitted to hospital if their nausea cannot be controlled with medicines at home.

They may require fluids and anti-sickness drugs to be administered through an IV. 

Source: NHS