Mum tragically reveals: 'My morning sickness was so severe, I aborted my baby'
This is just awful
By Practical Parenting team
November 12 2018
A woman has made the shocking confession that she suffered from such severe morning sickness, she aborted her baby when doctors couldn’t see how her body would cope with the rest of the pregnancy.
Bethan Jenkins* described how she discovered she was pregnant but her nausea and vomiting was relentless and doctors diagnosed her with Hyperemesis Gravidarum.
In just week six of a 40-week pregnancy, doctors advised her to terminate the pregnancy because she was in such bad shape, physically and mentally.
Kate Middleton famously suffered from the condition during all three of her pregnancies. Women are often hospitalised for dehydration with HG and spend most of their pregnancies taking anti-nausea medication in a bid to stop the 24-hour feelings of sickness, vomiting and dizziness.
In very severe cases, like Bethan’s, it’s impossible to get out of bed, eat or drink anything and it can lead to severe and rapid weight-loss.
Writing on metro.co.uk Bethan revealed, ‘HG is not a glamorous illness. My nausea was so intense I couldn’t brush my teeth. I developed thrush in my mouth, the taste of which certainly didn’t help. My body was fairly clean as sitting at the bottom of the shower and letting lukewarm water stream over me provided some relief, but actually washing my hair was beyond me. The lack of vitamins and minerals led to dry, cracked skin and brittle nails. Of course, none of this was a concern. I would have looked like Quasimodo if I could just have felt normal for a day.’
She added, ‘I’d sip water and then let it dribble back out just to wet my mouth. By my sixth week of pregnancy I had already tried four different medications, lost 9lbs, and felt suicidal. I was admitted to a maternity ward to for IV fluids and meds. Treating the dehydration did help me feel less dazed and confused, but I was still constantly on the verge of vomiting and could not eat. I was getting worse every day, and my doctors advised a therapeutic termination. In fact, I was only allowed to leave the hospital on the condition that I was booked in for a medical abortion.’
Bethan’s experience is not uncommon. Around 10 per cent of pregnant women who suffer from HG are forced to terminate their pregnancy. Doctors deem it necessary because continuing the pregnancy can have such a dramatic affect on the mother’s health and well-being - both mental and physical.
For Bethan now, the sad truth is that it’s unlikely she will ever be a mum. ‘I’m only 25,’ she wrote on metro.co.uk. ‘And my husband and I are facing a life of childlessness. One year out, and my anxiety around being sick is still so bad that I’m on anti-anxiety medication. I’d honestly struggle to tell you which was the greater toll of HG, physical or mental.'
Facts about HG
- According to the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, it's thought that between 0.3 and 1.5 percent of pregnant women will experience Hyperemesis Gravidarum.
- Symptoms include constant and relentless nausea and vomiting that doesn’t lessen as the pregnancy progresses. Most morning sickness eases after the 12-week mark. If left untreated, HG can lead to dehydration, malnutrition and weight loss.
- It is common for women suffering from HG to be rehydrated with an IV drip in hospital in a bid to stop dehydration and some doctors provide anti-nausea medication like Stemetil or Ondansetron to help ease the nausea. This doesn’t stop the sickness but it can help.
- Unless it’s a very severe case, the health of the unborn baby is no affected at all. The majority of babies will get the nutrients they need from the reserves stored in their mother’s body - even if this means her teeth and bones will become brittle, and her hair and skin will become dry and dull. Most women return to normal following the birth.
*Name has been changed