Pregnancy without Nutrition?

Can you imagine spending an entire pregnancy without food or water?

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It started quite similar to Kate Middleton’s morning sickness. At 6 weeks pregnant, Hilla Shaburon, 36, began experiencing severe morning sickness. Whatever she ate or drank, she vomited. To save the baby the doctors treated her with parenteral nutrition, and for the next seven months Hila didn’t eat or drink a thing.

 

Worse than Kate’s Situation

Most women suffer from morning sickness. As unpleasant as it is, on most cases morning sickness isn’t dangerous. Sometimes, some minor changes in the pregnancy diet can help overcome morning sickness. However, as it turned out, Hilla suffered from a severe form of Hypermesis Gravidarum, the same medical condition Princess Kate Middleton suffered from in her first pregnancy, but much worse. This condition has similar symptoms to morning sickness, but much more intense – harsh nausea, painful vomiting, loss of weight and more. On most cases the problem can be treated with intravenous infusion. But with Hilla, a social worker, it turned to be a real danger.

Hilla is a mother of two. In both previous pregnancies she suffered from severe morning sickness and vomiting. But on her last pregnancy, which began in the spring of 2012, was much more difficult than she experienced before.

“I vomited non-stop”, she says, “Sometimes, while on my way back to the bedroom I had to turn back to the toilet and vomit again. I vomited even from a small sip of water, or just smelling food. On the seventh week I was hospitalized. I was so weak that I fainted on the way to the ER…”

The Pregnancy with no Food

Hilla was treated with intravenous infusion and sent back home. However, within 24 hours she was back in the hospital, worse than ever. She still vomited, and couldn’t have anything to eat. After her fifth admission the doctors understood that to save her and the baby, they would have to find an unconventional treatment. They decided to try continuous parenteral nutrition.

The doctors instated a catheter into Hilla’s arm. Once a day, before sleep, she connected herself to the infusion. While sleeping, the infusion nourished her body, and the baby, with 1,700 calories. In the mornings she’d disconnect herself, and fast until the following evening.

“Once the doctors found the solution I didn’t feel the urge to eat”, Hilla says, “I felt so relieved, although I still had horrible nausea, and even kept vomiting”. To help her overcome these symptoms the doctors gave her a pill which is usually given to patients who go through chemotherapy treatments.

In the final weeks of her pregnancy Hilla heard that Princess Kate Middleton experienced similar difficulties. “I heard she was committed, and soon after she was outside again, smiling and pretty”, Hilla smiles, “I remember I was thinking that I can teach her a thing of two about feeling sick while pregnant…”

Hilla’s unusual story recently came to its happy ending. A few weeks ago she gave birth to a beautiful, healthy girl. “I was slightly disappointed from my first meal”, she laughs, “I told everyone to bring food to the hospital, but it was about a day before I felt hungry and ate. I had a few bites and didn’t want anymore… However, my first cup of coffee was a real treat, as well as having a shower without a plastic cover on my arm”.

Hilla wants to say something to the pregnant women who experience similar difficulties. “I want all pregnant women to know that they shouldn’t feel uncomfortable if they feel sick, and ask for help. There are some great doctors out there, who have treatments. No woman should faint on the bathroom floor so that someone might understand it’s serious”.

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