What is Hyperemesis Gravidarum?

Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG) is a condition at the extreme end of the pregnancy sickness spectrum. Unlike typical nausea and vomiting in pregnancy that affects ~70% of pregnancies, HG is a more severe condition estimated to affect 1.5% of pregnancies in the UK. HG can persist throughout pregnancy, causing malnutrition, dehydration and extreme weight loss; requiring hospital admission in most cases. HG is very debilitating for sufferers, affecting physical, psychological and emotional health, with long lasting consequences.

 

What is the NOURISH study?

The aim of this project is to assess the nutritional intake and wellbeing of people experiencing extreme pregnancy sickness and to compare this to a group of pregnant people experiencing no or little pregnancy sickness. Little is known about the nutritional intake of women with HG, the extent of malnutrition and dehydration and whether this is associated with pregnancy outcomes. This study isn’t just for people suffering from hyperemesis, we also need people who have little or no pregnancy vomiting or nausea to provide information about their pregnancy experience also. If you don’t meet these criteria, but perhaps know a friend or family member who does, please pass on our contact details (see below).

 

Who can take part in the study?

At the moment we are looking for anyone over 18 years old, in first 11 weeks of pregnancy currently living in the UK. People with pre-existing medical conditions affecting diet (such as type 1 diabetes), will unfortunately not be eligible to take part. We expect the study to be open to recruitment throughout spring & summer 2021.

 

What is required of the participants?

 If you would like to take part in the study, we would ask you to do the following:

  • Online consent and initial questionnaire, with questions about your pregnancy history, symptoms, quality of life, wellbeing and any medications or treatment you have had for pregnancy sickness, weight and routine pregnancy blood test results. This will take about 20 minutes to complete.
  • Complete a food diary app on your phone for 3 days in the first, second and third trimesters.
  • Further shorter online questionnaires in the second and third trimesters, as well as a brief online questionnaire postnatally.

All of the above can be completed in your own time and your information will be kept confidentially and securely.

 

Who are the research team?

This research is being carried out by researchers from the University of Plymouth, School of Nursing and Midwifery in partnership with Pregnancy Sickness Support Charity.

Kate Maslin PhD RD: Senior Research Fellow and Dietitian in Maternal and Child Health, University of Plymouth.

Victoria Shaw RM, MSc: Midwifery Lecturer & Research Associate, University of Plymouth.

Caitlin Dean, RGN MSc: Trustee for Pregnancy Sickness Support charity and PhD Candidate, University of Amsterdam AMC.

Jill Shawe PhD RN RM RHV: Professor of Maternal and Family Health, University of Plymouth.

 

How do I get in touch to take part?

If you fit the inclusion criteria and would like to take part, we would love to hear from you. Please get in touch by emailing nourishstudy@plymouth.ac.uk. Remember this study isn’t just for people suffering from hyperemesis, we also need lots of people who have little or no pregnancy vomiting or nausea to take part also. If you don’t meet these criteria, but perhaps know a friend or family member who does, please pass on our contact details. We would really appreciate it. We expect the study to be open to recruitment throughout spring & summer 2021.

 

More information can be found on our website and social media platforms:

Website: www.plymouth.ac.uk/schools/school-of-nursing-and-midwifery/nourish

Twitter: @nourishstudy

Instagram: @nourishstudy

Facebook: @nourishstudy2021

 

We look forward to hearing from you and thank you for your interest in helping with pregnancy research.