Navigating Hyperemesis Gravidarum: Insights from Cambridge University Research

In this post we distil the latest research conducted by Cambridge University on hyperemesis gravidarum (HG) and its implications for expectant mums and parents.

At The Mindful Birth Group®, we believe in providing you with the most up-to-date and reliable information to empower you on your pregnancy journey, so let’s look at the latest research on hyperemisis gravidarum:

Understanding Hyperemesis Gravidarum:

As many as seven in ten pregnancies are affected by nausea and vomiting. In some people – thought to be between one and three in 100 pregnancies – it can be severe, even threatening the life of the foetus and the parent and requiring intravenous fluid replacement to prevent dangerous levels of dehydration. So-called hyperemesis gravidarum is the commonest cause of admission to hospital of women in the first three months of pregnancy.

HG involves persistent nausea, vomiting, and dehydration, often requiring medical intervention. The recent research from Cambridge University delves into the causes, symptoms, and potential management strategies for this challenging condition.


Key Findings:

  1. Genetic Factors: “The culprit is a hormone produced by the foetus – a protein known as GDF15. But how sick the mother/parent feels depends on a combination of how much of the hormone is produced by the foetus and how much exposure the mother/parent had to this hormone before becoming pregnant.” The study sheds light on the genetic factors that may contribute to the development of hyperemesis gravidarum. Understanding these genetic markers can aid in identifying individuals at higher risk early in their pregnancy journey.
  2. Impact on Maternal Health: Cambridge University’s research underscores the impact of HG on maternal health. By exploring the physiological and psychological aspects, the study provides valuable insights into the overall well-being of expectant mums and parents.
  3. Management Strategies: The research explores various management strategies, including nutritional interventions, medication, and psychological support.

Implications for Expectant Mothers/Parents:

For expectant mothers and parents, the Cambridge University research offers a wealth of knowledge and actionable insights. Here’s what you need to know:

  1. Early Recognition: Identifying the signs and risk factors of hyperemesis gravidarum early in pregnancy is crucial. We encourage expectant parents to stay informed and consult with healthcare professionals if they experience persistent severe morning sickness.
  2. Holistic Support: The study emphasises the importance of holistic support for individuals dealing with HG. Our PregnaHub® online subscription platform provides a moderated community, relaxation sessions, and expert-led e-learning modules to offer comprehensive support throughout the pregnancy journey.
  3. Informed Decision-Making: Armed with the latest research findings, expectant parents can make informed decisions about their care. PregnaHub® promotes a reassuring and knowledgeable approach, ensuring that our community feels empowered to navigate their unique pregnancy experiences.

We are here for you every step of the way with Mindful Natal® courses and the PregnaHub® online subscription.

Up next

The 6-Week Postnatal Check: What to Expect

Find out what to expect at your 6 week postnatal check with your GP and what is being done to improve them in the UK.

Sign up for the FREE ‘Preparing to give birth with the NHS’ recorded workshop

Includes a 30 minute video workshop and printable checklist to help you to prepare for giving birth within a stretched maternity care system. Find out more here or complete the form to register: