The impact of hyperemesis gravidarum on maternal role assumption

Molly Meighan, Angela F Wood
Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, and Neonatal Nursing: JOGNN 2005, 34 (2): 172-9

OBJECTIVES: To describe what it is like to have hyperemesis gravidarum and explore its impact on the assumption of the maternal role during the perinatal period.

DESIGN: Qualitative descriptive design.

PARTICIPANTS: Eight women who had been diagnosed with hyperemesis gravidarum were recruited through private prenatal clinics using a snowball technique. Participants were interviewed about their experiences with hyperemesis gravidarum in their homes or other suitable sites selected by them.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Transcribed interviews were analyzed using grounded theory methodology. A core category and subcategories were determined.

RESULTS: Hyperemesis gravidarum is a disorder that alters the usual response to pregnancy and birth. Participants in this study described it as so debilitating that they had little concern for anything else, including the fetus. After symptoms subsided, the participants reported that they were able to regain control over their lives and made an effort to make up for lost time in becoming attached to the baby.

CONCLUSION: Women suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum may not benefit from the usual prenatal education efforts. Additional support following delivery may be needed as the woman attaches to her infant and learns to provide care.

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