Posttraumatic stress symptoms following pregnancy complicated by hyperemesis gravidarum

J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med. 2011 Nov;24(11):1307-11. doi: 10.3109/14767058.2011.582904. Epub 2011 Jun 3.


Objective: Hyperemesis gravidarum (HG) can be accompanied by severe physical and emotional distress. Most studies have focused on the physical and psychological stress associated with this condition during the affected pregnancy. This study explores posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTSS) and negative life outcomes following HG pregnancies.

Methods: A total of 610 women (HG = 377 and control = 233) were recruited and completed an online survey. χ-square analyses were used to compare the HG and control groups on various life outcome variables.

Results: Eighteen percent of women with HG reported full criteria PTSS (n = 68). Negative life outcomes regarding financial and marital status, career, as well as psychological and physical well-being differed significantly for the HG groups compared to the control group (0.001 < p < 0.05).

Conclusions: PTSS is common following HG pregnancies and is associated with negative life outcomes including inability to breastfeed, marital problems, financial problems, and inability of self care.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Breast Feeding / psychology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Family Conflict / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hyperemesis Gravidarum / psychology*
  • Maternal Behavior / psychology
  • Middle Aged
  • Pregnancy
  • Quality of Life
  • Self Care / psychology
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / diagnosis
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / etiology*