Don’t Call It Morning Sickness: What You Should Know About NVP
We were lucky to be able to sit down with former host of The Doctors, OB/GYN Dr. Lisa Masterson, who is working to raise awareness about a pregnancy symptom that is affecting 85% of pregnancies.
What we're talking about has historically been referred to as morning sickness, but anyone who has suffered from this common pregnancy symptom – more than 3.4 million women a year – can attest that morning has very little to do with it. So a new term has been introduced:
NVP. This stands for nausea and vomiting in pregnancy.
What's great about this change? It doesn't limit this very real problem to the idea that this will happen in the morning, and it encompasses everything from some queasiness and nausea every once in a while to full-fledged vomiting every day.
Once we've begun the important work of changing the discussion and acknowledging that this is a valid medical issue, we can look at the ways to treat the issue. For some women, simple changes can alleviate symptoms. For example, dietary and lifestyle changes, like avoiding spicy and greasy foods that can irritate the stomach or eating frequently so that stomach acid doesn't build up. But when these changes don't bring about a change or relief from symptoms, it's time to talk to your physician.
As Dr. Masterson says, “Pregnancy should be the time when you feel like the most powerful human being on the planet.”
When you're feeling sick, it can be difficult to admit to weakness and to take medication, especially with the stigma of medications during pregnancy. As a mama-to-be, you don't have to sacrifice your baby's health or safety to feel better, though. You don't have to suffer.
For safety, medications are classified into groups based on what is known about use during pregnancy. According the the American Pregnancy Association, “Category A: Controlled studies show no risk or find no evidence of harm.” Category A treatment, Diclegis is the only FDA approved treatment for NVP. What that means is that you can safely manage your nausea and vomiting without risking the health of your baby-to-be.
If you need medication, there are coupons available, along with tips and additional information from Dr. Lisa, through the Diclegis website. Don't be afraid to ask your doctor about your options. You shouldn't have to suffer with NVP.
Lisa M. Masterson, M.D. has pioneered the evolution of women’s healthcare into the 21st century. A specialist in obstetrics, gynecology, infertility, adolescent gynecology and family planning, Dr. Masterson has redefined the role of a gynecologist. However, most people will recognize her as the Emmy-nominated co-host of the Emmy-winning hit syndicated daytime medical talk show, The Doctors and her popular weekly lifestyle podcast Heath in Heels with Dr. Lisa available on iTunes.
Dr. Masterson’s unique practice includes a myriad of services not found in today’s traditional gynecological medicine, paving the way for advancement in her field. Genecology merges with esthetic services at her Ocean Oasis Medical Spa, which offers customized spa treatments as well as exercise and nutrition programs that cater specifically to each phase of a woman’s life.
At the forefront in education, Dr. Masterson holds seminars on adolescent sexuality for teens and parents and has written Go Figure, a workbook for young girls detailing the changes throughout their bodies.
Her reach stretches across borders. Striving to provide global medical relief to underdeveloped regions, Dr. Masterson has created Maternal Fetal Care International (www.mfci.net), a charitable organization dedicated to making every mother and child count around the globe. MFCI brings volunteer physicians to treat needy women and children and provides medical supplies, equipment and training to elevate the standard of medical care and decrease the mother-child transmission of HIV/AIDS. In addition to establishing birthing centers in Kenya and India, Dr. Lisa Masterson co-founded in Eritrea the first OG/GYN residency program in all of sub-Saharan Africa.
Indeed, it is because of her life-saving work with MFCI, and her contribution to the medical field, Dr. Masterson was honored in 2007 by the Santa Monica Red Cross, the recipient of The Golden Rattle Award in 2008 by the March of Dimes, and again in 2009 as a member of the cast of The Doctors by the Santa Monica Red Cross at their annual Red Tie Ball.
Dr. Masterson’s work with MFCI, which is tackling one of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, earned her the honor of addressing the United Nations Foundation’s Social Good Summit in New York back in September, 2010. In addition, Dr. Masterson has been recruited as a “Champion” for the UN Foundation’s Girl Up program, which inspires American teenage girls to help raise money to support health and educational programs that will improve the lives of teenage girls in impoverished areas around the world.
As a child, Dr. Masterson was propelled into fulfilling her dreams and given the strength and tools to make a true mark on the world. Indeed, Dr. Masterson comes from a long line of extraordinary women. Her grandmother, Mattie Ruth Smith, was the eldest of twelve children in Louisiana, whom she helped raise before becoming a schoolteacher in black schools throughout the state. Dr. Masterson’s mother, La V’onne, was a professor at the University of Washington and subsequently served in the Office of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). She then moved on to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), and was offered the directorship of the EEOC’s office in San Diego, where Dr. Masterson attended The Bishop’s School, a well-respected private
school in La Jolla.
Still, the journey Dr. Masterson took towards becoming a doctor was hardly paved as readers will discover in Dr. Masterson’s poignant and powerful memoir titled Paper Dollhouse published by Globe Pequot.
Upon graduation, Dr. Masterson entered Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts and went on to Medical School at the University of Southern California. In 1993, during her first year as an Obstetrics and Gynecology intern at USC/County Hospital, Dr. Masterson’s mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer. A year later, Ms. La V’onne Smith passed away leaving behind a remarkable legacy.
Dr. Masterson knows, “Because of my mother’s strength and independence as a woman, she was, and is, my governing inspiration. As a private person, she gave us all the encouragement and nourishment a mother could give. As a public figure, she was a major participant in the equal rights movement which has always been foremost in my life.”
Dr. Masterson has appeared on Dr. Phil, The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Today Show, Oprah After the Show, Good Morning America, CNN Headline News, Anderson Copper 360, The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson, The Tyra Banks Show, Good Day Live, The Other Half, Berman and Berman, Strictly Sex With Dr. Drew, Lifetime’s What Should You Do?, Mo’Nique, Rachel Ray, The Wendy Williams Show, The T.O. Show and VH1’s Smokin’ Hot Talk. Dr. Masterson has also performed a live C-Section on Discovery Live and she has been featured on the Style Network, BET and every major Los Angeles television station.
A resident of Southern California, Dr. Masterson is the proud mother of her son, Daniel, and in her spare time, she enjoys surfing and studying French.