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NJ's First Severe Morning Sickness Center Opens In Red Bank

Updated: Jun 13


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Carly Baldwin, Patch Staff

Posted Mon, May 6, 2024 at 4:54 pm ET


RED BANK, NJ — Hyperemesis gravidarum (HG) — also known as severe nausea and vomiting in pregnancy — is a little understood and often under-treated medical condition.

But when severe morning sickness personally affected Dr. Marlena Fejzo, a research scientist, she knew she had to do something about it.

Pregnant with her second child in 1999, "for weeks, all she could do was lie flat on her back, since even rolling to her side triggered debilitating nausea. Eating or drinking was out of the question, forcing her to get a home IV for nourishment. 'Every second,' she says, 'was torture,'" she told TIME magazine.

She became bed-ridden and her doctor eventually ordered a feeding tube for her, but it was too late: Dr. Fejzo shared that she had lost so much weight and become so frail that she lost the baby in the first trimester.

Dr. Fejzo is trained as a geneticist, but she began to dedicate her life's work to finding out why hyperemesis gravidarum occurs — what causes some women to get it, and others do not? — and what treatments can be made available to help expectant mothers so they don't have to suffer as she did.

Her work led Dr. Fejzo to identify the gene that causes hyperemesis gravidarum, GDF15. Her ground-breaking research just earned her recognition as one of TIME's 2024 Women of the Year.

Dr. Fejzo is also now the chief scientific officer on staff at Harmonia Healthcare, the first center for hyperemesis gravidarum treatment in New Jersey, which just opened May 1 in Red Bank.

Harmonia is located on East Front Street in Red Bank.

“My personal experience with HG and the frustration with being unheard and blamed by my doctors is what motivated me to discover GDF15, the hormone responsible for hyperemesis gravidarum,” said Dr. Fejzo.

Co-founder Leslie Gautam says Harmonia will work with pregnant women and their OB/GYNs, midwives, doulas and other healthcare and pregnancy support professionals.

The facility will offer medication, vitamin infusion and electrolyte replacement plans, prescription management, diagnostic bloodwork, and telehealth assistance.

“HG is the leading cause of hospitalization in the first half of pregnancy, but Harmonia is implementing a proven care model that has shown a 95 percent reduction in ER visits and a 90 percent decrease in total cost of care,” said Gautam. “Harmonia patients will benefit from the insights of our best-in-class leadership team, including world-leading experts in hyperemesis gravidarum. Each patient can expect to receive outpatient treatment rooted in research, patient advocacy and compassionate care.”

Currently, Harmonia's services are available to patients in New Jersey.

If you are considering pregnancy, think you are pregnant, or think you might be suffering from severe nausea and vomiting or HG, you can receive treatment at Harmonia, no referrals required. Visit Instagram @harmoniahealthcare

The Red Bank office is their first. They plan to open a second location in New York City this fall.

About Harmonia Healthcare

Harmonia is a highly specialized women's health platform that combines cutting edge functional medicine treatment with science-backed resolution for underdiagnosed, undertreated and otherwise dismissed female-specific diseases. Initially focused on hyperemesis gravidarum, Harmonia's physician-lead research, diagnostic and treatment programs result in superior health outcomes and subsequently enhanced wellbeing and quality of life.

For more information on Harmonia and hyperemesis gravidarum, or to learn if you might be suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum, visit or connect with us on Instagram at @harmoniahealthcare

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