For many women, the first trimester of their pregnancy finds them hovering over a toilet in the middle of the night. But for an unlucky few, their heaving will turn into something worse, something called Hyperemesis Gravidarum (from here on out we’ll just call it “HG”).
With HG, pregnant women have extreme nausea and vomiting, so much so that they face dehydration and weight loss. Only around 3% of pregnant women face HG. No one knows yet what exactly causes it, but many think it’s because of genes and pregnancy hormones.
If you think you may have HG, tell your OBGYN right away. It’s a serious medical condition, and we’re not able to give you medical advice. We just want to help you get some relief!
Here are 5 tips for coping with HG:
- Find an OBGYN who has experience with HG:
Many in the medical community do understand HG, but if your current doc doesn’t, it’s time to find a different one. You’ll need a medical team who’ll watch both your physical and mental health (depression and anxiety are common.) You need people on your side, finding solutions and celebrating small victories with you.
- Don’t call it morning sickness:
Calling it morning sickness is like comparing sadness to depression. They’re two very separate things. If you tell people you have Hyperemesis Gravidarum and explain what it is, you’re helping teach others that it’s a real illness that can be debilitating. Look up the HER Foundation: it’s a great place to share with others about the condition.
- Accept whatever help you’re offered:
When you’re growing a baby while dealing with HG, you’ll need help. Some women have found it helpful to tell close friends and family early on that they’re expecting. That way, you’re up front with those closest to you about what you’re dealing with. It’ll make requests easier later on, like when you ask a co-worker to cover a shift for you.
Don’t overdo it when you feel well. You’ll pay the price for overexerting yourself, and feel horrible for the next few days. It’s difficult that you’re not able to do the normal things, like cooking, cleaning, going to work, taking the dog for a walk, and hanging out with friends. But remember, you’re battling an illness. So, rest as much as you can!
- Try different remedies:
There are various remedies out there, from medical ones to nontraditional natural ones. Your doctor may prescribe you a medication called Zofran. Some women find acupuncture to be helpful with HG. Every woman is different, and every pregnancy is different. If something doesn’t work for you, just try something else.