First I need to start out by saying that morning sickness is THE worst thing ever. EVER. You know those moms that love being pregnant and never get sick for a single day in their pregnancy? I want to stab those moms. (Relax, I’m kidding. Sort of.) However I do know that I’m not alone with getting morning sickness, and for those of you that are EXTRA lucky, you’ll suffer hyperemesis gravidarum like me, too!
For those of you who may not know or might be potentially suffering from it, hyperemesis gravidarum is like morning sickness on steroids. It goes beyond the typical nausea and throwing up. I found it to be the ultimate weight loss solution, an excuse to get IVs every couple of days, the reason for my many joyful trips to the hospital, the best way to pass out over the toilet from vomiting, and my favorite excuse to lay on the floor in random locations because my head was spinning. Did I mention that you feel really glamorous and look even more glamorous? There is no amount of saltine crackers or chewing on ginger that even touches it (for those kind-hearted people that kept suggesting it, I get it, your heart was in the right place, but I had to refrain from throat punching you.) HG can be a very serious condition that causes risks to your health and baby’s health because of how severe the morning sickness is (things like dehydration, malnutrition, passing out, etc.) and it typically is not improved by any sorts of medications and lasts for most or all of your pregnancy.
Because I got to live through that experience, I’ve become a (self-proclaimed) expert in all things morning sickness and HG related. A while back I wrote THIS POST with tips for morning sickness and while I still think they are helpful, I definitely had some more things to add to the list that truly helped me survive this time around and I thought I would share those tips with you in hopes that they’ll help even one suffering mama-to-be!
(just a note- unfortunately there isn’t a foolproof way to just get rid of HG or severe morning sickness, but all of these things are things that really helped me survive through it and I hope they’ll help you too!)
Invest in Barf Bags
You never know when the urge to throw up will overcome you and you won’t be able to control it. Trust me, driving down the freeway, the Target parking lot, in the middle of an H&M store (yes, I experienced barfing publicly in all of these places and more) is not where you want to be left without somewhere to throw up. Stash them in your purse and keep one with you at all times. I had the Morning Chicness ones (because I might as well throw up in a cute bag) that you can buy here.
Get the Expensive Prenatal
My doctor originally prescribed me a prenatal, but with my insurance I still ended up having to pay like 10 bucks for it. So I decided to save the money and buy the cheap ones (all the ingredients are the same) from target. BIG MISTAKE. I can’t explain it, but somehow the more expensive ones are like capsuled differently or something so they were way easier on my stomach than the cheap ones, which felt like raw vitamins that I literally burped all day and of course that made nausea worse. The prenatal is hard enough on the stomach as it is, just spend the extra and save yourself the vitamin burps.
Bleach Bombs in the Toilets
Your head is stuck in there a lot, just invest in one of those little bleach tablets that lasts a month to keep it clean and the smell minimal.
If you have morning sickness in any capacity, you probably have the ultra-sniffer too. Replace anything that you use with unscented items- I had to trade out my deodorant, soap, shampoo, lotion, hairspray, etc. for the most neutral scented options I could find. It really helps.
Water, Water, WATER
Dehydration is one of the most common problems with having severe morning sickness, which is a bummer because being dehydrated can actually make you more sick and increase your nausea. If you can hold it down, drink a lot of water (I mentioned in my previous morning sickness post that icy cold water is helpful). If you can’t, you might want to talk to your doctor about options. I was so dehydrated that my doctor had me go to get IVs every 3 days for my entire pregnancy to keep myself from being hospitalized.
Speaking of Water… Invest in a Good Bottle
Keeping water ice cold was huge for me to be able to get it down so my cute husband bought me an awesome bottle that is super insulated (is that a thing?) to keep water as icy as possible for as long as possible.
Did I mention staying hydrated already? Haha, really though. It’s important. If you’re having a hard time keeping down enough fluids it might be helpful to try electrolyte drops or liquids that have been pumped full of electrolytes (yes, I’m talking about you, Gatorade!) because you’ll get more hydrated with less liquids. I had the electrolyte drops that I just added to my water.
If you’re throwing up regularly, then this one needs no explanation. 🙂
I pretty much lived on carnation instant breakfast. I couldn’t keep down real food, so I was mostly on a fluid diet and this was the one shake drink that my stomach could kind of hold in for a while. Try it out. I liked the carnation one because it had vitamins and it gets an extra thumbs up because it didn’t have too weird of a texture when drinking it.
Keep Your Hair Up and Away
Like most moms, I live for the concept of messy top knots enough as it is, but let me tell you what- not having to deal with hair in your face and pulling it away as fast as you can so you avoid throwing up all over it was a game changer for me. I did a LOT of braids and topknots during pregnancy because it was easy to keep my hair off my face and neck and away from the projectile cannon.
You might have to be careful with this one because flavors and smells can be testy when pregnant, but I really liked having my candy cane chapstick to throw on my cracking lips (why does throwing up have to make them chapped??) and it made me feel marginally less disgusting. And any margin of “less disgusting” in my book is worth it.
Ah, sleep, the ultimate escape! I felt sick just about every second that I was awake. Sometimes I would even wake up because I would need to throw up, but actually being asleep meant I wasn’t conscious for the nausea. I also found that getting more sleep helped me feel slightly less sick. Win/Win.
Always Keep Your Purse Stocked!
Here are the rules. Never, ever leave the house without these things: Barf bags, mints and/or gum, a snack, something to suck on (yes, it sometimes helps when you’re on the verge of chucking), and a bottle of water. At the minimum, this will keep you prepared for an episode so you have something to hold off the barf, something to barf in, something to wash out the barf, and something to mask the barf flavor. You’ll thank me later.
If you are suffering from HG or really bad morning sickness, I’m sending you good vibes. It sucks. There’s no polite way to put it, it really just sucks. It is going to feel like the longest 9 months ever but it DOES end eventually (thank goodness pregnancy only lasts 9 months! How are elephants pregnant for like 2 years or whatever it is??)