6 Common Pregnancy Misconceptions and Mistakes To Avoid

There is a lot of information available about what is safe and unsafe to do while pregnant.  The conflicting information can often cause a lot of anxiety for new mothers-to-be.  While it’s always best to follow your doctor’s advice, there are some common pregnancy misconceptions and mistakes that moms should try to avoid doing.

This guest post by JOJO from Check Pregnancy highlights some information that is important for pregnant women to focus on.

Common Pregnancy Misconceptions and Mistakes *This post may contain affiliate links.  This is a guest post and all advice and opinions are those of the author.*


The subject of pregnancy is one that is surrounded by misconceptions and mistakes. From questions about the effects of pre-cum pregnancy, STDs, feeding and medication during pregnancy, to antenatal visits – lots of confusion exists. In addition to the top 4 questions about pre-cum pregnancy, here are some other helps to common mistakes surrounding pregnancy.

Eating For Two

The daily calorie requirement of women is between 1800 and 2000 calories;however, babies only need about 300 calories. So, taking in double the adult calorie requirement is not needed for the baby to grow and develop.

On the contrary, what the baby needs is proper nutrition. Taking in too much calories will lead to excess weight which can increase the risk of gestational diabetes, pre-eclampsia and the probability of needing a C-section.

Women who eat too much food during pregnancy are encouraged to check their diet and stick to fruits, green and raw vegetables, nuts and eggs. Be hydrated and eat balanced meals during the day.

How to eat with hyperemesis gravidarum during pregnancy
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Self-Medication

Pregnant women are advised to stay away from paracetamol, antacids and acne creams. Self-medication and over-the-counter medicines can be harmful to the health of the mother and the baby. The baby may develop congenital abnormalities.Only take pills and medicine recommended by your doctor.

Sleep

Sacrificing sleep during pregnancy to achieve work-life balance is detrimental to the health of you and your baby. The changes that the body undergoes (physical and hormonal) usually require that the you get more sleep.

The less you sleep, the more fatigued you get during pregnancy. Losing sleep also has a cumulative effect on the ability of the body to handle the strain of labor and delivery. Additionally, exercise helps prepare the body for the labor and delivery process.

Endeavor to get enough sleep, while also avoiding oversleeping. The effect of oversleeping is that it makes the body desire more sleep, which can cause problems post-delivery when the baby’s sleep cycle is erratic.

How to Avoid the Stress of Sleep Training
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Waiting to Talk to Baby

Experts recommend that mothers bond with their babies by talking to the baby-bump. Do no wait for the baby to kick till you place your hands on your belly and speak to it while gently caressing it. The activity stimulates the baby’s senses.

Indulging in Comfort foods

Avoiding sweet intake and sugary treats reduces your chance of gestational diabetes and other related problems. Sugary foods can increase anxiety levels and affect the well-being of the baby. Those extra bars of chocolate and spicy fried foods are harmful. Stay away from them.

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Failing to Exercise

There will always be a million reasons not to exercise, especially when you are pregnant. After all, it’s nice to just sit back and relax. Some would say that activities such as taking the stairs, daily commute, doing household chores already constitute enough exercises.

However, engaging in more deliberate exercise (especially when they are routine) helps boost circulation, combat stress, help in fetal growth, and prepare the body for labor and pregnancy.

It is recommended that you start exercising in the early days of pregnancy and discuss your exercise plan with your doctor so that they can recommend how best to go about it. Avoid drastic exercise routines or new challenges during pregnancy as they could be counterproductive.


JOJO Yang is a writer from Check Pregnancy, her passion is providing helpful information for mommy and baby’s health. More than just focus on basic knowledge about health, this website also focuses on how to establish a good parent-child relationship. You can also find some fun reviews and topics, just visit Check Pregnancy to see more.  You can check the new posts on Facebook: @Checkpregnancy.com

How To Fight Snoring During Pregnancy

Snoring during pregnancy is something that many women experience, even if they’ve never had a problem with snoring before.  It often goes away afterwards, but sometimes it can become a permanent and chronic problem.

In this guest post from Robert J. Hudson of SnoreNation.com, learn about the different ways to battle snoring during pregnancy.

*This post may contain affiliate links*
*This is a guest post and all opinions are those of the author and not necessarily those of runningintriangles.com. 


Pregnant women undergo tremendous physical changes during as well as after their pregnancy’s tenure. Snoring is something that is commonly noticed in all pregnant women. Although harmless in nature, snoring during pregnancy can get a little annoying after sometime, especially for the partner. In this detailed article, we will take you through some effective remedial measures you can take to get over this irritating problem!

When you’re fast asleep, your mouth’s soft palate, which is situated on the mouth’s roof gets relaxed. Passage of air through this relaxed palate causes it to vibrate and produce the snoring sound. Such snoring is quite commonly found in both women and men. However, when it comes to pregnant women, they are bound to snore more aggressively and often, compared to normal women and men. It must be noted that snoring during pregnancy can become quite embarrassing and may turn out to be a major problem for the partner. Hence, it is essential to tackle it at its root and do away with it as soon as possible.

The rate and intensity of snoring may increase dramatically in pregnant women as their term progresses. It may also indicate that the person is receiving reduced supply of oxygen.

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Let’s now get to the well-known causes and remedies of snoring problem in pregnant women.

Pregnant women need to be very careful about what they eat, including the medications and food. It is not advisable to start consuming just about any OTC (over the counter) medicines and/or supplements without consulting a qualified gynecologist. If not addressed in time, the snoring problem can turn chronic and in some cases may even hamper the proper growth of the fetus.

Following are some important reasons why pregnant women snore all the more, along with the remedies.

The posture in which you sleep has a lot of effect on the snoring habit. It is advisable that you sleep in a comfortable posture to avoid putting any pressure on your normal breathing. Try sleeping on your side, instead of back and keep an additional pillow under your head to improve air passage. Furthermore, doctors suggest that you must avoid use of any sleeping pills or sedatives while trying to treat the snoring habit.

Disturbed sleeping patterns are also one of the most often noticed causes of snoring during pregnancy. Insufficient sleep can cause an expecting mother to experience major hormonal and emotional changes. Consumption of caffeinated drinks or alcohol can also disturb the sleep patterns. If possible, avoid alcohol and caffeinated drinks at all cost, apart from the smoking habit during your pregnancy. These can be very harmful for the child. Instead, opt for cold milk just before you go to sleep. Having a tablespoonful of olive oil each day is also known to have positive effect on snoring.

Experienced gynecologists throughout the world encourage pregnant women to indulge in short morning and evening walks. Going on such walks can have a positive impact on your breathing and improve the oxygen supply to your body. Performing certain breathing exercise on a daily basis can also prove to be quite effective in overcoming the snoring during pregnancy.

Weight gain is something that all women go through when they are pregnant, and it is one of the most significant causes of snoring during pregnancy. As their body mass increases with each passing day, pregnant women undergo expansion in their muscles. The muscles located in their throat and nose also undergo expansion, which can contribute to the snoring habit. Although this is something that is inevitable, you can definitely manage it better to prevent it from becoming a hassle in your everyday life. Please keep in mind that if you follow any weight management routine during pregnancy, it should not interfere with your body’s nutritional requirements. It’ll be better if you consult your gynecologist and perform some mild exercise on a daily basis to address the weight gain problem in a safe manner.

Sleep apnea is another important health condition that causes the snoring problem in pregnant women. This condition can develop if the woman is experiencing some kind of obstruction inside her nasal passage and doesn’t take timely medical care for its treatment. Such obstruction can reduce the oxygen supply to the brain, possibly resulting in many undesirable complications. In worst cases, sleep apnea can retard or delay the development and growth of fetus, also resulting in death.

Many women who develop snoring during pregnancy are found to be also suffering from pre-eclampsia. Pre-eclampsia is a medical condition in which the pregnant woman’s blood pressure may shoot up every now and then. Its other physical symptoms are liver malfunction, severe headaches, swelling in the extremities, excessive protein in urine etc. If left untreated, pre-eclampsia can lead to complications for both the child and the mother, even putting their lives at risk in some cases. If diagnosed and treated in time, this condition can be controlled effectively and snoring can also be stopped as a result.

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Apart from using the treatment methods detailed above, you can also obtain relief from the snoring problem by opting for an anti-snoring mouthpiece, pillows, or nasal strips. Please remember that snoring during pregnancy can be problematic both for your baby and you. If you have tried and tested every method under the sun and are yet experiencing recurring episodes of snoring, contact your obstetrician or gynecologist immediately. Here’s wishing you a snoring-free, safe and healthy motherhood!


Written by Robert J. Hudson, SnoreNation.com

Chief editor at Snore Nation and a proud father of two cool boys. I am a reformed snorer, a reformed smoker, a reformed overeater, a reformed city dweller and a reformed workaholic stress monster on the mission to share my insider tips to restore that quality sleep for you and your partner!

Interview with a Postpartum Doula

A postpartum doula is a newer trend in postpartum care but offers many benefits for new mothers.

The term doula seems to be synonymous with labor and childbirth.  But what many mothers don’t realize is that the first few months in the postpartum period can be even tougher than childbirth itself.  These are the times when mothers need the most support.  A postpartum doula is not just for first time mothers either.  Those with other children at home often need even MORE support to get the rest they so desperately need.

Having help in the first few months after having a baby can greatly reduce the risk of mothers developing postpartum depression.

In an effort to learn more about what a postpartum doula does, I interviewed Lenamarie Gorski, a birth and postpartum doula from Birth With a Voice Doula Service and fellow postpartum depression survivor.  

Interview with a Postpartum Doula

*This post contains affiliate and/or paid links which means that if you click on one of these links and buy a product, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Rest assured that I only recommend products that I love from companies that I trust.  *This is a collaborative post and therefore not all of the opinions and statements made are necessarily those of Running in Triangles .

1. What is a doula?

A doula is a person that assists a woman in labor. We support the women emotionally, spiritually and through the pain. A doula also assists women in the postpartum period because “it takes a village” to care for a newborn.

2. What is the difference between a birth doula and a postpartum doula?

A birth doula usually ends after the birth.  There is typically one follow up appointment but then the contract ends. The focus is on the birth, pain management and supporting the birthing mom and her partner.

A postpartum doula is strictly for the period after the birth. The focus is on helping with caring for the infant AND mom! I personally try to keep life as normal as possible during my time with a client.

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3. What kind of training do postpartum doulas have?

We typically do workshops. You also are trained in infant CPR as well as breastfeeding for help with the new mom. Certification follows up after the training with work to complete from the accrediting company.

4. What tasks does a postpartum doula do?

A postpartum doula typically does light housework, laundry, preps meals and helps with the infant care as well as breastfeeding. Sometimes we go shopping for the client, anything to keep life moving while the new mom is recovering and adjusting to life with a newborn

5. What type of shifts does a postpartum doula work?

It really depends on the client. The typical shift is nighttime form 7pm-7am. I have had clients change me from night to day as the baby grew/slept longer at night. I sometimes help them until they can find a nanny (I also have trained nannies to the everyday happenings in the home) or it is time for the baby to start daycare.

6. How many months after birth does a postpartum doula provide service for?

Its typically 12 weeks but we can be there up to 6 months with a client depending on the baby’s sleep patterns. The four month sleep regression can sometimes have clients call us back since it can be rough, especially for two parents expected to be at work or when there are older children in the home.

How to Sleep Train a Newborn
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7. Approximately how much does a postpartum doula cost?

It varies. It can be anywhere from $20.00 an hour to $45.00 an hour. You just need to shop around.

8. Are doula services ever covered by private health insurance?

Currently, no. Unfortunately, this has not yet caught on. In NYC they are going to be covering birth doulas with insurance so I’m hoping this is the beginning of an important trend. However, you can always try! You can submit the bill of the doula to your insurance company and see if they will reimburse.

9. What is the best way to find a postpartum doula where I live?

DoulaMatch.net is a great way! Also, word of mouth! Postpartum, birth groups of your area on Facebook or going to a local birth center. Also, Facebook! You can search “doulas” and Facebook pages of local doulas should come up.

Postpartum Depression Resources in Canada
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10. How can a postpartum doula help a mother with postpartum depression?

Doulas are not medical professionals but we have resources for moms with PPD. We also help them by listening and supporting them through that time to tell them that they are not alone! Whenever I start with a client I always share my story of PPD, to tell them that I am a safe place and I am not here to judge the. Motherhood is hard, sometimes you just need a safe and understanding place to go to and often times doulas provide that safe place.

Any additional information you would like to provide about postpartum doulas?

A postpartum doula is not a nanny, we often get confused by that. We are infant specialists; this covers swaddling, sleeping, nursing, bottle feeding, etc. We are a valuable resource for moms and I really encourage everyone to spread the word and get some help in the postpartum period.


Birth With a Voice

Lenamarie Gorski is a birth/postpartum doula and mother of five from Philadelphia, PA. Before finding her passion as a doula, she finished her degree in biology with a minor in chemistry, while raising her first two children. Feeling like she was pushed into c-sections, as well as her struggle with postpartum depression, encouraged her to begin her training to help other women.

“When you have a baby you need support, love and guidance no matter if it is your first or your fifth child. Never be ashamed to ask for help, it is a sign of strength not weakness.”

If you’re interested in hiring a postpartum doula in the Philadelphia, NJ, or Delaware area – you can contact Lenamarie via her website: www.birthwithavoicedoulaservice.com

You can also purchase her New Mommy Box & Breastfeeding Box online.

And don’t forget to follow Birth With a Voice on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter

Do you have a question about postpartum doulas?  Leave it in the comments!

Recovering from a Precipitous Labor

If you’re not familiar with the term precipitous labor, it basically means a labor that lasts less than 3 hours from the start of the first contraction until the baby is born.

It is sometimes referred to as a precipitate birth or delivery, rapid labor, fast labor or a plain, old speedy delivery!

Many women experience a precipitous labor for their second or subsequent deliveries, but having one with a first child is pretty rare (like 3% rare!)

While many women who have NOT experienced a precipitous labor might think this sounds like a blessing, it’s not all it’s chalked up to be.  For more information on that, you can read my post Precipitous Labor: The Traumatic Truth About a Speedy Delivery.

But in this post, I’m going to focus on recovering from a precipitous labor.

What You Need to Know About Recovering from a Precipitous Labor

What You Need to Know About Recovering from a Precipitous Labor

*This post contains affiliate links which means that if you click on one of these links and buy a product, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Rest assured that I only recommend products that I love from companies that I trust.  **Furthermore, I am not a medical professional and nothing in this post should be taken as medical advice. I am simply a mother who has been there and lived to tell the tale.


Recovering from a precipitous labor is… 

well…

precipitous.

That’s right, a fast labor usually means a fast recovery as well.  But don’t start hating on us precipitous laborers just yet…

While laboring quickly generally means less physical trauma and fatigue, it’s not without it’s own set of dangers as well.

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Example 1: Tearing

The whole point of moving slowly through the different phases of labor is to help our bodies stretch and prepare for the giant watermelon we’re about to push out of it.

But with a precipitous labor, our body has less time to warm up for the big push and can result in some pretty bad tearing. Usually there isn’t time (or need) for an episiotomy, so the degree and direction of tearing can be unpredictable.

Stitches down below make for a very uncomfortable postpartum recovery period.  There are several different home remedies available, but ice will become your best friend.

Here’s a quick and easy tutorial from Swaddles n’ Bottles for DIY “padsicles to help reduce swelling and pain.

Swaddles n’ Bottles

Example 2: Overdoing it

We’re all supermoms and the faster we can get out of bed after giving birth and back to our regular routine – the stronger we are, right?

Not necessarily…

While we may feel GREAT immediately after a 3 hour (or less) labor, it doesn’t mean that our bodies have completely healed.  The first few hours, days, even weeks after giving birth are essential to the healing process and should never be rushed.


There are several parts of the postpartum recovery period that do NOT occur precipitously.

The Uterus

The uterus needs to shrink back down to it’s normal size and that process can take up to 6 weeks or more.

As the uterus contracts back to it’s normal size, some women experience cramping (similar to menstrual cramps), especially while breastfeeding.

However, some women do not feel any cramping or discomfort at all.

Everyone experiences it differently, but for me, it was severely worse than the labor pains itself and got more intense after each delivery.

I was given drugs for the pain, but since I was breastfeeding, I turned to essential oils and heat (both heat bags and stick-on heat pads) to help me get through it instead.

Whether you feel it or not, the uterus is still contracting and will need plenty of time to shrink back down.

Skin to Skin Contact

Stay in bed with that baby!

It might be tempting to get up and do things because you feel great but the skin to skin contact in the first 36-48 hours is essential to bonding and breastfeeding success!

Regardless of where you spend those first few hours after birth, whether its a hospital or birth center or in your own home, just stay in the bed and hold that baby for as long as you can.

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Blood Pressure

Roughly 24 hours after giving birth to my second child, I experienced something I had NEVER experienced before in my entire life – high blood pressure.

I had resumed all my normal activities less than 12 hours after giving birth to her and because of that, my body didn’t have time to heal.  In addition to the high blood pressure, I developed a fever, severe headache, nausea, swollen hands and feet, blurred vision and dizzy spells.

It’s called postpartum preeclampsia and it’s rare for women who did not experience preeclampsia while pregnant.  Thankfully, some rest helped my blood pressure regulate and I didn’t develop any further complications or need medication but it can become quite serious if left untreated.

The Baby Blues

Those hormones will be in full swing after giving birth.  For months your body has been working hard to maintain two humans and now it has to adjust back down to one.  The baby blues affect nearly 80% of all mothers postpartum, so it’s something to prepare for after giving birth, whether or not you’ve had a precipitous labor.

Hormonal imbalances, unfortunately, don’t often work themselves out precipitously…

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Postpartum Depression

Ahhhh… my favorite topic.  Let me be clear when I say that there is no known link between precipitous labor and postpartum depression.  Many believe that a traumatic labor can lead to postpartum depression but precipitous labor is not always a traumatic experience.  In fact, many women who have one really DO feel lucky and blessed that they were spared a long labor and delivery.

Prenatal & Postpartum Depression - Vanessa's Story
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However, since postpartum depression seems to have no pattern whatsoever of who it chooses as it’s victims, it’s best to be prepared.

In my own, personal postpartum depression story, I talk about how I rushed through my recovery with my second child and eventually wound up getting postpartum depression.  I can’t say for certain that it had anything at all to do with my mental state, but I DO regret rushing my postpartum recovery period.

Postpartum Depression Resources


Everything happens so quickly when it comes to having kids.

There are moments and memories that we can hold onto and savor each second of – and there are some that we have no control over.  While we may not be able to choose whether or not we have a precipitous labor, we CAN choose not to rush our recovery.

What You Need to Know About Recovering from a Precipitous Labor
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Mummyitsok

4 Tips for Eating with Hyperemesis Gravidarum

Is it even possible to eat while suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum?
The answer is… SORT OF

With persistent nausea and vomiting, eating is likely the last but also the only thing on a pregnant woman’s mind.  She wants to eat – she wants to eat SO badly!  But she also doesn’t want to eat because eating would mean vomiting and she really… REALLY… doesn’t want to vomit anymore.

The following tips may sound very extreme, but that’s what hyperemesis gravidarum is.  It’s not just a bit of nausea – it’s an actual inability to eat food without vomiting it back up again… for months on end.  Eating sounds impossible, but with a few strategic tips – it’s entirely possible to avoid being fed through a tube.


*This post contains affiliate links which means that if you click on one of these links and buy a product, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Rest assured that I only recommend products that I love from companies that I trust.

**Furthermore, I am not a medical professional and nothing in this post should be taken as medical advice. I am simply a mother who has been there and lived to tell the tale.

4 Tips for Eating with Hyperemesis Gravidarum

Tip #1: Accept thy curse

The trick to eating while suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum is to accept the fact that nothing you eat will stay down.  But you will need to find ways to get nutrients into your body anyway, in order for you and your baby to survive, and to reduce the need to be hospitalized and fed through a tube.  The sooner you can accept the fact that you’re in this for the entire pregnancy, the less chance you have of risking a hospital stay.

ACCEPT that you will feel like crap every single day of your pregnancy until the day that baby pops out of you and not one second before.

DON’T expect to feel better after vomiting as if you just ate some bad shrimp.

ACCEPT that no home remedy for morning sickness will help you.

DON’T count down the days until the end of the first trimester, expecting it to go away.

ACCEPT that you are strong enough to do this and that the benefits will greatly outweigh the struggle in the end.

DON’T tell others that you are fine when you are clearly suffering.  Tell them how to help you.

Click to read the full post

Tip #2: Every Second Counts

Don’t avoid eating altogether, just because you know that it’s going to come back up again.  If you can keep something in your stomach for just 5 minutes, then it’s better than nothing at all.

There are some characteristics to look for when choosing a food for this purpose:

Fast absorption:  Liquids absorb faster than solids.  Electrolyte drinks like Gatorade or Pedialyte can help battle dehydration or you can try making your own if you find them too sugary.  Fresh made juices, smoothies or clear broth are another good option.  Try to avoid drinking plain water (see Tip #3).

High in vitamins and nutrients:  Try to go as healthy as possible.  Meal replacement drinks, protein shakes, fresh made juices, or vegetable soup have all the good stuff without the junk, because you don’t have any time to waste.

Smooth texture: If it goes down easy – it will come up easy.  It may seem disturbing to have to choose a food based on what it will be like coming back up, but that is exactly what you will need to do to survive HG.  Contrary to popular belief, things like sweet, juicy fruit like apples, berries and melons (which you WILL crave while dehydrated and nauseous) may not be the best option.  The natural fruit juices get absorbed very quickly leaving the pulp behind which is extremely unpleasant coming back up.  If you absolutely must have fruit, then blend it into a juice or smoothie first.

Curdle Factor: Yet another disturbing characteristic, consider which foods will curdle in your stomach before they make a re-appearance.  I craved milk (and cereal) during my pregnancies and it was extremely unpleasant coming back up in chunks.  Most dairy-based items will be the same and can cause even more disturbances on an upset stomach.  Clear fluids are the better option.

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Tip #3: Avoid Water

Whaaaaaa….????

I know this sounds counter-productive for someone who is battling dehydration but plain old-fashioned water is one of the hardest things to drink with HG.

Water can often induce vomiting when you have an extra sensitive stomach, especially after eating something.  It seems to stir everything up in the stomach and cause more damage than good.

Staying hydrated is essential and some alternatives to water include:

Natural mineral water: the fizziness sometimes helps, sometimes makes it worse.  Try a flavored water (like citrus) to see if it appeals to you.

Coconut water: try it both cold and at room temperature to see which you prefer, as this can change the flavor.

Popsicles (or anything frozen): they melt slowly which can feel better than having liquid go straight into your stomach.  Pedialyte freezer pops are a great option to help restore your electrolytes and they can provide a cooling sensation if they do come back up.  Those made with fresh fruit are also a great option, but avoid added sugar as it can irritate the stomach. Beware of flavors that are too sweet or sour as the taste buds will be in overdrive.

Ice chips: if all else fails and you’re not able to keep down any liquids at all, then sucking on ice chips is one way to stay hydrated.

It sounds extreme but it’s not at all unusual for a woman with hyperemesis gravidarum to be unable to keep down even a sip of water to take her prenatal vitamins or prescription anti-emetics (I speak from experience).

Bump Boxes


Tip #4: Tiny Portions

I’m not exaggerating when I say tiny.

Small portions are usually recommended for nausea and vomiting but I’m not talking about “small.”  When I say “tiny” I mean, “itty-bitty-not-enough-food-for-a-mouse”

Try one tablespoon of food or liquid every 10-15 minutes. 

If it stays down, have another and so on.

If it doesn’t stay down, try half a tablespoon every 30 minutes.

You can also try experimenting with different ways to eat or drink.  Try drinking through a straw vs. no straw, a spoon vs. sipping, hot vs. cold.  You may have to think outside the box and even try using syringes or shot glasses to take tiny sips of liquid.

Keep experimenting with tiny portions.  It may seem tedious and pointless but one spoonful of food is better than none at all.


I know the pain of hyperemesis gravidarum all too well having battled it with all three of my pregnancies.  It’s easy to avoid eating all together in an effort to avoid vomiting when that’s all you’ve been doing for weeks.  But starvation, dehydration and malnutrition are far worse things to struggle with than vomiting.

Chances are – you will never be able to eat properly throughout an HG pregnancy, instead you will spend the entire 9 months simply “trying to eat.”
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11 Side Effects Hyperemesis Gravidarum has on a Pregnant Body

During all of three my pregnancies, I suffered with hyperemesis gravidarum which I explained to others as “an extreme case of morning sickness” mostly because I wasn’t sure how else to explain it.

But hyperemesis gravidarum is NOT just an extreme case of morning sickness.

While it is characterized by nausea and vomiting in pregnancy, it is actually so much more than that.  The side effects of hyperemesis gravidarum include dehydration and malnutrition which cause one problem after another.

If you really want to know what it’s like living with this cruel condition, here are an additional 11 side effects hyperemesis gravidarum has on a pregnant body.

11 effects hyperemesis gravidarum has on a pregnant body
*This post contains affiliate links which means that if you click on one of these links and buy a product, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Rest assured that I only recommend products that I love from companies that I trust.

**Furthermore, I am not a medical professional and nothing in this post should be taken as medical advice. I am simply a mother who has been there and lived to tell the tale.

11 effects hyperemesis gravidarum has on a pregnant body

1. Fainting Spells

Actual fainting spells and feeling faint are a very common complaint for pregnant women with HG.  Dehydration, low blood pressure and low blood sugar levels are all to blame.  Standing or even sitting upright for long amounts of time can be very difficult to do.

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2. Muscle Atrophy

Women suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum spend most of their days lying in bed (when they’re not hanging headfirst over the toilet bowl).  With very little energy to spare and a steady stream of sleep-inducing medications, there’s not much else they can do.  This usually results in their muscles becoming weak and stiff.

3. Leg Cramps

I can honestly say that the pain of leg cramps while bedridden with hyperemesis gravidarum was the closest thing to labor pains I have ever experienced.  While many women experience leg cramps, HG or not, dehydration makes them 10 times more painful and harder to recover from (pretty sure I was limping to the toilet for a month).

Bump Boxes
Get her a Bump Box subscription to help make her 9 months a little smoother.

4. Sore Throat

This should be an obvious one to anyone who has ever thrown up before… Vomiting multiple times in a day results in a raw, sore throat that makes even speaking painful.  Considering that most of what comes up is bile,  the lining of the throat can be severely damaged and it’s not uncommon for women to have blood in their vomit both from tearing the throat and/or esophagus.

5. Acid Reflux

So we’ve established that everywhere from the mouth to the stomach (and vice versa) resembles a war zone.  This means of course that acid reflux will be the norm for the duration of the pregnancy.  This, again, is something many women without HG experience, but this time – it’s not just a common case of heartburn.  With torn tissues in the throat and esophagus – it can cause a constant burning sensation in the chest.  A prescription strength antacid may be necessary.

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6. Diarrhea

And if you weren’t already dehydrated and spending most of your time in the bathroom already, then this ought to fix that.  You can expect this mess after receiving a round of IV fluids, taking a suppository or eating and drinking a little bit after a few days of not eating or drinking at all.  Basically your entire gastrointestinal system gets messed up thanks to hyperemesis gravidarum.

7. Tooth Decay

All of that acidic vomit does a real number on your tooth enamel.  And if you’re not getting the calcium and other nutrients you need for strong bones then you will notice it first in your teeth.  We tend to forget how important chewing actual food is to keep our teeth healthy and when you’re suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum there is very little chewing, biting or eating going on at all.

8. Hair Loss

We know about postpartum hair loss but did you know that you can also lose your hair if you’re extremely dehydrated and malnourished?  So many vitamins and minerals are important for the growth of healthy hair and when you’re not getting those, your body has to steal them from somewhere else.  So instead of boasting the luscious locks that many women claim to have during pregnancy – I was plucking handfuls of it off my pillowcase.

9. Dry Skin

Dehydration can do some pretty crazy things to your skin.  Not only does it get really dry and itchy, but it also loses a lot of it’s elasticity.  I remember nurses doing “the pinch test” on the back of my hand each time I went into the hospital and each time it stayed up longer and longer.

Testing for Dehydration
Fix.com/blog/dehydration

10. Motion Sickness

If you’ve never experienced motion sickness before then prepare for the bumpy ride that is hyperemesis gravidarum.  The delicate state of the stomach just can’t handle being tossed and turned.  While anything and everything seemed to trigger nausea and vomiting anyway – moving around at all brought it on much faster.  I would get motion sickness if I walked too fast or moved my head too quickly or even when I turned over in bed.  Car rides were unbearable.  Even feeling the baby kick, which should be a joyous sensation, triggered the nausea and vomiting.

11. Depression

This was perhaps the worst of the side effects of hyperemesis gravidarum for me.  The loneliness of the long days and nights I spent in bed – unable to even hold a conversation, left me feeling isolated and imprisoned.  I couldn’t care for my other children and had to depend entirely on others for help which was very difficult for a control freak like me to do.  I even needed help to shower.

The most depressing thought of all was that I had months and months of this ahead of me, unlike a bout of the stomach flu or food poisoning which tends to resolve itself in a matter of a few days.  Nothing I tried gave me any relief – no combination of prescription medications, IV fluids or hospitalization solved the problem.

I seriously regretted getting pregnant and briefly contemplated terminating the pregnancy in order for it to end.  Throughout my second pregnancy, I suffered from prenatal depression, which was made worse by the side effects of hyperemesis gravidarum.

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Hyperemesis gravidarum and morning sickness are not the same.

A woman suffering from HG is unable to care for herself and will require much help and attention during her pregnancy.  And while there are a lot of home remedies and even pharmaceuticals available for nausea and vomiting – the only real cure for HG is giving birth.  

For more information and resources visit the Hyperemesis Education & Research Foundation at www.helpHER.org H.E.R. Foundation

14 Ways to Help a Woman with Hyperemesis Gravidarum

The pregnancy symptom that has been making headlines is one that I have personally experienced not once or twice but three times!  It’s more than just an extreme case of morning sickness – it’s a debilitating condition that I wouldn’t wish upon my worst enemy.  This intense sickness is so life altering that it affects not only a pregnant woman, but also those closest to her.

While there is very little relief or treatment for women with hyperemesis gravidarum, there are several things loved ones can do to help make her 9 months of hell a little less unbearable…

14 Ways to Help a Woman with Hyperemesis Gravidarum

*This post contains affiliate links which means that if you click on one of these links and buy a product, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Rest assured that I only recommend products that I love from companies that I trust.  **Furthermore, I am not a medical professional and nothing in this post should be taken as medical advice. I am simply a mother who has been there and lived to tell the tale.


1. Don’t call it “morning sickness”

Hyperemesis gravidarum is not just morning sickness on steroids.  Don’t expect to understand what she’s going through even if you had “really bad” morning sickness.  Hyperemesis gravidarum is completely debilitating and women who suffer from it are often unable to function, even hospitalized, so comparing her condition to the nausea and vomiting that 90% of pregnant women experience is kind of insulting.


2. Know the symptoms

The symptoms will be the same as those of morning sickness at first.  But if she starts vomiting more than 10 times a day and is unable to keep down any food at all then it’s a warning sign.  Watch for signs of dehydration, anemia and low blood pressure which could all indicate that she’ll need additional treatment.

For a complete list of the signs and symptoms of hyperemesis gravidarum check out Web MD or The American Pregnancy Association.

3. Believe her

A lot of people believe that nausea is a “mind over matter” situation.  And while the embarrassing thought of vomiting in a public place is enough to cause any women severe anxiety, it’s not the reason why she’s nauseated.  Don’t assume that she’s just being dramatic.  Believe that her pain is real and don’t expect her to suck it up and go on with her day.

Common Pregnancy Misconceptions and Mistakes
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4. Don’t offer her crackers and ginger ale

Whatever home remedy you can think of for nausea and vomiting – she’s tried it.  Offering the simplest solution that most people suggest for simple cases of morning sickness is insulting to a woman with HG.  Sufferers of hyperemesis gravidarum are usually unable to keep any food or liquid down at all, so while your intentions might be good, it’s important to realize that crackers and ginger ale just won’t cut it.  They need much more extreme solutions and usually end up hospitalized with an IV for dehydration or a feeding tube up their nose.

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5. Choose unscented

Women with hyperemesis gravidarum have an extremely heightened sense of smell.  Anything that’s too strong (even if it’s their favorite scent) will make their nausea worse.  Products designed to cover up bad smells, such as bath and body products, hand soaps, deodorant or air fresheners can make the situation worse.  Switch to unscented products or skip them all together.

Everyone Soap Unscented
well.ca

6. NO SMOKING

The smell of cigarette smoke is the most offensive one for a women with hyperemesis gravidarum.  You may think you’re being kind enough by not subjecting her to second hand smoke but bear in mind that some women with hyperemesis gravidarum can smell it from 100 feet away depending on which way the wind blows.  They can also smell it on your clothing, skin and hair so if you’re smoker – either consider quitting (recommended) or keep a very far distance.

Nicorette Nicotine Gum Ultra Fresh Mint 2mg
well.ca

7. Keep stinky foods away

While salami and blue cheese might be your preferred bedtime snack, it’s a death wish for a women with hyperemesis gravidarum.  Any foods that have a strong smell should be kept out of her house or wrapped tightly enough that she doesn’t detect it.  The smell of cooking, especially frying, or anything with onions, garlic or heavily seasoned foods is also a big no-no in the home of a women with hyperemesis gravidarum.

If smells are bothering her despite your best efforts, look into getting her a personal aromatherapy inhaler filled with a relaxing (like lavender) or tummy-soothing (like peppermint) scent that she can carry around with her.


8. Hide while you eat

If you can’t cook or bring home your favorite foods then what’s a person to do?  Just because she can’t eat doesn’t mean you don’t have to – just don’t do it in front of her.

Despite the fact that she can’t eat and that all food and the smell of food makes her vomit – she can’t help but fantasize about all the food she wants to eat.  She is starving but still experiencing all the same pregnancy cravings, so watching someone else eat food that she so desperately wants is just plain torture.

Eat in the car, eat before you come home or while she’s sleeping but please, don’t eat in front of her!

How to eat with hyperemesis gravidarum during pregnancy
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9. Experiment with Liquids

Keeping down food while suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum is next to impossible.  The trick is to find things that are high in nutrients and can be absorbed by the body quickly so that even if she can keep it down for a few minutes before vomiting, she will still experience some of the benefits and hopefully stave off dehydration.

Soup is a tried and true option but sometimes hot food can irritate the stomach.  Blended soups are normally preferred over chunky ones and the fewer aromatic ingredients, the better.

One of the best solutions is fresh juiced vegetables and fruit.  The store bought juices often contain too much sugar which also irritates the stomach, but if you have a juicer or blender, make her some out of vegetables and fruit.  Play around with combinations that appeal to her – some women find lemon and citrus very soothing for nausea – while others can’t handle the acidity.

Another great solution for a liquid based diet is protein packed meal replacement drinks.  There are so many different flavors, brands and varieties to choose from, that there’s bound to be one she can stomach.  Popular favorites are the Ensure Shakes and Vega Smoothies.

Vega Choc-a-lot Protein Smoothie
well.ca

10. Let her sleep

If I could have crawled into a cave and hibernated for 9 months while growing my babies that’s what I would have done.  Sleeping and vomiting are the only two constants while battling hyperemesis gravidarum.  Most likely she will be taking some type of anti-emetic medications that will make her extremely drowsy.  Factor in that she will have absolutely no energy thanks to her zero calorie intake and sleep will be all that she will be able to do.  Even sitting upright and watching television will require energy that she doesn’t have to spare.   So let her sleep – because at least if she’s asleep, she’s not vomiting.

4 Ways to Improve Sleep for New Moms
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11. Give her a massage

With all of that time in bed and the fact that she’s on the verge of dehydration, she will find her muscles in a state of atrophy.  This often results in leg cramps and back spasms.  A massage every once in a while will help with blood flow.  There are also several acupressure points that can help ease up nausea.  If you’re not great with your hands, then you can book her a pregnancy massage with her favorite spa!

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12. Avoid the road less traveled

Nausea is nausea whether it’s motion sickness or hyperemesis gravidarum.  If you’re driving her around take care to avoid bumpy roads and sharp turns.   Even if she’s never had motion sickness before – the now delicate state of her stomach will make every movement feel like an internal earthquake.  Make sure to pack vomit bags for the car ride and prepare to have to pull over several times.

Get a 12 pack of these awesome travel nausea bags on Amazon!

13. Stand by her

Literally.  Standing up for any amount of time is a bad idea for a woman with hyperemesis gravidarum.  Low blood pressure, low sugar levels and near starvation almost definitely means she will faint.  If she needs to stand, stay close by and give her an arm to lean on for support.  If she feels faint, elevate her legs to help the blood rush back to her head.


AND THE MOST IMPORTANT ONE OF ALL…

14. Clean the toilet

This is where a woman with hyperemesis gravidarum will spend the majority of her time.  Some women can vomit up to 100 times in a single day.  And the absolute last thing she will want to do after all that is clean.  There is nothing, I repeat – NOTHING, more meaningful to her than to have someone else clean the toilet.

Nature Clean Toilet Bowl Cleaner
well.ca

For more information and support, visit the HER Foundation [Hyperemesis Education & Research] at www.helpher.org.
H.E.R. Foundation
www.helpHER.org

Bonus Tip: Twins?

A common myth about a hyperemesis pregnancy is that it’s a sign of twins.  I promise you that it’s not true.  Women suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum while pregnant with one baby can be just as sick as a woman with hyperemesis carrying twins or more.

So don’t tell her it might be twins, I guarantee it won’t help.
For more information on twin pregnancies, check out this infographic from TwinStuff.com
TwinStuff.com

A twin pregnancy is different from a regular pregnancy in a lot of ways. It means your body will have to accommodate two fetuses, which means you can grow larger and heavier than when you’re having a singleton pregnancy. But, more than the evident differences, a twin pregnancy also means additional stress, morning sickness, and prenatal visits, among others.

The best way to have a healthy twin pregnancy is to know what is in store for you. This infographic does exactly that – to guide you on a week-by-week basis of the changes you will go through over the nine months. Plus, it also provides tips on how you can take care of yourself and your babies as you go through these changes.

In this infographic, you will learn about taking prenatal vitamins and supplements at the start of the first trimester. It will also provide timely suggestions such as talking about names for your twins at 14 weeks into the twin pregnancy. By the time you reach your last trimester, it will then show you that you may experience possible fatigue among many other signs. The infographic is aimed to help you prepare yourself physically and emotionally.

Whether you are a first-time expectant mom or not, the experience of a twin pregnancy will definitely be different for you. Although it does not necessarily mean double everything, you will undergo enhanced or increased symptoms. This infographic will apprise you of all these possible changes as well as give you a heads up and some tips and suggestions from day 1 to delivery.

Ways to Help a Woman with Hyperemesis Gravidarum