Your pregnancy can be an exciting time in your life, but it also comes with a lot of stress. That is why you need to prepare yourself properly for this new journey by stocking up on the essential items that will help you through your pregnancy. The following post will provide some helpful advice and suggestions about what you should buy before your pregnancy begins.
Get your prenatal vitamins
Prenatal vitamins are a great place to begin because they cover many different aspects of prenatal care all at once while being affordable enough so that everyone can afford them. They contain folic acid, which reduces the risk of congenital disabilities such as spina bifida while going easy on your stomach, so there’s no upset or discomfort involved during digestion like other kinds of supplements might have. In addition to this, they have a high concentration of iron which is essential for pregnancy as it helps your body with oxygenation and blood circulation. This will keep you from getting tired or winded during those long days at work or running errands around town.
Invest in a maternity pillow
A Maternity Pillow is an excellent investment for your pregnancy because it will help you with many different things, such as blood circulation, heartburn, and even breathing when you sleep. They come in all shapes and sizes depending on what works best for you, but most essentially, they allow ample support to the back while also helping relieve pressure off of areas like your hips and legs that can get swollen during pregnancy. This way, no matter how uncomfortable or tired you are at nightfall, you’ll be able to sleep better than before by simply adjusting to a more comfortable position without any strain or discomfort involved.
Comfortable maternity clothing
Maternity clothing is a must-have in your closet when you are pregnant because it provides the right amount of comfort and support to keep you from feeling bloated or uncomfortable all day long. The material used for these kinds of clothing also keeps out any sweat, moisture, or dirt, so they’re not only comfortable but just as easy to clean too. In addition, these clothes are usually stretchy, which makes them easier to put on while also containing elastic bands around areas like the waistline and hemline where there might be some loose fabric due to bloating. Proper clothing are essential items for your growing body during pregnancy.
Morning sickness soothers
Morning sickness is probably one of the most complex parts of pregnancy, but thankfully there are ways to help ease your suffering. Many different products on the market can be used for nausea, such as little candies and mints that work well in treating it because they’re easy to keep around all day long. Another option is a ginger root which works excellent at settling an upset stomach you might have while also providing relief from those nasty bouts of vomiting and dehydration. You should also invest in a small cooler with an ice pack, so if and when these feelings come up again, you’ll be able to quickly grab something out of your bag without having to worry about needing anything else too cumbersome.
Pregnancy comes with a lot of excitement, but it can also be an overwhelming time in your life due to all the changes and stress that come along with it. With these essential items, your pregnancy can be more comfortable and therefore, memorable. By following these tips and advice, you will quickly learn what works best for you during this trying period, so they should always be kept close by when needed most.
When expecting a new baby, telling anyone can be daunting, let alone the toddler you already have at home. The biggest struggle with talking to toddlers about a new baby is that your little one probably won’t understand what you’re talking about. Even if they do, they’ll probably have a range of mixed emotions about it:
Confusion – “What does being a big brother/sister mean?” Excitement – “Yay! Someone to play with!” Anger – “I am not sharing you!” Apprehension – “Will you love me the same?” Apathy – “Whatever. Now, what about a snack?”
This short guide should help you when it’s time to have that conversation.
Getting Toddlers Excited
Pretend baby. A good way of getting your toddler excited about the new baby is to have them practice what it might be like. For example, they can hold a bottle to a doll’s mouth or put them in a bassinet and show them pictures from a story.
Belly bonding. At around 16- to 18-weeks, you’ll probably be able to feel the baby starting to move. Encourage your toddler to lay their hand on your stomach so that they can feel too. At 24-weeks, your baby can hear sounds, so have your little one read or sing to them through your belly.
Discuss baby names. You don’t have to take the ideas from your toddler for a name for your new baby, but involving them in the discussion will make them feel important in the situation.
Breaking the News
Timing is key! When talking to toddlers about a new baby, wait until the second trimester if you can. That way, you’ll know that all is well with your baby, and you’ll be starting to show signs of pregnancy. There’s no point in worrying your toddler until then unless you have bad morning sickness or fatigue earlier in the pregnancy.
Explain that it’s tough. You need to make sure that your little one knows that you’re not sick, just that growing a baby is hard work.
Keep it simple. Don’t assume that your toddler wants lots of detail. In fact, adults often over-complicate things for little ones because of that, so just tell them what they need to know. Then, of course, you should answer their questions, but keep your answers short and sweet.
Have a reassuring but honest tone. Explain how a new baby won’t mean that you and Daddy/Mommy won’t love your toddler any less, but that the baby will take up a lot of time.
Use picture books. Pictures are clearer than words for toddlers; just make sure that you choose an age-appropriate book.
Find old photos. Photos of your toddler as a baby will help them conceptualize what it’ll be like to have a new brother or sister. Pictures of Mommy during her previous pregnancy will also help so that your little one can imagine how Mommy’s body will change.
Other visual aids.Comparing a baby’s size is often good, such as showing your toddler an orange at 15-weeks gestation or a mango at 19-weeks. Another idea is to use a doll to show the baby’s appearance; you can even have your toddler help change a diaper on the dolly!
Brielle Albert is a writer and digital marketing professional. She earned her Bachelor of Science Degree at New York University. Brielle has professional experience in social media marketing and copywriting.
Weird cravings are as iconic to pregnancy as morning sickness and sore feet—and they’re just as frustrating at times. These bewitching food desires might steer moms-to-be away from the nutritious foods they and their babies need in the coming months. Combating pregnancy cravings with nutritional foods will make a huge impact on how you feel both emotionally and physically throughout your pregnancy.
Focus on a Morning Meal
Eating will sound like the worse idea possible on some mornings, but prioritizing even a light snack to start your day makes a big difference. Craving sugary foods is, at times, a sign of low blood sugar. Instead of fighting to find the perfect sweet snack when the craving demands it, eating a morning meal like oatmeal, yogurt, or fruits prevents this blood sugar dip and staves off hunger throughout the day.
Make Time for Balanced Eating
Perhaps the best way to combat pregnancy cravings with healthy food is to set aside time for meal planning and more dedicated grocery shopping. Even when you aren’t pregnant, buying food while wrestling with hunger hankerings is a recipe for disaster.
While you may not always be able to stick to the plan, taking the time to organize balanced meals for each week will help you eat more nutritious meals than not. Keeping cravings in mind and a variety of sweet, salty, savory, and sour snack options on hand also makes it easy to beat cravings without going for junk food.
Document and Adapt to Food Aversions
Food aversions are the other side of the pregnancy-craving coin that new moms need to contend with. It’s easier to stick to the foods your body is demanding when it seems like you’re struggling to keep every other food down.
Keep a journal of your food aversions as they come and go so that, as you plan meals, you and your family members can avoid buying foods you know you’ll end up avoiding. Noting if the issue was the smell, texture, or taste helps you cover your bases and stick to healthy foods you know you’ll enjoy overall.
Ultimately, when trying to figure out how to combat pregnancy cravings with healthy food, remember that your mental health plays a role in your well-being too. Go easy on yourself, and allow yourself to partake in some unhealthy snack foods or a meal out now and then. While getting great nutrition is great for you and your baby, healthy eating is only one among many things to consider while pregnant.
Christina Duron is a writer living in the Chicagoland area. Her passion for writing and mental health help create thought provoking and engaging pieces and hopes to use them to empower mothers and women to embrace the beauty of motherhood.
Pregnancy is a marvelous experience. You’ve created a life, and in a couple of months, you’ll have your beautiful bundle of joy in your arms. But sometimes it’s not that lovely. Although many expectant mothers walk about with a glow of pregnancy and a big smile on their faces, the experience may be less than picturesque — particularly if, instead of a smile and a glow, you’re becoming best friends with your toilet because you can’t seem to stop throwing up. Identifying the underlying reason for nausea and vomiting during pregnancy may keep this issue within check, so keep reading to learn about likely reasons for vomiting and nausea during pregnancy.
Morning sickness is a frequent cause of nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. But although it is labeled morning sickness, nausea and vomiting could also occur at any time of the day. The precise reason of morning sickness is unclear, although it is likely to be due to hormonal changes that have weakened your body. Morning sickness is estimated to occur in up to 80% of all pregnancies, with nausea and vomiting beginning around week 6.
The great news is that conditions normally improve in the second trimester, but some women get morning sickness throughout their entire pregnancy. Early signs and symptoms of morning sickness include nausea and vomiting. Intriguingly, some females don’t even assume conception until the first surge of morning sickness strikes them. After several days of feeling sick to their stomach, they take a test to determine or strike out pregnancy.
Sadly, morning sickness is not the only factor to worry about during pregnancy, nor is it the only trigger of nausea throughout this “special phase of life.” Many women have experienced severe morning sickness called hyperemesis gravidarum throughout pregnancy. It’s possibly caused by an increase in hormone levels. If you already have morning sickness, you will only vomit once a day and could be able to deal with nausea and vomiting. If you experience hyperemesis gravidarum, you might vomit upwards of 3 – 4 times a day and suffer nearly persistent nausea.
Throwing up with hyperemesis gravidarum can get so severe that certain women who are pregnant lose weight and run the risk of dehydration due to failure to store food and fluids. And as if barfing the whole day isn’t terrible already, it can even induce dizzy spells and lightheadedness. Hyperemesis gravidarum symptoms typically worsen in weeks 9 to 13 and then get better. So the symptoms may improve when you progress further along during pregnancy.
This is another trigger of nausea and vomiting during pregnancy that women often do not foresee. While it’s easy to relate some form of nausea to morning sickness, it may simply be attributed to consuming contaminated food while pregnant. Anybody really is at risk for food contamination, but expectant mothers are more in danger because pregnancy makes the immune system weak. As a result, it gets harder for the body to combat germs and bacteria.
Signs include those that are similar to morning sicknesses, such as nausea and vomiting. Although, unlike morning sickness, food poisoning can cause other symptoms such as headaches, muscle aches, and fever. These signs occur quickly after consuming contaminated food within 24-48 hours. The easiest way to prevent this from happening is to fully cook meat. Also, store food in the refrigerator immediately after cooking, rinse all fresh fruits and vegetables, and eliminate unpasteurized milk, juice, or eggs from your pregnancy diet. Consult the best gynecologist for diet advice.
Causes and Risk Factors
Although the hormones are most likely to blame for hyperemesis gravidarum and morning sickness, certain causes raise the likelihood of facing either or both complications during pregnancy. For instance:
Expecting multiples (twins, triplets, or more).
During pregnancy, you have a family or personal history of vomiting.
You are susceptible to certain tastes or smells.
You’ve had a diagnosis of migraine.
You’ve had a history of motion sickness.
The greatest chance of foodborne disease is consuming raw, uncooked/undercooked food or vegetables and fruits that have not been washed. Bear in mind that although the above are typical causes of vomiting during pregnancy, other conditions can also occur during pregnancy that may induce nausea and vomiting.
Ordinary morning sickness during pregnancy is unpleasant, but you are not expected to suffer from serious complications. However, if you experience hyperemesis gravidarum, extreme vomiting can cause dehydration or reduced urination. And if you are unable to restock your fluid level, you might have to be admitted to receive intravenous (IV) fluids. This syndrome can also damage the liver, cause deficiency of Vitamin B, and slower growth weight in your child’s development, so it is essential to evaluate your choices with the best gynaecologist.
Foodborne illness should not be treated lightly. These conditions, which may include listeria and salmonella poisoning, may induce premature birth or even miscarriage. It is also important to remember that various forms of vomiting can trigger a number of problems. Thus, although morning sickness does not contribute to dehydration, foodborne illness or hyperemesis gravidarum may vary based on the severity of nausea.
You wouldn’t need a gynecologist for morning sickness that isn’t extreme. Home remedies can be adequate to treat symptoms. However, if you vomit several times each day, and if you have any symptoms such as dizziness, rapid heart rate, or if you can’t hold fluids down, you should contact your doctor. Although the vomiting can be miserable during pregnancy, it is often normal and typically nothing that should worry you. It occurs in a lot of pregnancies, and it doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with you or your child. But if you have any questions or need affirmation, please do not hesitate to contact your doctor for vomiting during pregnancy.
Lesli is a Content Writer and loves to blog about health-related articles. She enjoys learning and specializes in guest blogging, blog publishing, and social media. She is an avid reader and loves writing impeccable content pertaining to health care. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Engineering.
Your entire life changes the moment you find out you’re pregnant. While the change can be exhilarating, it can also be overwhelming for first-time parents. When tasks at a job or school seem monumental, it helps to break them down into manageable steps. In the same way, although you can’t foresee all the twists and turns of your pregnancy, having a to-do list for expecting parents can help you cut back on stress.
Along with that, do your research to find alternatives to medications you shouldn’t take while pregnant. You’ll especially want to research medications that target morning sickness and other pregnancy symptoms.
Start a Log
Documenting your journey should be first on the to-do list for expecting parents. Your symptoms will change throughout your pregnancy, from morning sickness to body aches to swelling in your ankles or hands. While these are perfectly normal, it’s good to keep track of your symptoms throughout your pregnancy. This way, if something does occur that is out of the ordinary, you will be able to pinpoint exactly when the symptoms started. Along with that, writing them down helps relieve some of the mental stress of your physical symptoms.
Prepare for Parental Leave
As a parent, you are entitled to a parental leave of at least four weeks in the U.S. For some, the idea of taking so much time off work can be stressful, so start planning your leave well in advance. Make sure to add this to the to-do list for expecting parents. Research your company’s policies, then talk to your employees or coworkers about what your leave will look like. If you delegate tasks for your absence, the transition will be smoother, and you will be able to focus more on your time with your baby.
Set up the Nursery
You don’t want to put off setting up your nursery for too long. The further into your pregnancy you get, the harder it will be to offer help with the design process, and paint VOCs can linger in the air for weeks. You don’t have to overthink the nursery’s design. Start practical by making sure your crib bedding is safe and babyproofing any cabinets. Then look at the decor. If you’re waiting to hear about the baby’s gender, you can focus on a gender-neutral theme or color scheme.
Perhaps the most important item on the to-do list for expecting parents is to simply relax. As much as you want to make sure everything is perfect for your new baby, you also need to be intentional about taking time to rest. A well-rested parent is better for the baby, after all. And as you relax, remind yourself that ticking every box off a new parent to-do listdoesn’t determine whether you’re a good mother or father. You do.
Christina Duron is a writer living in the Chicagoland area. Her passion for writing and mental health help create thought provoking and engaging pieces and hopes to use them to empower mothers and women to embrace the beauty of motherhood.
Pregnancy affects the entire body, including our oral health.
While it may not be the first thing on your mind, maintaining your oral health during pregnancy is very important. There are several different ways that oral health problems can occur during pregnancy. It’s not uncommon for pregnant women to experience bleeding or swollen gums, eroded tooth enamel from vomiting and other unpleasant oral health problems.
Here’s some more information about taking care of your oral health during pregnancy.
When you’re a mommy-in-the-making, you have to make a lot of sacrifices. Namely, your body will suffer through some dramatic changes. While most of them are pretty familiar to pregnant women, one area is often neglected – oral health problems. They are pretty common ailments for pregnant women, and they shouldn’t be ignored. Here are a few issues that might occur during pregnancy and how you can resolve them.
Gums tend to swell
It’s not easy handling the influx of hormones during pregnancy, but they’re an essential part of the process. They influence just about every part of your body, for better or for worse, but it’s mostly leaning towards the worse part.
Whether it’s the mood swings, bladder getting smaller, or onset of weird food cravings, there’s always something that hormones will offset. This happens with our gums as well. You might have noticed that they swell quite a bit more than they did before the pregnancy. This causes them to be easily irritated and damaged, which is something you want to avoid.
Use soft bristle toothbrushes to minimize irritation and keep your gums clean. An advanced cleaning toothpaste is also recommended, as it can help clear plaque without causing gingivitis.
Pregnancy “tumors” appear
Don’t let the name alarm you, these tumors aren’t the malignant kind. Small, raspberry-like growths appear between the teeth and often cause pregnant women to rush to their dentist while worried out of their minds.
The growths aren’t harmful, but they can be irritating. They will disappear after the baby is born, but until then, they will cause mild discomfort while eating. The good news is that they can be removed if necessary with the help of cleaning.
Morning sickness can harm teeth
Morning sickness is a very recognizable sign of pregnancy when it starts, and many women have experienced it. What most women don’t know is that it can be very harmful to tooth health. This is generally true of vomiting, but most vomiting conditions don’t last very long. Morning sickness, especially hyperemesis gravidarum can have a detrimental effect on oral health during pregnancy.
The acidic nature of stomach content erodes tooth enamel and it can cause further damage the longer the exposure. There are some precautions you can take to prevent this harmful effect, though. Your first instinct might be to brush your teeth, but this won’t do any good. Instead, what you should be doing is swishing your mouth with some baking soda in water. This will neutralize the acid and provide some protection for your teeth.
There’s lots of snoring
Another irritating effect of hormonal imbalances during pregnancy is snoring at night. The mucous membranes in the nose tend to swell, causing a disruption of the flow of air. This results in the infamous sounds that will keep your partner awake throughout the night.
While this may only seem like an annoyance, it can also be a telling first sign of various disorders. Most commonly, snoring in pregnancy can be the result of sleep apnea. This might not be an immediate threat to most adults, but pregnant women need to be wary. Less oxygen is bad news for the baby, which is why most dentists will recommend that an acrylic snoring mouth guard is applied at night. This allows air to enter the airways without issue and keeps you well-oxygenated.
On the other hand, snoring could also be a sign of gestational diabetes, another common condition. To make sure it’s kept under control, consult your designated medical professional for screening and tests.
Increased need for calcium
It’s common knowledge that a pregnant woman’s nutritional needs are greater than when she wasn’t with child. The baby takes up a lot of resources as it grows, which is why pregnant women must adjust their diets to compensate for this loss.
While most nutritional needs are met, many women disregard their body’s need for calcium. It’s something that’s essential to bone and tooth health throughout the pregnancy, as well as something that the baby requires as well. Luckily, there are many foods that help increase calcium.
Good dietary sources of calcium include cheese, milk, and yogurt. Increasing intake of these should be more than enough to compensate for the low levels of calcium. If you are unable to increase your intake of calcium through food alone, then consider taking a calcium supplement for better oral health during pregnancy.
Maintaining oral hygiene and health is very important in everyday life. This goes double for pregnancy, as there are many factors that negatively influence the health of our pearly whites during this period. Make sure you apply the safety measures mentioned above for optimal oral health during pregnancy and you’ll be able to deliver your baby without ending up with any problems with your teeth.
Mia Johnson is a writer with a ten-year-long career in journalism, recently writing on behalf of Penrith Dental. She has written extensively about health, fitness, and lifestyle. A native to Melbourne, she now lives in Sydney with her 3 dogs where she spends her days dribbling and taking care of her 900 square feet garden.
Is it even possible to eat while suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum?
The answer is… SORT OF. With the right hyperemesis gravidarum diet, you may be able to maintain enough nutrition to get you through those 9 long months. Persistent nausea and vomiting makes eating 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.
Here are 4 extreme tips for how to eat when you can’t eat due to hyperemesis gravidarum.
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.
Tip #1: Accept thy curse
The first trick in the hyperemesis gravidarum diet is to accept the fact that nothing you eat will stay down. However, you will need to find ways to get nutrients into your body in order for you and your baby to survive, and 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, despite numerous people telling you otherwise.
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 avoid eating altogether, just because you know that it’s going to come back up again. The process of digestion begins as soon as we put food into our mouths. From there, nutrients are absorbed through the esophagus, stomach and intestines. Therefore, if you can keep something down for just a few minutes, then it’s better than nothing at all.
When choosing foods for your hyperemesis gravidarum diet, there are a few important characteristics to look for.
Liquids absorb faster than solids.Electrolyte drinks 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).
Try to go as healthy as possible.Meal replacement drinks, fresh made juices or vegetable soup have all the good stuff without the junk, because you don’t have any time to waste. There are several specific vitamins and minerals worth focusing on.
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 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.
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.
Tip #3: Avoid Water
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 hyperemesis gravidarum. Water can actually induce vomiting when you have an extra sensitive stomach, especially after eating. Hydration is an important part of the hyperemesis gravidarum diet, so you need to find other ways to stay hydrated.
Some plain water alternatives to try:
Natural mineral water.The bubbles can either help or make it worse but there’s only way to find out. 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.Anything frozen will melt slowly which is better than having lots of liquid go straight into your stomach. Aim for fresh fruit ones instead of sugar loaded flavors.
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 a sip of water to take her prenatal vitamins or prescription anti-emetics (I speak from experience).
Tip #4: Tiny Portions
I’m not exaggerating when I say tiny. Small portions are usually recommended for nausea and vomiting. For the hyperemesis gravidarum diet, take what you think of as small and cut it in half. Now cut it in half again, and maybe even once more.
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.
You should 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 small sips of liquid. Keep experimenting with tiny portions in your hyperemesis gravidarum diet. It may seem tedious and pointless but one spoonful of food that stays down is better than an entire meal that comes back up.
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 a hyperemesis gravidarum pregnancy, instead you will spend the entire 9 months simply “trying to eat.”
Have these hyperemesis gravidarum diet tips helped you? Leave a comment down below!
Hyperemesis gravidarum, or HG for short, is a condition that affects less than 3% of pregnant women but can have dreadful side effects.
Due to the fact that it’s so uncommon and hard to pronounce and the majority of people have no idea what it is, it’s often described as “an extreme case of morning sickness.” Unfortunately, this description tends to lead others to believe that it’s no big deal. 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 then 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.
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. You may want to invest in a blood pressure monitor to help you keep track.
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. A gentle massage with some pain relieving essential oils can greatly help.
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). *Take note that sometimes, a pain in the calf can signal something worse*
4. Sore Throat
This should be an obvious one to anyone who has ever thrown up before… It’s not uncommon for women with hyperemesis gravidarum to vomit up to 50 times a day. This can result 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. An anesthetic throat spray is a great alternative to sucking on lozenges.
5. Acid Reflux
So we’ve established that everywhere from the mouth to the stomach 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. If you can manage liquids, there are organic teas that can help with heartburn. If regular antacids aren’t working, then talk to your doctor about a prescription strength one.
And if you weren’t spending enough 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 anti-emetic or eating and drinking a little bit after a few days of not eating or drinking at all. It can be especially difficult to stay hydrated while you’re losing fluids out of both ends. Basically your entire gastrointestinal system gets messed up thanks to hyperemesis gravidarum. You may have to wait it out, or consider using an all-natural remedy.
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. Let’s not forget about how even inserting a tooth brush into the mouth can induce vomiting. Instead, choose a mouthwash that has enamel protection AND is alcohol free and rinse out your mouth after you vomit.
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. Switch to a shampoo with castor oil to help strengthen your hair, and continue to use it postpartum.
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. If you’re battling dehydration on the inside, try to seal in moisture on the outside. Make sure to choose an unscented moisturizer so as not to irritate your ultra-sensitive sense of smell.
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. Sea bands became my best friend and I kept them on for the entire 9 months.
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.
Hyperemesis gravidarum and morning sickness are not the same.
A woman suffering from HG is unable to care for herself and will require help and attention during her pregnancy, she may even be admitted to the hospital for intravenous fluids or tube feeding. 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
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. In addition to a constant state of nausea and uncontrollable vomiting, there are so many other side effects that can leave a pregnant woman out of commission for nearly the entire pregnancy.
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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
For more information and support, visit the HER Foundation [Hyperemesis Education & Research] at 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
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.