15 Ways to Survive Hyperemesis Gravidarum

Pregnant woman drinks coffee on couchHyperemesis Gravidarum is nausea and vomiting on steroids. It's awful — just ask anyone who's had it. It’s good that the condition is recognized with a day of its own. In honor of this special day, here are 15 things you can do about normal and abnormal nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. And how to tell the difference. 

15 Coping Strategies for Nausea and Vomiting During Pregnancy

  1. Avoid strong odors in general (coffee, spices, food cooking, chemicals, perfumes); get to know your personal triggers so that you can avoid them.
  2. Avoid motion. If you must be in a car, ride in the front seat, crack the window, and look at the horizon.
  3. Avoid visual triggers can include flashy lights, flickering TV or computer screens, car lights at night.
  4. Avoid heat and humidity – get out the window fans or turn on the air conditioner.
  5. Avoid over-exertion and fatigue – slow it down, exercise moderately, take naps.
  6. Avoid spicy foods and fatty foods.
  7. Eat 5 or 6 small meals a day. Eat food high in protein and carbs.
  8. Drink clear and carbonated fluids, cold is better than warm. Find what agrees with you.
  9. Brush your teeth after meals, chew mint gum or suck on mints.
  10. Eat ginger. Try ginger ale, non-alcoholic ginger beer, gingerbread (my personal favorite), candied ginger, ginger lollipops, ginger tea.
  11. Surround yourself with smells you like. Fresh or artificial mint and citrus (orange, lemon, and lime) can be appealing.
  12. Talk to your healthcare provider about using antihistamines or antinausea medications. Diclegis (called Diclectin in Canada) is approved for N&V during pregnancy. Benadryl is over-the-counter, Phenergan and others are available through your doctor.
  13. Acupressure wristbands, acupuncture treatments, and hypnosis work for some women.
  14. Take your vitamins. Vitamin B6 can reduce nausea. If you think your prenatal vitamin is making the N&V worse, try taking them at night, try taking one that does not contain iron, or speak to your health care provider about stopping your vitamins until the N&V resolves. But you must replace it with 400 to 800 mcg of folic acid through the first 14 weeks to help avoid neural tube defects.
  15. Get professional help. IV fluids can be given in your doctor’s office or the ER; tube feedings may be needed in severe cases. Hospitalization may be warranted.