How to Stay Healthy -- and Actually Eat -- When You Have Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG)

iStock_000021236644_ExtraSmall (1).jpgHyperemesis Gravidarum (HG) is a severe condition that causes pregnant people to vomit and/or feel nauseous throughout the day for 3-4 months or more, and sometimes throughout their entire pregnancy. Those who have experienced HG will tell you, "It is NOT the same as 'morning sickness.'" Challenges for those with HG are significant, including not being able to continue working, keeping up with everyday responsibilities, and perhaps most notably (and distressing) is being unable to maintain healthy nutrition or simply eat anything. Most who have HG will be specially treated for the condition by their doctor and may even visit the hospital several times for IV fluids and nutrition.  

While not all "tricks" to stay hydrated and fed during pregnancy with HG will work, it helps to have a full arsenal of ideas ready to use or try when you can. Through trial and error, you will find your path -- though it will be tough -- and see the end of HG on the other side of pregnancy. In the meantime, take a look at our tips for staying fed and hydrated during your pregnancy if you have HG.

Give in to cravings as soon as possible. Food aversions are fierce for those with HG, so when a craving comes around, give into it as soon as you can. 

Try it cold or frozen. Cold or frozen foods or drinks have less pungent smell and flavor. Consider eating frozen foods and drinking water or liquids when they are ice cold. 

Sip your drinks. Continual sipping instead of big gulps can help keep your liquids down better.

Eat on a schedule. An empty stomach is also a trigger for nausea and vomiting. Try to take in food on a frequent, regular basis -- set a reminder on your phone if it helps.

Eat high calorie, high protein foods when you can. Determine when during the day you're most able to eat and then choose foods that are high in energy and protein, as well as essential vitamins and nutrients. 

Eat in small amounts. Too much food can quickly overwhelm your system and trigger nausea or vomiting.

Think bland, dry, sugary, fizzy. Bland foods, dry foods, and sugary or fizzy drinks or foods often work well (or are at least more tolerated) for those with HG.

Try shakes and smoothies. Sometimes, drinking your food is less triggering than eating it. Plus, you can pack in extra nutrition. 

Learn your nausea/vomiting triggers. And try to avoid them at all costs!


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