Do you spend more time in the bathroom than anywhere else? Do you feel sick not just in the morning, but ALL day? Do you vomit at least three times each day? Then, you my dear, probably have hyperemesis gravidarum.
Hyperemesis gravidarum is a severe form of morning sickness. And, if you have hyperemesis gravidarum, the usual tricks like having something to eat before getting out of bed probably won’t work for you. Getting adequate nutrition in can be a real concern. Here are my 4 top nutrition tips for women suffering with hyperemesis gravidarum.
Hyperemesis gravidarum occurs in approximately 3% of pregnancies. Because it’s so uncommon, you may have found that when you complain of nausea and vomiting to most people, they just give you trite antidotes like eating outside in the fresh air… which is all very well, but if you truly have hyperemesis gravidarum, you probably haven’t kept a meal down in days, if not weeks.
Vomiting that much can be really scary, especially when you know how important good nutrition is for your baby. So, here’s what I want you to do:
Step 1: Swap to oral rehydration drinks (such as a sports drink)
Now, I usually warn against these during pregnancy as they’re high in sugar and salt, but if you have hyperemesis gravidarum you actually need the sugar and salt. Try to sip on them regularly throughout the day.
Step 2: Eat what you can, even if you vomit
I’d rather that you ate something and vomited, than eating nothing at all. Now, I get that this is difficult, but if you’re going to vomit anyway, I’d rather that you vomited food than bile, and even if you vomit it straight back up, you will absorb a tiny bit. Don’t worry about typical eating ‘rules’. Eat what you can, when you can. If that means eating dry breakfast cereal at 9pm at night, then go for it.
Step 3: Try a supplement drink
It can often be easier to keep down liquids than solids. Prenatal multivitamins can be incredibly difficult to keep down when you have Hyperemesis gravidarum. So, swap to a prenatal supplement drink or if you can’t find one, ask your health care professional about liquid supplements.
Step 4: Book a consultation with a prenatal dietitian
Most dietitians, including me, offer virtual consultations these days. These are great for women who find it difficult to leave the house. We can provide you with personalised information to help you get the nutrition that you and your baby need, even though you’re vomiting.
And please, if you know someone who is experiencing hyperemesis gravidarum please forward them this blog. If you have any further questions, please feel free to comment below or contact me on my social media.
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