Updated: Jan 23
Hyperemesis Gravidarum, or horrible pregnancy nausea, can turn the beautiful news of a pregnancy into an incredibly difficult time for the pregnant woman (and her family). I suffered from HG during most of my pregnancy, and it made my pregnancy extremely tough and lonely. Today, I’ll help you support your friend with HG, and will share with you what to do or say (and what to avoid).
Be there for her, 1000%
Your friend is going through an extremely difficult period of her life. She’s growing a baby inside, but at the same time she’s feeling horrible, she’s throwing up - often multiple times a day - and everyday she might get weaker and weaker.
Yes, the thought will cross her mind: “I don’t think I can do this much longer”.
A pregnancy is “only” nine months and that’s not a very long period compared to a whole life, BUT nine months, or even one month or two days, of nausea is horrific. So your friend will probably think, at some point, or at many points, that she can’t do it anymore.
Listen to her when she shares this with you. She’s allowed to feel this way, and you’re gonna listen and nod, and let her open up about these difficult feelings. Let her cry, hold her close, ask her what she needs. Is it crap food that she actually feels like eating? Go get it for her.
Does she not wanna eat at all? Let her and try to help her drink some water.
Does she need a doctor? Go with her (sitting in a doctor’ waiting room, hoping you won’t throw up, is the worst. Distract her, be with her). Read a book for her, because watching tv will probably make her nauseous but she could use the distraction.
Give her a hug when she comes back from the bathroom, with red eyes from throwing up. Don’t tell her to go outside to get some fresh air if she doesn’t feel like it, but be there for her. She needs you, even when she thinks it’s better to be nauseous alone. She needs the distraction, she needs you. She needs you. She needs you.
What not to say
“BUT YOU’RE PREGNANT! TRY TO FOCUS ON GRATITUDE!”
Your friend is grateful, of course, but she’s also extremely sick. When you’re so sick, there’s very little headspace left to actually feel grateful. All your friend is trying to do, is survive the day, so please be kind.
“HAVE YOU TRIED GINGER?”
Forget ginger. Yes, this might help when you’re a little nauseous, but it does absolutely nothing for most people with HG.
Please, dear friend, be there for her and don’t let her become lonely.