For Friends and Family

How can I help?
Often, it is not a question of whether or not patients with Hyperemesis Gravidarum have people around them that care about them and their well-being; including their lives in the spectrum of HG. However, because it is such a rare condition, it is hard for people to relate and support someone going through something they've never even heard of, and when something commonly relateable: morning sickness, doesn't have much crossover in how to support an HG patient. I can attest that good people can say insensitive things, both things I've said and things that have been said to me in my severe HG pregnancies. Sometimes it becomes hard to remember that people are trying to comfort you in a way that you can relate, even if it comes across as insulting like "Oh come on, you can't be that sick.", or trivializing, "When I was pregnant, I was always nauseated, I know just how you feel!" To start off, one of the biggest ways you can support your loved one is:
1. Realizing that Hyperemesis Gravidarum is not morning sickness.
If this is a surprise to you, you're not the first nor the last. It's important to realize that remedies such as small meals, crackers, sips of fluid, etc. rarely helps HG patients. And what tends to work in most cases is for women to eat things that "sound good," so don't give them the side eye if they're eating something strange or unhealthy. Cravings become almost instinctual, and often the only thing that is going to stay down is whatever their body is telling them they need.

Realizing that HG is not morning sickness has an emotional and psycological component as well. When they are buffed by society in demeaning what they're going through, having a

10. Being sick is a sign of a healthy pregnancy
9. Don't be such a drama queen, perhaps you should see a psychiatrist
8. Take a shower and then take a walk outside
7. You should feel better by now, it's been 3 months
6. Eat lots of small meals daily
5. Think positive, it's mind over matter
4. Try seabands
3. You should try ginger
2. Eat some crackers

and the #1 thing not to say to an HG woman is...

Oh, I was sick when I was pregnant too!



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