HG Motherhood & Pregnancy Hacks

***This post contains pictures of food which could be a trigger to some Hyperemesis Gravidarum patients..***

When you are in the throes of Hyperemesis, it's hard to take care of yourself, much less older children. 

Throw away the guilt

When you are a Hyperemesis Gravidarum patient, life is not going to be as it was. You're not going to do all the same things you did as a mother before becoming pregnant. You may have to give up or adapt things like home cooked meals, fun play dates outside, family excursions, and so on. This is a hard thing to let go, but remember, right now it's about survival. Also to remember, as my mom says, "Having babies is a family affair." Everyone's situation is different, but what "survival" could look like for you is a mixture of children stepping up, husband filling in, and friends and extended family lending a hand.

Although this woman, is not an HG patient, she is a mom, and this seemed just too fitting not to share. 

You just "do"

I remember when I was pregnant with my first son and I was talking to my mom (who had 6 HG pregnancies) on the phone, and she told me that this was going to be my easiest pregnancy. I was bemused, I had no idea what she meant by that. When I was pregnant with my second baby, it became crystal clear. I remember fearfully asking her how she did it, how did she take care of her older children while pregnant herself and not always having people around to lend a hand. She said, "Eden, you just 'do.'" Now, I know that by that she meant that "just do," we create a balance of letting less important things go, and stepping up with inhuman efforts to continue to care for our children even when we can scarcely function ourselves.

Asking for help

I had never really been in a situation where I couldn't do things until I had Hyperemesis Gravidarum. Or at least, that the most inconsequential things took a mountain of effort. It may be that in order for your family to function...that you may need to do a bit of swallowing your own pride to accept help. And that is okay, because being sick is not your fault, and it doesn't make you any less of a mother. This is a life lesson on a platter to help you grow as a person, and for those closest to you to have that experience as well.

Is there anything I can do....? 

You may have had people hearing about your condition and asking, "Is there anything I can do to help?" They may not in actuality plan on following through, they may be offering out of social courtesy, or they may genuinely want to help your situation, but they're offering, so be prepared! Keep a list, maybe it's a mental one or one in or your phone, but if someone offers their help be prepared to say, "Why yes, I really could use some help cleaning my kitchen" or, "I would love some company and have a talk with someone, is there a time you can come by this week?" or, "My child would love a playdate, could they come play with your kids?" Let them know when would work for you and ask what would work for them, establish a time then if possible. If family is all far away but really want to help, perhaps suggest "play packages" with exciting new coloring books, dollar store toys, etc. for your children if applicable. They could also order and have food delivered to your door. Above all else, if you're up for it, Facetiming and phone calls can help to keep the loneliness at bay. These are just suggestions to provoke thoughts of what may be the best help to you in your situation. But all of this needs to be done with a lot of gratitude so it doesn't seem like you're being a "leech" or taking advantage of their kindness. Send them a thank you card, make sure to be gracious and grateful, and keep a mental note to do a kindness in return when you're back on your feet.

Family and Friends

Again, remember that, "having babies is a family affair," meaning that when mom is down on her back with HG, it's okay for the other members of the family to step up and fill in. Believe it or not, but our superhero mothers are not invincible. *gasp!*  I know, the secret is out! And this pertains to extended family as well. Good friends that you trust to help with your precious children are also a resource, and if you play it right, everyone can "win" from the situation with a play date! If you are worried about taking advantage of your friends, first consider if this is a matter of swallowing your own pride and expressing gratitude. If you still want to do something in return, offer to get them dinner. And you don't even need to cook it if you're unable to, send them a pizza and prepackaged salad! Order food and have it delivered! Funds are almost always an issue with growing families and accompanying HG medical bills, so you may need to get creative if you feel like you need to do this. But again, there's going to need to be a little bit of swallowing your own pride here, and it's okay to have an "IOU" between friends. Again, express gratitude, don't take advantage of others, and try and return the favor once you're back on your feet. For more a suggestive checklist of possible needs, follow this link here. I especially would recommend looking at this if you are here in effort to support a friend or loved one, it's a good checklist of ways you can help.

Employ day care/babysitter

If you don't know someone that can come and watch/take your kids, you can look into day cares in the area or even hiring a babysitter. One website that was recommended to me by another HG mom was www.care.com We didn't use it because I found out about it after my babies were born, so I can't tell you my experience. However, it wouldn't have been an option anyway, because we were on a tight budget.

Hire someone to clean

You can do an internet search to find services available near you. Again, care.com is a  great resource to be found here.

When there isn't someone around to lend a hand...

Sometimes, all you have are your own devices. Perhaps you've moved and haven't gotten to know people yet in your new area, maybe you're surrounded by family, but everyone has full time jobs or you can't trust them with your children. Maybe you are receiving help, but even then, it's rare that you would have access to it 24/7, and as we know, mothers don't ever get to "clock out."

So I'll admit, I probably don't have all the experience that you're looking for. When I was pregnant with my first, the closest family lived 7 hours away. With my second, my first was 6 months old (they are 15 months apart) and my closest family was an hour away; since we had just moved, I didn't really have people to reach out to. My dear sister was wonderful and helped how she could, but she was in school full time and had a job, she couldn't dote on me hand and foot. I survived by doing bare minimum on housework and spending alot of time laying down next to my son while he played. Later on, my Mom drove up to meet us and took my precious son to be with her for a week and half while I was in and out of the ER and ended up being hospitalized for 4 days. I also had kind souls bring dinner several times, one came and clean my apartment, and one came to help me pack up whilst moving. Each of them will be forever remembered in my heart for coming in my hour of dire need. To compensate for my lack of experience, I have scoured the internet looking for moms that have gone through being bedridden with children and compiled some of their ideas while adding my own. There are also ideas that apply to all age groups, since mothers could have older children home during the summer break, or at least after school. Remember these are all only a list of suggestions, what "survival" looks like is going to change from family to family. 

There's nothing wrong with TV

You are in survival mode. You just need to do what you can! If your kids will tolerate watching the TV, there are different "educational" shows you can offer. My favorites are "Daniel Tiger" and "Signing Time." I am an ASL interpreter in training, so that explains the latter choice: I want my kids to learn this beautiful language as well. Daniel Tiger is great because it helps the children with development and learning how to manage life while teaching us as parents how to help them navigate different milestones. For older age groups, try and find age appropriate stimulating shows, in my experience (growing up babysitter and sibling as well as mother) having a show that doesn't just turn your brain to mush helps with tantrums. But if "mush" is all that's available, mush it is!!

Library Resources

There are lots of great things at many public libraries. If unable to handle a short trip yourself, you can send a friend or your spouse to pick up different items. Of course, they have books, but you can also explore books on tape for your or your children, different "storytimes" that perhaps a friend could pick up your child and take with them to, games, toys, movies, shows, etc. that could be a great asset to your family. And the best part is, is that most libraries have a drive by drop off when turning things in to make your life easier.

Activities at Home

Since I don't have personal experience entertaining older children while managing Hyperemesis Gravidarum, I scoured the internet and find some ideas to share from those that have in addition to the few that I did use. :)

Coloring books- These can be great for all ages. With my then 9 month old, I used this often until his brother was born at 15 months. If children are small, putting them in a high chair and perhaps tearing a page out and taping it to the tray could be a good idea. I like crayons because that makes my life easier, cuts down on more...artistic surprises than I bargain for.

Play dough- You can either buy these at the store, or you can make your own at home! To see one example of a fun recipe, go here.

Blanket Forts- My family has great memories of our blanket forts. We had an awesome basement with lots of open spaces, and we made forts  that would take up entire rooms! Blanket forts can be as simple or as complicated as you like, and I found a really cute idea online for making PVC blanket forts. This could especially be great if you don't really have alot of space or for older children. To see this tutorial, go to this link here.

Also an idea, especially if space is limited, use the kitchen table! Grab some blankets and books or pillows to create a "drape" effect, and I'm sure that this will occupy even very small little ones because of the fun they'll have playing peek a boo with themselves/you.

Games- Obviously this suggestion is going to be different for different ages. My little sister was obsessed with  "Go Fish" and "Old Maid" when she was 3-4 years old. Check out your local library to see if they offer games to check out. See if you can find them at secondhand stores near you, they usually have them very cheap. And, this is something else that someone could help you with, being willing to let you borrow some games for a few weeks. You can lay on the floor or the couch and have the game on a table with the kids surrounding you.

"Fishing"- This could be a fun thing for you to create as a family and for the kids to play with after. Go to the tutorial here. If sewing skills are nill to none, you could substitute with paper fish and glue paper clips or magnets to the fish. If you want them to last, try using posterboard or cardboard even.

Snacks- This aspect of your everyday life has alot of potential. This is something that people can do to help you, it's always great to have healthy snacks on hand for your kids that you don't have to prepare. It could also be a "crafty" thing that they could do at the kitchen table while you lay down on the couch to supervise. Things like string cheese, fresh fruit and vegetables, lunchables, crackers, pretzels, etc. are all ideas that are nutritious but potentially have minimal mess while presenting minimal smells that could trigger vomiting. (Knock on wood, children always have a way of showing they can go beyond limits and expectations!) Now, don't mistake me, I'm not telling you you have to make "pinteresty" snacks. I would never tell an HG patient to do that. What I am saying is that this is something that could be prepared by a helper or by you, and then you can leave children to create and consume their art. I tried to pick ideas that could be minimal messes and smells, but obviously not all of them may not fit in the category for  you and your children. (Bananas are banned from my house when I'm pregnant, instant trigger!)

***Some of these ideas include skewers or toothpicks. If this isn't age appropriate for all of your children and you can't supervise from the couch, cut off the pointy ends to make them blunt and that can help possible causalities. ;)

"Ants on a Log" aka celery, peanut butter and raisins

Apple slices can be left by a helper in lemon juice so that you don't need to cut them yourself. Add toothpicks and grapes, voila!
Again, use lemon juice. Raisins, peanut butter (although this smell may be a trigger, if it is skip it.) and pretzels.
Celery Stalk and body, veggie dip white filling, cucumber, and I'm guessing banana eyeballs?

Strawberries, pineapple, blueberries, and cheese. The cheese can just be in chunks, or you can give your kids slices and they can use cookie cutter shapes to make their own before they make the skewers.

Banana sandwiches. Who knew?

Kiwis, bananas, and mandarin oranges! 

Caterpillar grape skewers with chocolate chips and cream cheese dollops(guessing there) for the eyeballs. I saw another example with star sprinkles that may be less messy (just lick it slightly wet and stick stars on). 
Watermelon, Kiwi, halved grapes, nuts, strawberries, and shredded mint leaves or lettuce(?)

 I find that this form of watermelon makes for being easier to eat (smaller mess), all ages!

This is probably best geared towards older children. You don't have to use grapes, pretty much any fruit or vegetable I can think of would work too, but the spherical ones would probably yield the best results. Ideas include blueberries, tomatoes, broccoli, strawberries, apple slices, etc. (Watch out for the ones that stain!) 

Simple cracker sandwiches! Just give them the cut up ingredients and let them assort their own edible creations. 

All in all there are many different ideas you can use to make snack time fun. But that doesn't have to be an everyday event, and all of the foods mentioned can be great just by themselves. If you want to make it fun without getting crafty, try using dips for the snacks, like peanut butter, caramel, ranch dressing, and so on.

How do I keep up on the things I normally do?

Well...the short answer is, you don't. Again, you have to remember to just do the best you can, and this is again another instance where other family members can step it up to help survival. Here are a few ideas. 


The bane of my existence. It is never done! And just adding one child to the mix automatically at least triples your laundry, and that goes up exponentially so with each child. Here's a few tips. 
* Try to start a habit of starting a load everyday (if you need to.) But if you don't have a washer and dryer in your home, please don't make a trip to the laundromat every day! If you do, just starting a load and switching it to the dryer can help.
* If your kids are old enough, have them fold the laundry while watching a movie or show. (My mom did this, genius!) Spouse can also be enlisted. ;) And of course yourself if you're able.
* If none of the above are feasible for you, don't sweat it. It's better to have clean clothes in a heap in a bedroom corner than it is to have that same heap of dirty laundry molding away in your hampers or laundry room. If you're already at that point and are trying to recover, leave a full load of laundry in your washer overnight with 2 cups of vinegar added to the hottest water setting you have. Allow the washer to progress until it starts agitating the water to mix the vinegar in, and then stop it until morning. In the morning let the washer continue its course again, and then run it through this time with soap. Also works great with towels! 
* If your only option is a laundromat, this is an excellent way that someone can help you if they offer! If this isn't an option either, I would pick a day that you go, children in tow if applicable and have lots of things to entertain them. Bring a pillow for yourself, and find a wagon or some sort of set of wheels so that you can transport laundry without having to exert yourself. 

Seriously, right!?!

Grocery Shopping

This was perhaps one of the most taxing things for me to do whilst pregnant. This also would be a great thing to delegate to someone willing to help. Keep a paper list on the fridge or one in your phone so that you can keep track of things you need. This will also help with budgeting. If it's not possible for someone else to go for you, here are some things to remember.

*Pace yourself. Figure out how much you can handle, it may be better for one person to do it all in one go, but for another it's better to do more than one trip to the store with a shorter duration.

* If you need to, use the electric scooters if available. No shame in it, you need food! I've only done with once, and it was because my leg was out of commission and I needed medication to treat it. But while I was riding I kept thinking, "WHY have I not done this yet while pregnant?!" Sure it was hard to hold both of my kids on my lap, but it may be a resource I use again in the future.

* While I was pregnant with my second, I would use the Sam's Club in store pickup as much as possible. I love this! It's great because my husband would pick it up on his way home from work. You do need a membership to use this, and you can sometimes find coupons to make membership cheaper. The only downside that I see is that my family is still small enough that we don't always need to buy in bulk, and our budget can't allow that we only shop at Sam's Club. Go here for their website! Also a plus, they will ship some items, like diapers, baby wipes, disinfectant wipes, coffee, etc to your home for free!

*Which brings us to this option! This one is my favorite, and I hope to live in an area that has a Walmart that does this someday soon! Not all Walmart stores participate, but they will allow you to shop online (same as Sam's but cheaper) and they will load your car for you!!! Oh my goodness, to completely avoid the cacophony of shopping with children!! This will be great for budgeting as well.  Go here to go to the website to learn more and see if there is a site near you. And though I haven't done it yet myself, when I investigated into it an employee told me that if you order $35 or more of online non perishable groceries, they will ship it to your home, regardless if you have participating Walmart grocery stores nearby or not.Think of all the time you can save by using the "free 2 day shipping" option! So even if they don't have a participating store nearby, hopefully this will cut down shopping time and you can just get non perishables in person.

*Amazon Prime Pantry is something that I have only recently learned about. And this could potentially be a good option too. The only thing is that they don't do perishables, but anything to cut down on your shopping time helps, right? And you can find alot of deals that are cheaper than what you'd find in the store! Again, membership is needed. Go here for their website to learn more.
And since there's alot of ins and outs with amazon, here is a video that I found that really helps us out! 


If you're not in the USA, I'm sorry if these stores aren't near you. When I looked into it, Amazon Prime pantry worked in many different countries! I hope this helps, perhaps they will offer this same type of service in a store near you.

Preparing Meals

First off, again, shake off the guilt. It's okay if you were a fantastic cook before pregnancy and now you feel like the best you can muster is macaroni and cheese. You are making cooking creations still, just this time it's your bun in the oven!;)  Here are some ideas and resources that will help make your life easier.

The Beauty of Slow Cookers

People, let me tell you, slow cookers or crock pots are clearly from heaven. I can honestly and truly say my life is so much better because of this wondrous gift to mankind. When you think of crock pots, you may only have stews and soups come to mind, but let me tell you, there is so much more it has to offer! Whether it's pasta, pizza, casseroles, or...whatever! There are more options. I'm currently writing a recipe book and meal budget planner for HG patients (stay tuned!!!!) so hopefully this will be available to you soon. I love slow cookers because some of the simplest dishes can taste so delicious. The meat is always so tender, the flavors are perfection, and it's hot when you want it. These aspects may not be so appealing to the HG patients though. What you will love is that some recipes can just take 10 min to make, and then you can stash that meal in a garage, outside, in a room on the other side of your apartment or home, etc. Essentially, you dump ingredients in and you don't have to look at it or smell it until dinner time. And even then, it's hot and ready so if you're up for it you can try nibbling and if not the rest of the family can take it from there.

Instant Pots

I have met some women that love instant pots as much I love slow cookers. I can't say I share that yet but my parents are getting us one for Christmas, so perhaps I'll have a lovely recipe book for you soon as well! In the meantime, try and research for some recipes online.

Freezer Meals

Freezer meals are great! The only drawbacks are 1. The freezer space that they take up and 2. You have to smell it while it's cooking, and if it's particularly aromatic, there isn't a safe nook for you to escape to. But these specifics may not be a problem for others. If you are looking for help, this is something that someone could make and bring for you.


As far as this is concerned, just do what you can. Think small, tiny, baby steps and only doing what is necessary. If at all possible, paying someone to come clean or having a volunteer is ideal if the rest of the family isn't able to compensate because of time or age. However, consider this an option. Even when my son was 18 months, I started him helping to unload the dishwasher, and he does the utensils all by himself.

Disinfectant Wipes 

Girls, these things will change your life! And, they come with free shipping from Sam's Club! Keeping these next to the toilet is a lifesaver when there is high traffic bathrooms or potty training children. Let's be real, who wants to stick their head in a gross toilet!? They'll also come to your rescue with cleaning. Again, we're just doing the bare essentials. Wipe off the countertops with them, floors, you name it, these are one of my favorite household secrets!

Again, putting in a word for laundry here because I don't know about you, but I feel like in my normal non pregnancy days, it consumes my life! Just throw the loads in, don't worry about folding, just do what you can. Procrastinating is going to lead to mildewy, stinky, moldy laundry that may not be able to be rescued.

The Most Important Thing....

Remember that you are a Mother to your developing baby, and that having a baby is a family affair! Do the best you can, and don't expect more of yourself than that. Don't feel guilty. You've got this! 



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