I was asked to participate in the #GiveASmile campaign, sponsored by Colgate and Walgreens. Although I have been compensated, all opinions are my own.
Anyone who has read my blog for a bit knows I’ve dealt with Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG) for all four of my pregnancies. For those of you who don’t know what this delightful ordeal means, I throw up from around 6 weeks until delivery. With Bella and Kaden, I was actually hospitalized a few times because of dehydration and not being able to stop vomiting. Both times it sent me into pre-term labor that was thankfully held off. As I get further along, it’s triggered often by no clear reason. It’s wreaked havoc on my body in so many ways over the years.
When I realized I was pregnant this time, my first thought was how on earth I’d survive HG without meds.
Four round of this has taught me a few tricks, with and without meds, that help at least take the edge off some days. One thing no one discusses much about HG is the physical toll it takes on your body systems – not just your ability to eat, but often the lack of nutrients, the hardship on your body, and the dental issues it can cause.
Here are 5 tips to help when you have HG:
- Eat what, and when, you can. Smoothies, frozen grapes, plain pasta, infused water. Avoid spices that might make your stomach upset. Ask your doctor about chewable prenatal vitamins.
- Eat small meals. I always scoffed at this advice until my current pregnancy. I eat several small meals a day – sometimes only a piece of bread with avocado and cheese. It’s miserable to be too full, have heartburn, and need to throw up. It helps keep my stomach from ever being truly empty and then trying to eat while being sick.
- Wear loose-fitting clothing. I have these maternity pants I love, but they dig into my lower abdomen so much. I’m so uncomfortable during the day, the fit actually makes me sicker.
- Take your meds on schedule. Don’t skip a dose because you feel ok at the moment. It was hard for me to even get the next dose down once I started feeling sick later on, and that can end you up in the hospital with an IV.
- Take care of your teeth. Throwing up is hard on your entire mouth/throat/stomach but especially your teeth. Brush or at least rinse with mouthwash immediately after. Colgate Total® Daily Repair can help reverse early teeth and gum issues, remineralizing weakened enamel and help to prevent gingivitis, and potentially avoid costly dental bills in the future. Think about how hard it has to be on your teeth if you’re throwing up several times (or more) a day.
When you pack your hospital bag, take the items you need to get through the day. Small snacks, medicine (even to show your nurses what you’re using so they can get it for you), anything that calms your stomach like essential oils, gum, mints. I threw in my Colgate Total if we have a longer stay than planned.
I have been lucky enough to have moderate HG with my pregnancies, but I’ve heard from many women over the years who spent weeks and months hospitalized because of it. Many of the things I listed above as options I’ve been told before, but was honestly too miserable to try. I simply wanted not to feel sick all the time. There are different choices out there now, so talk to your doctor (maybe even before pregnancy) to see what you both can come up with in the following months. Find a great dentist to ask about preventive care before, during, and after your pregnancy. Using Colgate Total toothpaste is a simple way to keep your teeth protected and maintained no matter what your pregnancy throws at you.
Want to know more about Hyperemesis Gravidarum? HelpHer.org is devoted to the research and awareness of this condition. You can find Colgate Total Daily Repair toothpaste at your local Walgreens for more dental protection.