Give a warm welcome to Rachel of Efficient Mama who’s sharing about supporting women with severe morning sickness or hyperemisis gravidarum. Since I’ve had HG for two out of three pregnancies, I say YES to all of Rachel’s advice! – Haley
I’ve gone through two pregnancies now that had pretty severe morning sickness, the first being the worst. When I tell you it was severe, I’m talking puking 15 times a day for five months and all day/night nausea. My second pregnancy only resulted in throwing up in the mornings, but I still had all day nausea.
The reality is that Mom being out of commission for 12+ weeks can really put a lot of strain on the family. Dad has to pick up the slack and he’s usually already working a full-time job.
If you are one of the lucky few who knows about the pregnancy early on or if she’s experiencing extended morning sickness, here are a few ways to help her out.
1. Bring the Family Food
You can ask her if something sounds good and by all means if she mentions something, bring that for dinner. But chances are, if you mention the word “food” she might just go running for the toilet.
Everyone else in the family needs to eat though, so if nothing else bring the kids and Dad something for dinner. It’ll ease her mind knowing that at least her family is being taken care of while she’s feeling yucky.
2. Invite Her Over and Don’t Clean
When Mom’s suffering from morning sickness, the house totally falls apart. Even if a woman isn’t suffering from extreme morning sickness, the pure exhaustion of growing a baby those first few months (and last) make is hard to do much other than survive.
Invite her over and don’t clean before she gets there. Let her know that her house isn’t the only one that gets messy. I remember a friend on mine inviting me over and not cleaning and it made me feel SO much better. It was one of the best gifts she could have given me.
3. Understand When She Says “No”
If you’ve never suffered from severe morning sickness yourself, it can get frustrating to constantly have a friend tell you they don’t want to go anywhere or do anything.
Just know that she still wants to do those things, but she’s just too tired or sick right now. Her energy levels are probably super low since she’s struggling to keep food down and the nausea isn’t so fun either.
Try not to get upset with her if she can’t spend a lot of time with you right now. It’s just a season and it will pass.
4. Offer to Watch the Kids
A nap can sometimes make the world look a little brighter to a Mom who can’t even leave the bathroom floor. If you have the chance, offer to watch the kids for the afternoon so she can rest, or at least puke without a toddler trying to splash in the toilet.
5. Offer to Grab Something at the Store
Grocery store runs are the bane of a severe morning sickness sufferer. If they can even get into the store without throwing up, the thought of smelling all those different foods can make her want to throw up just thinking about it.
Offer to grab a couple things for her while you’re out. It’ll make her day and her husband’s since he’s probably been doing all the grocery store runs lately.
6. Don’t Suggest Ginger
I know you are just trying to help, really I do. But unless you’ve gone through severe morning sickness yourself, don’t suggest ginger or any other typical morning sickness relief advice.
I can almost guarantee you that she’s tried all of those and many more. Ginger, saltines and eating more protein just don’t cut it for this type of thing.
7. Get Her a Newborn Outfit
Next time you’re browsing through Target and you see a super cute outfit, buy it for her. Even if she already has other kids and lots of clothes, it’s a little glimpse of the end and a reminder of just how worth every minute of all this suffering will be for her.
8. Tell Her She’s a Great Mom
It really stinks when you’re feeling so sick for such a long time, especially when you can’t do the things you want with your kids. Make sure to tell her she’s doing a great job. I promise you that she needs to hear it right now.
Have you suffered from severe morning sickness? Do you have anything you would add to the list?
Rachel is a semi-crunchy, Catholic Momma of two and the author of “Minimize the Mess: A Mother’s Guide to Simplifying Your Home“. She strives to live simply and intentionally while attempting to feed her family a whole foods diet on a budget. You can read more over at her blog, Efficient Momma.