Free shipping on all orders over $75🎄

Comparing morning sickness to Hyperemesis Gravidarum is like comparing a paper cut on your finger to cutting your arm off.

Yes, they are both a form of trauma (they are both a form of sickness), yes, they are both on the same limb (they both occur in pregnancy) but with a paper cut, like morning sickness, you can push through and get on with your day. When you cut your arm off, as with Hyperemesis Gravidarum, if you don’t get appropriate medical attention, there is a very real possibility you could die.

It is believed Hyperemesis Gravidarum affects around 2% of pregnancies. Although it is believed the number may be higher however due to lack of diagnosis of this condition, a lot of the time these women who are suffering from a life threatening condition are often passed over.

I have been unfortunate enough to suffer from Hyperemesis Gravidarum and while there are so many people who mean well when they offer advice, it only makes things worse. This may sound harsh to some, but when you are suffering like this, you want recognition that your illness is real and to not be dismissed.

So I asked the women in my Hyperemesis support group what they thought to be the worst things people could say to them and here are the top 7 things you shouldn’t say to someone with Hyperemesis Gravidarum.

1 – “Have you tried ginger/crackers/sea bands/herbal supplements/acupuncture….”

If it is even remotely associated with assisting with any form of nausea or vomiting – I’ve tried it. If the strongest medications aren’t working then ginger most certainly won’t work for me either.

2 – “You should just eat lots of small meals”

If I could eat, and keep things down, then I’d be over the moon. But I can’t. I can’t even stand to swallow my own saliva let alone a cracker or sandwich. I understand eating often helps with morning sickness however again, this is different.

3 – “Can’t you just forget about it? You know, mind over matter.”

There’s about as much chance of me being able to use positive thinking to cure Hyperemesis as there is for a surgeon to perform surgery with only positive thinking as anaesthesia.

4 – “Oh, I had that too – I used to just throw up and get on with my day.”

Hyperemesis Gravidarum is a rare condition that affects approximately 2% of pregnancies. It usually involves losing more than 5% of your body weight, a result of vomiting in excess of 20 times a day (some women vomit more than 100 times a day). Most women with Hyperemesis are unable to keep even fluids down and become so severely dehydrated they are hospitalised. Only vomiting once or twice is what we call a ‘fluffy’ day.

5 – “Do you think all that medication is necessary?”

If I want any hope at not becoming severely dehydrated and malnourished then yes, yes it is. If I want to actually survive this pregnancy then yes, yes it is. Hyperemesis Gravidarum is a severe, life threatening condition and the medication I am on allows me to give my baby and myself the best chance at being healthy as possible. This condition is so severe that the anti-emetic used is the same one reserved for Chemotherapy patients.

6 – “Did you hear that xyz medication was linked with birth defects/pregnancy complications/early labour/any other pregnancy related problem…”

There are so many factors in pregnancy that can cause complications, of course with any medication, there is a slight possibility that it could cause an adverse affect. However, without said medication, it is guaranteed that I will become severely dehydrated and malnourished. While your concern is understood, the medication I am on is between my doctor and I.

7 – “Just remember, if you’re sick it means the baby is healthy.”

If only this were true. The degree to which I am sick is no reflection on the health of my baby. With my second pregnancy I had severe Hyperemesis and still miscarried. The Hyperemesis is from how my body reacts to the pregnancy hormone, almost like an allergic reaction. There’s also a lot of women who have no nausea at all and a perfectly healthy pregnancy… oh how we envy those women.

The main point here is that we don’t want to hear that you had a blissful pregnancy, we don’t want to hear that drinking ginger ale and eating dry crackers worked for you and we certainly don’t want to hear any advice about the amount of medications we are on. We want support, we want validation and we want to know that you care for us.

If you ever come across someone with Hyperemesis Gravidarum, sit and listen to them, offer to do the dishes and babysit their kids. Do whatever you can to be supportive – it really is a devastating condition.

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our new book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Krystal Kleidon

My name is Krystal and I am a first time mum. I'm a wife, a daughter, a sister and a friend (sometimes neglectful) and a paramedic. I live in a small country town in Queensland Australia and am the first Australian contributor to Her View From Home – something I am very proud and excited about. I love my Australian culture and lifestyle and you’ll have to promise to cut me a little slack when you see me writing things like ‘mum’ instead of ‘mom’. I'm the creator and editor at Project Hot Mess, a site dedicated to empowering women and encouraging them to embrace who they are in their own perfect way. Even if that means running late with a cold cup of coffee in hand and not brushing your hair for 3 days (that's what dry shampoo is for right..?). 

Children Don’t Get Easier, We Just Get Stronger

In: Inspiration, Mental Health, Motherhood
Children Don't Get Easier, We Just Get Stronger

“This too shall pass.” As mothers, we cling to these words as we desperately hope to make it past whichever parenting stage currently holds us in its clutches. In the thick of newborn motherhood, through night wakings, constant nursing and finding our place in an unfamiliar world, we long for a future filled with more sleep and less crying. We can’t imagine any child or time being more difficult than right now. Then, a toddler bursts forth, a tornado of energy destroying everything in his wake. We hold our breath as he tests every possible limit and every inch of...

Keep Reading

The One Thing Young Kids Need to Know About Sex

In: Health, Kids, Motherhood
The One Thing Young Kids Need to Know About Sex

I currently have four kids in elementary school from kindergarten to fifth grade. My kids have not experienced any sexual abuse (to my knowledge); we have been very careful about any potential porn exposure; we closely monitor their involvement with pop culture through music, movies, books, and even commercials. While we might seem to err on the side of overly sheltering them, what we have also done is be very open with our kids about sex. We have told them the truth when they’ve asked questions. And have they asked some questions! Here’s a sampling of what I’ve been asked...

Keep Reading

I Don’t Have Anxiety—But My Husband Does

In: Health, Mental Health, Relationships
I Don't Have Anxiety—But My Husband Does

I don’t have anxiety but my husband does.  We should have realized this years ago but we missed it. The realization came suddenly and as soon as it popped in my mind, it came out of my mouth. “You have anxiety.” I said. He looked at me trying to determine if I was joking or serious. “I am serious, you have anxiety.” His eyes left mine and found his phone. He picked it up and said, “Hey Siri, give me the definition of anxiety.” As the virtual assistant read off the definition she may as well have been reading my man’s personality...

Keep Reading

This is What Life is Like For a Mom Who Wears Hearing Aids

In: Health, Journal, Motherhood
This is What Life is Like For a Mom Who Wears Hearing Aids

I’ll never forget the time I was standing on a dock in the middle of a lake, casually draining my long hair of water, soaking in the summer heat surrounding me. Little did I know, my right breast had escaped the clutches of my bikini top; it must have popped out when I dove into the cool lake. But because I wasn’t wearing my hearing aids—I can’t wear those babies in the water—I couldn’t hear those back on land who were calling at me to shove it back in. So, there I stood, clueless of the fact that I was...

Keep Reading

Welcome to Periods in Your 30s and 40s

In: Health, Humor
Welcome to Periods in Your 30s and 40s

Do you remember that day in the fifth grade when the boys and girls were separated for the “Sexuality and Development” talk? Some nice old lady health teacher came into your room and gave you some straight talk about how the next few years were going to go for you. It was awkward and shocking and you knew your childhood would never be the same. When you hit your mid-thirties, there should be some kind of Part Two to that conversation. All the ladies need to be rounded up, lead into a dimly lit classroom that smells vaguely of pencil...

Keep Reading

How Can You Love an Abusive Man? I Did—Until I Decided to Choose Myself.

In: Health, Journal, Relationships
How Can You Love an Abusive Man? I Did—Until I Decided to Choose Myself.

He walked over to the table I was sitting at with some friends and casually, yet confidently, pulled up a chair. His voice was deep and he had a luring accent that immediately caught my attention. His distinctly cut jawline along his perfectly trimmed beard made him seem older, I thought, than the age I’d soon learn he was. Our paths had crossed before like two ships in the night, forbidding us from ever quite meeting as we did that day . . . eye to eye, energy to energy He chatted with me and our mutual friends for a...

Keep Reading

I’m Not Sure How Long I’ll Need an Antidepressant to Feel Normal…and That’s OK

In: Cancer, Child Loss, Grief, Mental Health
I'm Not Sure How Long I'll Need an Antidepressant to Feel Normal...and That's OK

I tried to wean off of Zoloft and couldn’t. And that’s OK. I had never really been aware of the world of antidepressants. My life has been relatively uneventful—with the normal ups and downs that most of us go through. I knew people on medication for depression but never understood. How can you be THAT sad that you can’t just be positive and make the best of your circumstances? How can someone be THAT unhappy ALL the time to need medication? I didn’t get it. I felt bad for people going through it. Then my 2-year-old was diagnosed with Stage...

Keep Reading

To the Mom With the Anxious Soul

In: Journal, Mental Health, Motherhood
To the Mom With the Anxious Soul

I see you, mama. You’re the one sitting alone at the family party. You’re the one hovering a little too close to your sweet babies at the park. You’re the one standing in the bathroom at work for just a moment of quiet. Your thoughts are swirling constantly, faster and more fearful that a “regular” mama. You find yourself spaced out at times, and hyper aware at others. You’ve heard the words “just relax” and “everything is fine” more times than you care to count. Sometimes you wish you could make everyone understand why you are the way you are...

Keep Reading

I Am My Child’s Advocate—and Other Valuable Lessons a Stay in the PICU Taught Me

In: Baby, Child, Health
I Am My Child's Advocate—and Other Valuable Lessons a Stay in the PICU Taught Me

What started out to be a normal Thursday ended with a race to the children’s ER with my six-month-old. I was terrified. My adrenaline was pumping. My baby was struggling to breathe. The day before, he had been diagnosed with RSV. A simple cold to most healthy toddlers and adults turned out to be life threatening to my infant.   Once we were admitted, I knew this was serious. I knew he was in danger. I could sense the concern and urgency in the doctor’s voice. I knew the gravity of that wing of the hospital he was being wheeled...

Keep Reading

To the Young Warriors Fighting Cancer, You Are Superheroes

In: Cancer, Child, Child Loss, Health
To the Young Warriors Fighting Cancer, You Are Superheroes

Most people never get to meet their heroes. I have, in fact—I have met many heroes. These heroes didn’t set out for greatness; they fell victim to a terrible disease and faced it with courage, might and bravery like I have never seen before. And when we talk about this type of battle, there is no such thing as losing. whether the battle ended in death, life, or debility, each of these heroes defeated. My heroes are the innocent children who battle cancer. I high-fived, hugged, wept over, laughed and played with my heroes for 10 years as a nurse. And you better believe I...

Keep Reading