How Can I Help My Friend?
Friends can be very important supporters for mothers with HG. Since you may also be a mom, you know how challenging pregnancy can be even without HG. The help that is most beneficial for these mom's is consistent and reliable support. You are likely the best person to offer emotional support, which mom's often say is more helpful than cleaning her house.
One of the most frequent disappointments we hear is that friends are very supportive initially, but then become distant over time. Women with HG are often reluctant to ask for help, and feel terribly guilty needing so much without offering anything in return. Life can become very isolating and lonely, especially for women with prolonged HG. Depression often results. Try to be there as long as she needs, even when she cannot give in return. Your friendship will likely grow stronger as a result.
Ways you can support her through this difficult time:
- Offer as much help as you reasonably can
for childcare, house cleaning, meal preparation, etc.
her to keep a list of tasks and errands she needs completed
and find others to
come by and help with one or two.
- Try to avoid getting too tired or burned out. You need
to care for yourself as well. She will also
sense your frustration and feel guilty for burdening you.
- If possible, call other friends and family that are
close to her and educate them on her illness. Ask how they would
like to help, such as calling her weekly.
- Encourage her to be as active as she can, however,
understand she may need to rest often. Fatigue and motion worsen
- Be there to let her cry or vent her frustrations. Offer
understanding and suggestions to help her cope. Know that
her emotions are real. They are either positively
or negatively influenced by her illness, the support she
receives, and her genetic sensitivity to the hormonal changes
of pregnancy. Read more in our Mother's
- Try to get her out of the house for something fun,
even for a short time, as often as she tolerates. She may feel
encouraged after a movie, or brief trip to a baby store
- Think of something periodically to add enjoyment to
her life, such as flowers, books on decorating the baby's
room, or catalogs with baby gear.
- HG can leave her very
depressed and miserable. Help her stay focused on the
baby that will soon bring joy to her life.
- If she
is ill during the holidays,
ways to include her in the festivities. Ask friends
to come over and decorate her house. Don't forget to
back and clean up.
- If she is not improving, considering abortion, or you
feel her care is inadequate, quickly coordinate with the
father to find
another health professional and/or e-mail
- Encourage her to read this site and contact our Volunteers for emotional support.
- Bring food by occasionally or run out to fulfill a
craving she has.
- Help her eliminate triggers of her vomiting/nausea in her environment.
- Try to help her identify foods she can eat and prepare them for her if time allows.Often preparing food increases nausea and creates an aversion.
- Ask her what you can do to help her most. She may not
tell you otherwise.
- Know that HG can last well past the first trimester,
possibly until delivery. Try to find a network of supporters
that can help her until she has recovered. This may not
be until a few months postpartum.
- Educate yourself on signs of depression both during
pregnancy and postpartum. She
is at greater risk for depression if her symptoms are
severe and/or last for more than half of her pregnancy.
Make sure she seeks help if needed.
Updated on: Apr. 18, 2013