Hyperemesis gravidarum (HG) presents challenges in everyday life, but during holidays, it can be especially difficult to cope with your symptoms. Planning ahead according to your specific needs and self-advocating will help you to cope with sickness during family events and holidays. The effects of HG can look different in each individual, so here are some strategies you can use to make any things easier.
Your loved ones may not fully understand the challenges HG presents and that can be a difficult situation to navigate if your needs aren’t taken seriously. Letting others know this is medically necessary, not a preference, is important. Ultimately, be confident saying, “no.” Know your limits and know that it’s okay to stay home and not socialize.
Visiting Family and Friends
- Let your hosts know ahead of time that you have a difficult time around smells and food and not to take it personally.
- If you know you can’t handle an evening of socializing, plan for 1-2 hours instead.
- If possible, take two cars so you can leave whenever you need.
- Bring something to help with smells: maybe scented Febreeze or an oil diffuser.
- Bring your own food if you have something that will stay down.
- Ask someone to prepare safe food if you feel you can sit with everyone for a bit.
- Know your food triggers and share them with the hosts, so you can avoid them.
Hosting Family and Friends
- Hire someone to clean for you before, and make sure your family members know they need to leave the kitchen clean or help your partner.
- Ask others to enjoy time with your children, if you have any.
- Let everyone know you may have to excuse yourself as food smells can trigger you.
- Plan ahead for avoiding as many triggers as possible and share some you know will be a challenge with those around.
- Plan for a few recovery days afterward.
- Talk to your provider ahead of time to have extra medications ready to go if needed.
- Serotonin meds are dose dependent so taking a higher dose may work better. They can reduce sensory sensitivity, so it may help you be triggered less.
- Try out meds before the event and know the side-effects, so you can be prepared.
Share with Family and Friends
- Share HER’s HG facts and stats (how long HG lasts, genetic connection) to counter negative comments. You are not overreacting or being dramatic, and HG is not in your head or attitude.
- Show family and friends your HG Care app results.
- Refer everyone to HER site for information about HG, both before and after the event.
- Share “When Your Loved One Has HG” brochure.
- Participate in HG research.
- Become an advocate.
- Make a gift to the HER Foundation.
- Share your story and support other HG moms.
- Become a HER Foundation volunteer.
- Blog about HG and show support for HER.
- Share resources with local health professionals and hospitals.
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