Coping Strategies

While it is important to do all you can to care for a mother with hyperemesis (HG), it is also important that you take care of yourself. You may not be sick, but it is likely that you feel tired and frustrated due to the extra responsibilities you have taken on while she is ill. Whatever you do, avoid saying or doing things that make her feel guilty for requiring rest, incompetent, or lazy. She may already feel like a burden and needs to know she is loved. She cannot make HG go away and stress worsens her symptoms and the baby’s uterine environment. Your support is crucial.

Following is a list of strategies to help you cope with the stress of HG:

  • Find as much help as you can. For childcare, house cleaning, cooking, finances, etc.
  • Arrange for someone to be with her for a few hours each week while you exercise or do something you enjoy.
  • Ask a friend to prepare food, provide emotional support, or care for the kids.
  • Talk with a counselor and/or a close friend regarding your stress and feelings.
  • Educate yourself on HG. So you know if she getting the best care she needs.
  • Read mothers' experiences with HG to help you understand what she is going through.
  • Try to get enough rest so you have the energy and emotional reserves to care for your family. Make a schedule with moments for me-time, like 15 minutes every 2 hours, go to bed on time (earlier than usual).
  • Remind yourself this is a real illness, and she cannot control it. She needs support and love to get through it.
  • Keep in mind that this is temporary and will end. Your extra effort are an investment in the health of the mother and baby.

Support for Family and Friends

  • HG Support for Mothers & Families
    Other resources for supporting mothers and families, as well as stories from others experiencing HG.
  • E-mail HER
    Feel free to e-mail us at with your tips on how to cope with hyperemesis.

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