What should I eat if I have hyperemesis gravidarum?

Answered by Willian Lymon

When it comes to managing hyperemesis gravidarum (HG), it is important to find foods that are gentle on the stomach and easy to tolerate. While everyone’s experience with HG may be different, there are some general guidelines that can help you navigate your diet during this challenging time.

1. Bland Foods: Opt for foods that are mild in flavor and easy on the stomach. Examples include plain crackers, toast, rice, boiled potatoes, and steamed vegetables. These foods are less likely to trigger nausea or vomiting.

2. Dry Foods: Dry foods, such as dry toast or crackers, can be easier to tolerate than moist or greasy foods. The dry texture may help absorb excess stomach acid and reduce nausea.

3. Small, Frequent Meals: Instead of eating large meals, try eating smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day. This can help prevent your stomach from becoming too full, which may trigger vomiting. Aim for six to eight small meals or snacks spread out evenly throughout the day.

4. Protein-rich Foods: Including protein in your diet can help stabilize blood sugar levels and keep you feeling fuller for longer. Opt for lean sources of protein like chicken, turkey, fish, tofu, or legumes. If meat is difficult to tolerate, consider plant-based protein options like quinoa or lentils.

5. Shakes and Smoothies: Sometimes, drinking your food is less triggering than eating it. Consider preparing shakes or smoothies with ingredients like bananas, yogurt, almond milk, and protein powder. These can be packed with nutrients and are often easier to consume when solid foods are challenging.

6. Hydration: It is crucial to stay hydrated, especially when dealing with excessive vomiting. Sip on clear liquids like water, herbal teas, or electrolyte drinks throughout the day. You can also try sucking on ice chips or frozen fruit popsicles to help stay hydrated.

7. Avoid Trigger Foods: Each person’s triggers may vary, but it can be helpful to identify and avoid foods or smells that worsen your symptoms. Keep a food diary to track what you eat and how it affects you, so you can identify any patterns or triggers.

8. Ginger and Peppermint: Some women find relief from nausea by consuming ginger or peppermint. These can be taken in various forms like ginger tea, ginger candies, or peppermint gum. However, it’s important to note that ginger and peppermint may not be suitable for everyone, so consult with your healthcare provider before trying them.

9. Work with a Healthcare Professional: Hyperemesis gravidarum can be a severe condition, and it’s crucial to work closely with your healthcare provider to ensure you are getting the necessary nutrients and support. They may recommend additional supplements or medications to help manage your symptoms and ensure the health of both you and your baby.

Remember, everyone’s experience with hyperemesis gravidarum is unique, and what works for one person may not work for another. It’s essential to listen to your body, experiment with different foods, and find what works best for you. Don’t hesitate to reach out to your healthcare provider or a registered dietitian for personalized guidance and support during this challenging time.