Hyperemesis Gravidarum Survival Tips

Here are some hyperemesis gravidarum survival tips, some things I’ve gotten into the habit of doing that are helping me get by.

Dental Hygiene – This is a biggie for me.  I haven’t been able to brush my teeth in ages, but at the same time, the horrifying taste and smell emanating from my filthy mouth exacerbate the nausea.  Here are a few things I’ve done that help:

  • Switch to a toddler-sized toothbrush.  I picked one with a brush head sized for a 2 year old.  It makes a huge difference.  The smaller head reduces the gag factor significantly.  It also has a picture of Eeyore on it which often suits my mood.
  • Rinse with baking soda and water. I actually do this periodically throughout the day.  It seems to cut right through that horrible layer that builds up in my mouth.  This is probably my favorite survival method.  I love this.  Many thanks to Ashli for this one!  My mom got it out of her book.
  • Ditch the toothpaste. Forget the toothpaste.  The strong flavor was killer for me.  Instead I wet my tiny toothbrush and then shake a little baking soda on it.  Much easier on the gag reflex.

Personal Hygiene –  I hate being dirty.  But keeping up with personal hygiene with HG is so difficult.  Here are a couple of things I do to make it easier:

  • Put a cheapo kid’s step-stool in the shower. This would only work well if you’ve got a hand-held shower-head.  If you don’t have one, get one.  Then you can sit on the cheap, plastic step-stool and shower seated.  Bonus: If you have to puke, you can just lean forward and not worry about sitting in it!  The step-stool (I got mine at Walmart a couple years ago) is like a $3 version of the expensive shower chair.
  • Switch deodorant and soap. I use Dove unscented for sensitive skin and Aveeno unscented bar soap now.  Way better than the Secret Cucumber scent.  Just because it’s unscented doesn’t mean it doesn’t have a smell.  What works for me might not work for you.  But if the soap makes you puke (and ours did), switch it out and get it the hell out of the house.

Dealing with Smells – Every HGer knows that the smells are one of the biggest parts of the HG hell.  Here are a couple of things that I found that slice through the smells and temporarily deaden the nose:

  • Alcohol wipes. Please don’t go around huffing rubbing alcohol.  But if you do happen to need a wipe to change out your pump site or whatever medical activity you happen to be doing, take a whiff of that alcohol wipe!  Sweet relief!
  • Apple Cider Vinegar.  I got this tip yesterday from you guys!  This is the bomb.  If I put a little on a paper towel, and breathe through that, I can open the fridge!  How awesome is that  Like the alcohol, it seems to deaden my nose and neutralize odors.  Probably safer than huffing alcohol, too.

I would love to hear from you guys!  What little things helped you survive HG?