Most pregnant women have to endure a few jokes about morning sickness, but hyperemesis is no laughing matter. It is morning sickness taken to the Nth degree. When you’re in the throes of this condition, your entire life can revolve around the availability of the bathroom. But it’s important to know what to eat if you have hyperemesis, because the constant nausea and vomiting can leave you seriously depleted.
As the American Pregnancy Association (APA) explained, hyperemesis gravidarum is a condition that includes severe nausea and vomiting. It may result in weight loss and electrolyte disturbance. The APA further said that it may be caused by the rise in hormone levels that occurs during early pregnancy, although the specific cause is still unknown. In some cases, women get so depleted that they require hospitalization to receive intravenous (IV) fluids and medicine, as the Mayo Clinic notes. This serious condition can be disruptive to your overall health and well-being.
So to keep yourself out of harm’s way, it’s important to keep eating during this time, even when all food feels revolting. Fortunately, there are some foods that are pretty easy to stomach no matter how crummy you feel. By snacking on these foods, you can keep your system tanked up without risking further stomach upset.
1. The 'Baby Shake'
Liquids are often easier to keep down, so when your stomach is rebelling, the blender may be your best friend. The HER Foundation's recipe for a "Baby Shake," which calls for healthy ingredients such as frozen bananas, nutritional yeast, and yogurt , can help you get the calories you need to keep going. It's a customizable recipe, too, as you can leave out any ingredients that make you queasy, and add in anything you like.
Ginger is one of the most old-school remedies for an upset stomach. WebMD recommends women who suffer from hyperemesis may benefit from ginger in the form of tea, candies, or even supplements. The pleasant flavor may make it a little more easy to take.
3. Mashed Potatoes
Sometimes bland is best. In the Daily Mail, television presenter and hyperemesis sufferer Kirstie Allsopp recommended mashed potatoes as one food she could manage. If you don't feel like cooking while struggling with extreme morning sickness (and who would?), then ready-made mashed potatoes are fine.
4. Dry Toast
Again, this is the time to embrace the blandest foods imaginable. The National Health Services recommends eating some dry toast first thing in the morning if you're most nauseous when you wake up. It may help settle your stomach.
If you want something a little sweet, fruit may be a good call. As the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists said, bland foods such as bananas are pretty easy to digest. And if chewing is too hard, you can throw them in a smoothie.
Few meals are less inspiring than plain rice, but hey: at least it probably won't make you sicker. And as Annemarie Aburrow RD said in Diet in Pregnancy, brown rice also contains B6, which helps your body store energy from food. Because if there's one thing you need now, it's more energy.
Rounding out the list of bland foods: applesauce. The American Osteopathic Association said that women dealing with hyperemesis may benefit from eating applesauce because it's healthy and easy to digest. Overall, opting for simple, stomach-friendly foods may make this time more manageable.