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Journey into the world of hyperemesis gravidarum...
24Oct 13

Ginger capsule anyone?

As anyone who has suffered with pregnancy sickness to any degree at all knows, there are various products on the market which claim to relieve the symptoms of “morning sickness”. I'd like to review just a few of these products as I've tried them all – I just need to be careful I don't get sued...
 
Acupressure wrist bands – I have worn these continuously for a total of 27 months of my life and I have permanent scars on my wrists from the pressure damage they caused. I first bought a pair in the hope they might relieve my symptoms. Ha ha ha, as if! Various hard core medications weren't helping, as if applying a little pressure on my wrists would cure me! For those not actually bed bound they can serve as a beacon for co-workers to spot the pregnancy early as you're presumably not travel sick whilst sat at your desk and for the first few days they are quite uncomfortable. So why did I carry on wearing them? Because they do have one benefit – they shut people up who ask if you've tried them and show that you are at least "trying to help yourself" to those ignoramus's who think you just need to get some fresh air and a positive mental attitude.
 
Strange flavoured ice lolly's which are meant to help – Well these actually made me spew up! So I'm fairly confident in my assertion that they don't work, at least not for everyone. The flavours really are strange! A far better investment would be an ice-lolly mould which you can make your own, pleasant flavoured, ice lollies in.
 
Aromatherapy wrist role on type things – I must admit I bought one of these things and the smell was quite pleasant. I can't say it helped with the nausea or vomiting but it was one of the only smells I could tolerate and if inhaled right from the bottle helped to drown our other horrid smells – one important tip though – discard after pregnancy! I found mine in a draw the other day and took a sniff, major flashback!!!
 
Ginger capsules – Okay so there is a body of evidence that says taking ginger extract in capsule form 1000mg per day may be helpful for nausea and vomiting in pregnancy. In reality, as if throwing up wasn't bad enough, ginger extract is actually quite burny on the way back out. It also repeats like a bitch! If you're just nauseous though there's no harm in trying – well, we assume there is no harm in trying, I'm not actually aware of any well conducted studies which have assessed the safety of ginger in pregnancy!
 
Hypnotherapy– For hypnotherapy to cure pregnancy sickness or hyperemesis gravidarum they would need to have a psychological cause. I'm sure you all know my opinion on that! I did however try a bit of hypnotherapy to help me cope with emetic episodes, which by spew number #1,500 were pretty traumatic. The theory was much like hypnobirthing – that I would self hypnotise to get me through the painful and unpleasant vomit sessions. I explained this clearly to the chap who came to my house and took our money. But he was DETERMINED that the cause was something from my past and he could cure me and couldn't understand why when asking me when it started I couldn't go further back than the start of week 6 in my first pregnancy – ummm.... when it started!!! So that was a fairly massive fail, I just felt angry, upset and ripped off after!
 
The problem with all of these “cures” is that they ultimately undermine the condition. If your sickness is so mild that one of these might help then really is it worth spending the money on? It's likely to pass by week twelve anyway and is probably only for a short time each day.
 
If your sickness is so severe that you are thinking about splashing out on these things and subjecting yourself to the discomfort of tight bands round your wrist, disgusting flavours, potential side effects from horse sized capsules or enduring an hour long session with a hippy, then they probably won't work anyway. And if you are reaching the stage of not being able to eat or drink and are pretty much bed bound then these "remedies" are outright dangerous if they are delaying women seeking proper medical attention.
 
The thing that upsets me about these products is they imply there is a cure for a condition which there isn't and they also imply that women who take medication in pregnancy don't really need to because they could use these alternatives instead. The idea that any woman wantsto take medication in early pregnancy is insulting and ignorant – believe me, if these things actually worked no one would resort to medication but the reality is before we had modern anti-emetics and IV drips women simply died – the idea that they wouldn't have if they had known to chow down on some ginger or press firmly on their wrists is a joke... Just not a very funny one.

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Comments

Thanks for this post.
Lisa Rusczyk, 3rd November 2013

You're very welcome! So many women feel like these things "ought" to help and they should persevere with them... I hope to give women a voice and to let them know that just because everyone swears by something doesn't mean it actually works!
Spewing Mummy, 6th November 2013

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About Me

I am mother of three beautiful children and wife to a fantastic and supportive husband. I am a nurse, a farmer and a trustee for Pregnancy Sickness Support. I love working hard and spending time with my kids.

About this blog

Information and support for pregnancy sickness and hyperemesis gravidarum. Views are my own and do not represent those of any other organisation. Information provided here should not be a substitute for medical advice. My aim is to raise awareness and encourage sufferers to know they are not alone.

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