The general rule for women with Hyperemesis Gravidarum, or any pregnancy related nausea for that matter is to eat pretty much anything you can. However, if things have escalated to the point where there’s blood in your vomit and your oesophagus has ripped, it may be advisable to follow a soft diet to help the wound to heal.
When I tore mine, I was given the anti-acid omeprazole and told to do whatever I could to avoid being sick and re-opening the wound. Eating soft foods meant that anything that came back up would not be too clunky and cause another blood in vomiting episode, or cause another tear.
Every woman is different, particularly when it comes to HG, but hopefully one of the soft foods below may have a slight appeal and help provide some much needed calories and energy:
- Mash potato (and gravy if you fancy)
A lifeline for Kirstie Allsopp in her HG adventure. I have another two friends who found mash palatable during HG and fortunately it’s widely available ready made if needed. Carrot and swede mash would also work if vegetables are on the ‘yes list’.
When I got to a point where I could eat smoothies (no veg only fruit), I felt that I was really on the road to recovery. My skin started to look so much better and I felt more alive. At first I just started with strawberry and almond milk and slowly I was able to be a bit more creative.
3. Milkshakes or chocolate milk
Chocolate milk was a core food item for me throughout my time with HG. The sweetness provided an energy kick and the texture was soft and soothing on my throat. I’m normally dairy free so opted for an Alpro version, and I have read elsewhere that dairy can be worth avoiding with HG as it can hard to digest for some.
Never have so many honey loops been consumed in such a short space of time. I would recommend leaving them to soak in the milk for a little bit so that they become soft and soggy. The milk (again I opted for a dairy free alternative) will also provide some much needed fluid that can be easier to drink than plain water.
5. Ice lollies (or ice cream)
A must try for any woman with HG. These are a really easy way to get in extra fluid and sugar without filling your stomach with liquid. Most of the mainstream brands I found to taste too artificial, but fortunately there are some more natural products out there that taste a bit more like real food. It’s worth having a look online for more options if nothing floats your boat in-store.
Yoghurts were a lifeline when I first tore my oesophagus. I loved all the different flavours and the sugar gave me a great pick me up. I also found they helped ease the constipation caused by all the meds. At one point I ate about eight yoghurts a day as that’s all that would go down!
The doctor recommended that I just eat soup for a week. This was a nice idea in theory, however most soup is vegetable based and the texture was just not appealing at all at the time. I did try it for a day or say which is when I found bone broth that really helped with my general recovery. But other than a sieved chicken broth soup, the other soup options had zero appeal. But one is definitely better than none!
I found the salt from salt and vinegar crisps to be just delicious when I was ill. I would recommend sucking the crisps in your mouth to make them really soft before you swallow, this will also make them easier to digest.
Well-cooked porridge (and possibly with banana) can be a great source of nutrients if the meal appeals. I found putting a lot of agave syrup in it to make it sweet really helped me keep it down.
10. Soft toast
From several videos of Youtube on HG I learnt that for a lot of women bread becomes one of the first foods they are able to tolerate, or at least toast and butter. With a torn oesophagus, it may be best to find the softest bread you can and remove the crusts so that it is really easy to digest. Similar to the crisps, I would recommend sucking the bread in your mouth to help it go down more smoothly.