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SIL in hospital with hyperemesis and we are all feeling helpless...any advice?

(15 Posts)
fustyarse Sat 11-Jun-11 17:51:37

SIL is pregnant with twins after IVF and has been in hospital for nearly 4 weeks now, she's only 9 weeks. I saw her today and she is in a terrible state; can't eat or drink a thing, spitting up saliva constantly, looks like she's lost a lot of weight, totally weak and despondant.

She had this in her first pregnancy which was 14 years ago(!) and I think she must've thought she'd be able to cope with iit better if it happened again, but apparently she's exactly the same now as she was then.

She's on various drips to feed and hydrate her but isn't there anything else she could be getting? When can she expect to feel better? I'm worried about her mental health too, this is really getting her down. Her dd is missing her and everyone in the family has been affected.

anyone with any experience or advice?

PrincessJenga Sat 11-Jun-11 19:56:12

First off, you sound lovely and I bet you're already doing loads to help. I know nothing about Hyperemesis, but from my own experience of a couple of periods bored out of my mind in hospital, can I suggest the following...

- Make sure she has access to facebook/Twitter/mumsnet through a phone/laptop. Keeping in touch with friends kept me sane.

- Collect as many trashy magazines as you can lay your hands on (ask friends and family for old ones; they don't need to be up to date) and take them in for her. Sounds like she'll be too poorly to concentrate on novels, but a quick flick through magazines might be manageable

- Encourage her to follow some kind of routine. Even if it is just xxx time 'wake up, wash, cup of tea', xxx time 'watch wife swap usa', splitting the day into chunks makes it more bearable

- If possible, split your visits between you. I got tired very easily and found it really difficult to concentrate if two or three people visited at a time, plus (have I mentioned this before?) I was so BORED that two or three short visits helped split up the day much more than one longer visit with lots of visitors. just don't turn up when wife swap is on

I hope she feels better soon.

ALovelyBunchOfCoconuts Sat 11-Jun-11 22:14:40

As a sufferer of HG (although not as severely as your poor SIL) she will probably just want to rest and rest and rest some more.

The hospital are probably keeping her hydrated with drips and antiemetics so there is nothing you can do to make her 'feel' any better. It is just a case of being there for her and supporting her, holding her hair back and doing nice things like brushing her hair for her. She sounds in a terrible state. Is she allowed to take showers/baths on the ward she is on? Perhaps some soft towels or her favourite pillow.

HG can cause so many problems, it makes everything ten times more sensitive, so sounds are louder smells and tastes are stronger.

Make sure people don't suggest old fashioned tips to keep sickness at bay ie ginger nuts.

There is a hyperemesis support thread here on the pregnancy board. There are loads of us there, past and present sufferers that can offer you loads of advice.

And please reassure her that the baby will not be suffering from her weight loss as ong as the hospital can keep her hydrated the baby will flourish.

You sound like a lovely SIL smile

Remember, this will pass eventually smile

ALovelyBunchOfCoconuts Sat 11-Jun-11 22:16:16

hyperemesis support thread

KenDoddsDadsDog Sat 11-Jun-11 22:22:42

I was hospitalised with HG a couple of times. I was generally fine in hospital as they gave me a lovely drip and a stemetil injection in my bum! I couldn't eat, drink, read or watch much tv. Even adverts used to make me throw up.
Advice is really to ensure she has enough time to rest. If she needs to go to bed early or miss social occasions then so be it.
Seek out unscented toiletries, washing powder, cleaning stuff if you can (simple and boots washing stuff is great) . I couldn't even wash my own hair in scented shampoo. Cannot smell Kerastase even two years later without gagging!!
Lukewarm drinks such as flat lemonade will help to hydrate even if she can only keep down one sip.
You sound like a lovely sister and support is so important.

diddygirl Sat 11-Jun-11 23:53:30

I echo what Coconuts said. There is a fantastic article all about HG written by MOH on the hyperemesis thread - very useful for family members.

There prob isn't that much you can do to help your SIL but I bet she would take more comfort from knowing her DD and husband are being supported and are ok.

Hope she starts to pick up soon x

theonlyhb2 Sun 12-Jun-11 09:07:50

sending yr SIL sympathy, its bloody horrible, but to be in hospital for so long must be soul destroying.

just do as much as you can for her round the house so when she does get home she feels she can carry on resting, and just visit as much as possible. you can feel so alone with it x

QueenofDreams Sun 12-Jun-11 09:17:08

Can I agree with the poster who said not to give traditional tips for morning sickness. After a couple of weeks I was ready to slap anyone who said 'ginger biscuits' or 'dry toast' to me.

She just needs to rest, I found that I felt instantly worse if I had to be physically active. Unfortunately there's not much you can do really.

nannyl Sun 12-Jun-11 09:22:43

echo what everyone else has said.

Im pg with my 1st (now 27 weeks) and have had HG.
Have been in hospital but thankfully not for as long as your poor SIL.

I cannot stress how ill and awful I felt with it. I honestly thought I would die. So accept she probably feels the same. I had 7 weeks which were truley horrendous (though at least for most of it i was at home, eating and drinking something sometimes)
For me i wanted peace / quiet and darkness. Moving made it a lot worse for me. (so OH had to sleep in the spare room as him turning over would send me into vomitting mode.... and i found it very very hard to stop once it started)

Agree just help ensure the house is running smoothly, and when she is well enough to go home dont expect her to lift a finger. Just have a bed with easy access to a toilet as close as possible.

I started to feel marginally better at about 14 weeks, and quite a lot better still at 16 weeks. Felt like me again at about 18 / 20 weeks. (but STILL being sick and still dependant on my anti-sick tablets)

I hope she feels better soon. and when she gets out of hospital dont expect any more of her than lieing in bed and maybe watching some TV.

fustyarse Tue 14-Jun-11 07:49:53

thanks all...sorry,I totally forgot to come back to the thread!

she's in such a bad way that she doesn't want to read, watch tv...I suggested I downloaded some audiobooks for her but she didn't want that either

We're just really hoing that this ease up soon and she can have some semblance of a 'normal' pregnancy

I'm concerned for her mental state as much as anything else...she just seems so down. Can't expect anything else, I suppose. She's having another scan this week to check the babies are alright, I'm guessing they must be if she's still so sick

I will have a look at that support thread, and maybe print some out to show to MIL (who is understandly worried sick)

Thanks all so much!

nannyl Tue 14-Jun-11 08:23:21

I dont think i was nearly as ill with my HG as your sister, but there were times when i didnt want to / couldnt do anything... I just wanted to lie there in the dark and not move a muscle for hours....

didnt want TV / internet / music / books / to talk to anyone or do anything.

It was more that doing anything at all (except lieing completely still) made me much worse / sicker... even trying to talk (respond to OH) made me feel alot worse at times.

I also felt rather depressed (at the time) about how i could ever possible let myself get pregnant again.... as how could i cope like this with a baby / toddler to look after? (and before getting pg i was dead set on having 4!) Have got over that now, and i will have more children, and we will just have to manage if i have HG again... but it was horrible to have to change my whole "life plan"...

WiiUnfit Tue 14-Jun-11 09:34:07

Ah bless, fusty you sound lovely. smile

I haven't had the misfortune of HG but spent a few days in hospital before & after DS was born and went stir crazy so I wanted to suggest - what about taking her an iPod / MP3 player in with some of her favourite music? She may be able to listen to it, if nothing else than to drown out the noise from the ward so she may be able to get a little bit of sleep?

ALovelyBunchOfCoconuts Tue 14-Jun-11 10:31:28

HG is one of those things that so few people are educated in.

Believe me, music, books and TV will be the last thing she wants. A set of earplugs would probably be helpful if the ward is noisy.

A definitely just try and keep her home clean and ready for her return. the early weeks are the worst up to about week 11. After that the anti sickness stuff should kick in. She will no doubt still be ill and still be weak but she should feel less zombie like. The support thread has a fantastic piece of info written by MOH. I recommend everyone should read it.

This illness needs to be more publicised.

QueenofDreams Tue 14-Jun-11 14:57:20

coconuts I totally agree about awareness of HG. I had so many comments along the lines of 'you're not ill, you're only pregnant' or 'it's called morning sickness, you can't possily be sick all day'. And trying to get support in my first prenancy was awful, I was more clued up in second pregnancy so I knew what to ask for

nannyl Tue 14-Jun-11 15:23:10

agree coconuts / queen of dreams

step SIL (who gave birth in January) told me her sickness was better if she went to work and had something else to think of...

"NO!!!!! I Had Hg and could barely get down stairs.... I could NOT work.... (which im sure was why Dr signed me off hmm"

I have morning sickness now, the HG-ness has gone (so long as keep on my tablets) and the 2 are just not comparable IMO

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