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Pregnant with emetophobia - help!

(20 Posts)
Para28 Wed 05-Mar-14 11:43:31

Hi all,

I'm now 16 weeks with my first, and have had a rough few weeks. I've felt nauseous since ~6 weeks and never actually vomited but dry heaved often, and, having had a sickness phobia for as long as I remember, I panicked and cried every time it happened. Now, I think the morning sickness is wearing off but I've had indigestion/acid reflux which also makes me retch....I've heard that this just gets worse throughout pregnancy in women and I am utterly miserable at the prospect of ~20 more weeks of this. I really clung on to the thought of feeling better in second trimester. Any other emetophobes out there, and if so, how are you coping?

Dazedconfused Wed 05-Mar-14 12:36:09

I have a really bad dislike of vomit (although who doesn't?) but not a full blown phobia. I am actually worse dealing with other people being sick than myself because it sets me off. sorry no help really but I can hand hold and sympathise.

my sister has the phobia and it is hard work for her.

good luck smile smile

MrsMonkeyBear Wed 05-Mar-14 14:17:45

Hi Para.
I'm 8 weeks on Friday, so just starting out on the wild ride that is morning sickness and emetophobia!! My nausea is bringing on my panic attacks more and more frequent. My CBT therapy is helping a little, it's taught me that it's not the end of the world if I have to vomit because of baby. It's still a struggle tho, as long as I take my meds, eat frequently and sleep enough, then I feel a lot better. Talk it through with GP/DH/DP or any one you can. My hubby has been so supportive and wonderful at the moment, I think I would be 100 times worse without him.

Beanypip Wed 05-Mar-14 14:24:53

ive been petrified of being sick for years maybe not quite as bad as a phobia but I found it not so bad in pregnancy because for me it was a different kind of sick. so I was sick then felt better straight away. ive had bad hg thoughout both pregnancys and even though it feels like it wont it does get better. I had a bug at 13 weeks and I was a mess because the sickness was different to morning sickness. if u get what im trying to say. I found that if I sat and thought about it I was worse it was much better if I just cracked on. if I was sick in public so be it. I was always better out of the house. hope it eases for u soon x

Dumbledoresgirl Wed 05-Mar-14 14:30:35

Go to the GP and get yourself some Gaviscon on prescription (so free!) I am an emetophobe and have had 4 babies. I was lucky not to get morning sickness, but I had acid reflux and know what that is like. Gaviscon doesn't stop it completely, but it makes it more manageable. smile

Katnisscupcake Wed 05-Mar-14 14:33:50

I second Dumbledoresgirl, Gaviscon in the medicine of the Gods when you're PG with Acid Indigestion. I have been an Emetophobe for 30 years so know how you feel.

It will make you feel better. xx

Para28 Wed 05-Mar-14 14:57:35

Thanks everyone. My hubby had generally been really supportive but there are times when I know he gets fed up of this phobia that he doesn't really understand. I've been taking Gaviscon for a couple of weeks, and it def helps but not entirely, and I found I've 'burned' my throat/oesophagus from all the coughing and reflux, so doc just prescribed omeprazole. I was a bit nervous about taking this, but read that it's safe - has anybody else taking an antactid? For me, omeprazole hasn't made a difference 5 days in, but doc said it could take a while.

Para28 Wed 05-Mar-14 15:03:35

MrsMonkeyBear, glad that the therapy is working - I wish I had tacked my phobia pre-pregnancy, as I always thought it would be the biggest 'issue' for me. You're almost through first trimester and hope you feel better and better. Beanypip, I know what you mean. A lot of times when really close to being sick, I told myself that I don't actually NEED to be i.e. there is nothing that my body needs to rid itself of like nasty virus or bacteria, and that did help. How long did your morning sickness last for?xx

Foxeym Wed 05-Mar-14 15:33:48

I've had 3DCs and have emetophobia. It's really hard for others to understand this condition. I had terrible sickness with DC1 so I'm amazed I had another 2, it goes to show how strong the urge to have children is. To be honest I've found the hardest thing to deal with is when the DCs are sick themselves. I still haven't managed to deal with them when they are ill and the eldest is 15, sends me into complete panic mode sad

jenniferturkington Wed 05-Mar-14 15:38:58

My doctor prescribed omeprazole when my acid reflux got so bad it caused vomiting. This helped a lot so might be worth asking.

crispyporkbelly Wed 05-Mar-14 16:48:54

I have this too and to be honest you're over the worst of it now probably.

When I went into labour I was scared of being sick so asked for the anti-sickness injection as soon as I got my room.

Beanypip Wed 05-Mar-14 22:40:32

have u got anti sickness tablets from the docs? I found that if I knew id taken one id feel better and not panic as much therefor even though I was still sick it wasnt as bad as id took my tablet. I was sick every morning till 34 weeks with dd1 and about 25 weeks with this one (due in 4 weeks) I also take omeprazole as I take strong painkillers that give me stomach cramps so the omeprazole eases the cramps and its amazing for heartburn I ran out last week and nearly died with the pain of heartburn! docs have always said its very safe to take in pregnancy.

I was sick in labour with dd1 it was the gas and air that did it for me but I was so out of it I really didn't have time to think about it just threw up and went back to swearing at dh and telling him hes never going near me again!

aroha77 Wed 05-Mar-14 23:18:43

I feel anxious about nausea/vomiting but definitely nowhere near a phobia so really feel for you, sounds like you're doing very well with it.
I'm on omeprazole for reflux too but needed a really high dose plus ranitidine before it worked because I usually take it for a hiatus hernia anyway. I've been worried about it getting worse and not being controlled by those meds but I'm 27 weeks now and still ok. Don't worry about going back to GP to increase the dose if you need to. Please read the evidence and NICE guidance etc lol put my mind at rest and it seems to be safe for pregnancy (&better than feeling sick for months!)

Good luck with it all xx

aroha77 Wed 05-Mar-14 23:20:22

Whoops sorry meant to have typed that I've read the evidence and it seems safe to take!

Kellyjdancer Thu 06-Mar-14 16:34:38

I have emetophobia and am currently 35 weeks pregnant. I think pregnancy has been good for me and my phobia. I have always felt hypersensitive to my body and I have experienced so many odd sensations that it's helped me relax a bit.

There are loads of things that are safe to take for heartburn in pregnancy, so be sure to keep trying until you find what works for you. For me, I think I had heartburn bad in the first trimester, now it's not heartburn so much as indigestion.

I haven't been sick, but that's one of the things with emetophobia. We are less likely to "allow" our bodies to be sick. I have written a short birth plan and have highlighted my phobia so that the midwives are aware and that I want to avoid pain relief that has sickness as a side effect and also requesting if they can give me anti-sickness injection in labour if I am feeling sick.

For me, I don't think it's the sickness I fear as much as the panic I feel when I think I'm going to be sick... but it's a real fear and I'm trying to overcome it. I hope I can cope when my child is sick. grin(

Para28 Fri 07-Mar-14 08:44:56

This week my nausea became really bad (still haven't been sick - you're right, Kellyjdancer, that we're less likely to), and I'm convinced that it's a side effect of omeprazole, which I've now taken for 6 days. I am not going to take it today to see how I get on over the weekend. I hate the panicky feeling; last night I was shaking uncontrollably and only managed a bit of dinner - then felt so guilty as baby needs to eat properly. Part of the phobia for me is actually related to anxiety about not gaining enough weight to support baby - I'm really tiny and have always needed to eat regularly to keep up my weight (and to generally feel good!), and now that I'm pregnant, I feel even more pressure in this respect. I often feel that if was sick, I would stop eating out of fear of it happening again :s

Kellyjdancer, good to hear that your phobia has been helped by pregnancy. Hopefully I'll get better and better as the weeks progress.

Kellyjdancer Fri 07-Mar-14 09:34:06

Aww, I'm sorry your nausea is so bad. Best advice I can get is eat little and often. In the first trimester, I found I felt sick and the last thing I wanted was to eat, but eating actually made me feel better! Don't feel guilty if all that sounds good or makes you feel better is junk - the baby will get the nutrients he needs from you.

It was between about 10 weeks and 11 weeks that the heartburn and nausea left me and I felt 100% normal again. I know that seems far away right now (and everyone is different), but it is just a few short weeks away. You WILL feel better soon.

Ginger is also good for nausea. I liked the tea and biscuits but have heard good things about the crystalized ginger as well.

Para28 Tue 11-Mar-14 14:44:32


So I stopped taking omeprazole, as it was definitely making me nauseous! I felt great for a couple of days, but now my reflux is back with a vengeance. I'm not feeling sick (yay) but I think I still need to treat this with more than Gaviscon, as it's so bad that I keep losing my voice - my throat is burned raw!

Anybody tried ranitidine, and is there a chance it has fewer side effects (hopefully no nausea!!!)?

Kellyjdancer, you're lucky your heartburn left you after first trimester - mine became worse after ~week 13. I'm now 17 weeks.


aroha77 Tue 11-Mar-14 18:40:57

I've found ranitidine fine - and you could just buy it in supermarket to give it a go?
Good luck, glad your nausea has improved smile

LavenderFox Tue 11-Mar-14 19:30:36

Ranitidine is another alternative for omeprazole, considered safe and in emergency available over the counter

Motilium is also used sometimes, it helps the stomach empty more quickly which might be helpful with emetophobia.

I hated the constant nausea more than being sick itself but I did find with Gaviscon bringing up a minty taste of the liquid rather than actual vomit was helpful with the retching and burping, almost pleasant in fact grin.

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