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Hyperemesis Gravidarum For Husband’s – How To Help Your Wife

When I was pregnant and suffering from Hyperemesis Gravidarum, my husband said he had never felt so unsure of what to do… He was amazing, supportive and I don’t know what I would have done without him.

We talked about how there should be a ‘How to Survive HG’ guide and he commented that there should be a ‘Hyperemesis Gravidarum For Husband’s’ too… then he decided to write it. 

This is Steve’s perspective on what you can do, as a husband, to support your wife through her HG. This was written after our first HG experience and we have since survived another HG pregnancy. 

Some time ago Krystal and I lived through an experience which was one of the most painful, emotional and terrifying things I’ve ever been through.

Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG) has made a palpable impact on our lives and our relationship, but I’m happy to say I believe it has made us stronger.

Seeing the one you love so suddenly and intensely ill is the stuff made of nightmares.

I’m not going to go through the technical aspects of the condition, I’m not even going to explain exactly what our experience was, but what I am going to do is put down some thoughts from a man’s perspective.

You Do Not Know What Your Wife Is Going Through

You cannot forget this one statement. HG is not just morning sickness. It’s not intermittent nausea that can be kept at bay with peppermint tea and neither is it ‘all in their head’.

Understand this and understand it well:

This condition is something that you, as a guy, will never ever have to experience.

There is so much at play here, obviously the massive hormonal changes in your partner’s body, but along with that comes the emotional changes.

The emotional stuff is pretty intense even in a normal pregnancy, but add HG to the mix and it reaches a whole new level.

You need to try your best to empathise, at the same time understanding you’ll never ever know really how she feels.

Give the woman you love the respect and support she deserves and needs.

Repress That Gag Reflex

I don’t mean for this to sound flippant and jokey. But really, if you have an aversion to vomit or you are a sympathetic vomiter, you need to deal with it.

I strongly believe the role of the man when a couple is pregnant is to be there to support his partner in every way he can.

And if that way means cleaning any mess, holding her hair for her, or simply just being next to her at 2am when she’s slumped next to the toilet bowl unable to move, then that’s what you need to do.

As distasteful as you think it might be for you, refer to point 1!

When you have Hyperemesis Gravidarum it's difficult for our husbands to understand what we are going through. This is a no holds barred guide to Hyperemesis Gravidarum for husband's to how you can help out your wife and get through this difficult time together.

She Is The Centre Of Your Universe

Remember, this woman is carrying your child. Her body is going through enormous changes (especially if it’s her first), her hormones are crazy, emotions all over the place.

She needs you to be there, to be present for her.

Not just around, not just in the background, but she has to have that reassurance you’re there by her side holding her hand.

Having a child is a partnership, humans were designed to be raised by two parents, your partner does not deserve to have to do this on her own.

You need for her to know that she is what matters to you!

You Cannot Trivialise

I think it’s very important to acknowledge what your partner is going through.

As stated above, you cannot ever know exactly how she is feeling, so you’d better be darn (damn?) sure you give her the respect she deserves.

This means you do not downplay her condition to your mates, you try to understand what she’s going through whether that be through internet research or whatever it takes, and you certainly don’t imply to her that what she’s feeling is simple morning sickness or something that is natural or normal for a pregnant woman.

In short, don’t be an arse.

Man Up – Assume Responsibility

Having a pregnant partner, having children, will change you as a man.

Whether it’s your first or fourth or fourteenth, your life will not be the same as it was.

Obviously, with HG your partner won’t be able to do as much as she used to, if anything at all.

You need to take up the slack. I mean this in a practical sense. We men are practical creatures (generally) so here’s your chance to step up.

Maybe you have to do the groceries, perhaps you need to start preparing meals, maybe it’s organising the kids for school or doing the house cleaning.

Even if it means you have to give up your regular Saturday afternoon at a mate’s, or perhaps you have to put a temporary hiatus on your Wednesday night game of touch footy.

Whatever. Do it. No complaints.

Get Your Priorities Straight

Your number one focus here on in is your partner! I reckon this is true even of a straightforward pregnancy, but even more so when HG is involved.

If you have to rearrange your own schedule, so be it.

If it means taking the odd sickie from work to stay home and care for her for a day, just do it.

You’ll have many years in the future to play golf/fish/finish Call of Duty. Right now she is your number one and you need to do everything you can to support her.

So that’s it, that’s my advice (for what it’s worth) when the woman you love has HG.

It’s a fairly long post I suppose, but really it condenses down to one thing.

Be there for her. Emotionally, physically and practically.

She will never need you more than she needs you now and it is your absolute responsibility to see her through this time the best that you can.

Be the man your wife, and your baby needs.

We are incredibly passionate about spreading the word that Hyperemesis is not just morning sickness. Please share this post and hopefully we can start to make a change in the way people view those of us suffering with HG. 

When you have Hyperemesis Gravidarum it's difficult for our husbands to understand what we are going through. This is a no holds barred guide to Hyperemesis Gravidarum for husband's to how you can help out your wife and get through this difficult time together.


Wednesday 31st of May 2023

This is good advice. I'd add to advocate for the pregnant partner in this scenario at doctor appointments. I didn't have anyone take it seriously, and the dehydration ultimately became life threatening for both me and baby. I was unable to really gather myself enough to self advocate pretty early on. At the end, I'd gotten so close to birth at 32w, I was leaking amniotic fluid (and had hoped that would be enough to get a bedrest order and it was not), losing finger/toenails, losing hair, lost teeth. My skin was peeling, not just in the lips but cheeks, too.

I spoke up, kinda, sometimes. I didn't have the energy usually. I never should have been left to fight that all by myself, and the hospital, OB, and a second OB should all be horrified with themselves.

Adam Grady

Thursday 4th of March 2021

Thanks for the advice. My partner is going through HG now and it’s awful watching her in pain every day; vomiting and feeling sick every hour she is awake, extreme tiredness, dizziness, an over sensitivity to smells; it is the hardness thing we have ever been through as a couple. This is our second baby and will be our last, she had HG with both pregnancies but the second is so much more difficult. The emotional strain of knowing how long this will last is perhaps one of the most mentally tough aspects, but her the inability to be able to spend much quality time with our 1yrs old daughter is heart breaking and so difficult to watch as a partner. Like you say it is very difficult to offer advice, my only advice is patience and to make sure your partner is eating and drinking as much as there can physically stand. My partner ended up in hospital on an IV drip twice with our first baby because she had been vomiting so much her body went into ketosis, which was really scary. The medication helps to some limited extent, but its effect is limited and in her experience there is no “magic pill”. I would also inform your employer at the earliest opportunity if you partner is suffer with HG, I am currently working from home and it is a massive help. Hyperemesis is an awful thing to suffer from and I feel so sorry for any women who has to go through this.

Medical Disclosure: All advice given on this site is general and does not pertain to individual situations. Please speak with your medical provider about specific concerns and conditions you may have.

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