Activities for Hyperemesis sufferers

You can find further activities suitable for Hyperemesis Gravidarum sufferers by clicking here

When I was pregnant with Adam I suffered from a condition called Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG). It is a severe form of pregnancy sickness which affects 1-1.5% of pregnancies. HG is a debilitating condition which for me required several hospitalisations and left me bed bound for 9 months. Every day was a living hell. Throughout my pregnancy, as I lay there being ill, I would think about the adventures Adam and I would have together. I made a promise to myself that once the Hyperemesis was over I would value each day. Hence we took part in the play challenge and started this blog.

It was during the play challenge that it really hit home to me – how am I going to look after Adam during my next pregnancy? The idea of being separated from him for nine months petrifies me. In my last pregnancy I couldn’t look after myself for 9 months let alone an active young child.  Although I can live in hope, there is an 80% chance that I will suffer from HG again.

I now volunteer for Pregnancy Sickness Support – a UK charity that provides information and support to sufferers and encourages further research into the condition.  I am the administrator for their Forum and regularly see the concerns of members who are planning another pregnancy or are currently suffering from HG.  How do you entertain your other children whilst you are so ill for up to nine months? The guilt they feel is immense.

So I decided to find some sort of solution – a way that could help HG sufferers entertain their children.  During our play challenge I started to look for activities which didn’t need any preparation and that a child could play with independently. Minimum preparation for maximum distraction!

There is a dedicated section of this blog for HG sufferers which can be found on the top menu. All the activities suitable for HG sufferers can be found there as well as information on HG and the Pregnancy Sickness Support charity.

When putting together the activities suitable for HG sufferers there had to be some criteria for the activities to be deemed HG friendly.  There is no point doing an activity which involves food or has an odour as these are bound to trigger vomiting.  Even the smell of play dough can cause a sufferer to reach for the sick bowl.  The activity also had to be mess free – an HG suffer will hardly be in any state to clear away a messy activity.

Please note though that the things which can trigger HG will vary from person to person. It is likely that an HG sufferer in the early stages of pregnancy will be unable to complete any of these activities.  At this stage, every day can be a monumental challenge that must be conquered.  Child care will take precedence.

Here are the HG friendly activities from our 100 day play challenge. Click on each link below for further information on each activity:

Adventures of Adam Play activities suitable for Hyperemesis sufferers

1. Non-Messy Paint Mixing – Day 6

2. Coin Drop – Day 7

3. Acorns – Day 8

4. Peg Drop – Dy 14

5. Penguin Hooks – Day 15

6. Fabric Tissue Box – Day 16


Adventures of Adam Play activities suitable for Hyperemesis sufferers

7. Guttering Fun – Day 22

8. Pom Pom Pipe Cleaner Drop – Day 23

9. Magnetic Penguin – Day 34

10. Number Stickers On Cars – Day 35

11. Cotton Wool Fun – Day 37


Adventures of Adam Play activities suitable for Hyperemesis sufferers

12. Christmas Baubles Dunking – Day 43

13. Christmas Bows – Day 46

14. Toy Tea Party – Day 47

15. Bubble Wrap Ball Pool – Day 52

16. Train Track Bowling – Day 53

17. Pom Pom Fun – Day 57

18. Decking Car Ramp – Day 60


Adventures of Adam Play activities suitable for Hyperemesis sufferers

19. Chalk Mark Making – Day 67

20. Wax Crayons – Day 72

21. Magnet Fun – Day 73

22. Colour Wonder Colouring Book – Day 74

23. Wooden Block Drop – Day 76

24. Masking Tape Pull – Day 78


Adventures of Adam Play activities suitable for Hyperemesis sufferers

25. Cupcake Case Counting – Day 80

26. Block Bin Drop – Day 81

27. DIY Reverse Kerplunk – Day 84

28. No Water Car Wash – Day 85


Adventures of Adam Play activities suitable for Hyperemesis sufferers

29. Ball Drop – Day 86

30. Pom Pom Mirror Drop – Day 89

31. Pipe Cleaning Posting – Day 96


Adam and I will continue doing a daily play activity and each week we will add at least one play activity which is suitable for a HG sufferer and her child. We shall also add it to our Hyperemesis Pinterest board. These activities could also be used for women post pregnancy during feeding time to entertain their older child.

One day I hope to be brave enough to go through HG again. For the time being I will savour every moment I have with Adam.




  1. Shay Noble (@shay_noble) says

    What a brilliant post and some fantastic activities. I didn’t have Hyperemesis while pregnant with my 1st but struggled for the entire 40 weeks with constant nausea and ocassional vomitting. I worried so much about how I would cope with my 2nd (strangely, I had very little sickness) and could have done with this list of activities then :) x

    • Emma Edwards says

      Thank you Shay for your kind words. I am glad you didn’t suffer nausea and vomiting as much in your second pregnancy. I always live in hope but plan for the worse case scenario. x

  2. AnneMarie Curran says

    I was in exactly the same position as you with my first pregnancy. I swore I wouldn’t go through it again yet years past and my little girl got older and I decided “it might be different next time..” And here I am again hospitalised twice already and I’m just 3months.. Struggling each day and missing my little girl but I want to say Thankyou… For all you’ve enlightened me on and now I will enjoy some fun with her. Don’t give up and they are worth every minuet as you know. xx Good Luck xx

    • Emma Edwards says

      Thank you. Your words mean a lot to me. I hope you are getting support from Pregnancy Sickness Support. Remember to take each day as it comes. 9 months of hell for a lifetime of happiness. Keep me updated on how you get on x

  3. PinkOddy says

    I think it is so good of you to take the time to share these so others can benefit from them. Such a well put together post. Thank you for linking up with the Kids Co-op

    • Emma Edwards says

      Thank you. I can only imagine how difficult it is to look after a toddler when you are so ill so I hope these activities will ease the pressure in some way.

  4. mumsnetsuffolkandnorfolk says

    Such an original and compassionate idea. Hyperemesis Gravidum is the work of the devil at a time when we should be feeling so happy.

    • Emma Edwards says

      Thank you. It is hard to get across to others how awful the condition is. The support that Pregnancy Sickness Support can provide to sufferers and their families is invaluable.

  5. Betsy says

    I’m so glad I stumbled on this blog via Pinterest! I have Cystic Fibrosis, a chronic illness that requires a lot of time to manage and inhibits me from doing the high-energy toddler play I wish I could do. Thanks for the great ideas! I will especially put them to use whilst recovering from baby #2!

  6. victoria delgado-scott says

    I wish my doctor and family had helped me when I suffered from severe sicknesses/dehydration through out my first pregnancy all through. It was hell , especially smells would make me physically sick but people seemed not to understand at all.My doctor was unhelpful and misinformed.I am just posting to say that my second son is now five months old and I did NOT suffer in the same way at all, so there is hope for you if you are planning a second pregnancy. In my second pregnancy I felt nauseous but just took every opportunity to rest…which is not easy whilst caring for and still breastfeeding a toddler!So it meant bed at 7pm for me :) Best wishes to you all.
    ps I used coconut water as a natural method to keep hydrated :)after being sick and cut down on fatty foods.I would have tried anything though I was so desperate!


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