I have one big fear in
motherhood—you know, aside from the nightmare of something truly tragic
happening to my child. This fear is one that keeps me up at night. It has
resulted in canceled plans, feelings of complete selfishness and the
occasional desire to lock my daughter in a room far, far away from me. (Don’t worry, I’ve never
actually done that.)
This fear of mine is one I’m
convinced most moms share: the fear of the dreaded stomach flu (or, you know,
norovirus, as it's technically called).
Way back in 2012, I was
celebrating New Year’s Eve with friends at a cabin when two of the kiddos with us
started puking. Having never caught the stomach flu as an adult and being one
of those people who generally isn’t too concerned about germs, I jumped right
in to help.
Just two days later, I got hit so
hard by the bug myself, I was pretty convinced I was dying. That was when the fear began.
A year after that, I was a
first-time mama to a 9-month-old who brought home the pukes from daycare. I, of
course, doted on her and did everything in my power to get her through those
first brutal hours.
Two days later, I was puking
over my own shoulder as I changed her diaper and introduced her to screens for
the first time, just to keep her occupied as I suffered alone in the bathroom.
Ever since, I have lived in
mortal fear of the stomach flu. While I am usually the mom who says, “Eh, she
could catch that in preschool as easily as she could from your kids,” whenever
a friend calls to warn of a cough or cold just before a scheduled play date, I
don’t play around with any signs of puking or the big D. If anyone in your
family is sick to their stomach, I want you staying the hell away from me and
Theoretically, this could work
for your whole family.
According to a recent story in
Post, I’m not the only mom who feels this way.
That turned out to be the best
decision I’ve ever made. Because it wasn’t long before someone suggested I
start chugging grape juice to save myself from getting the same bug.
Yes, grape juice.
A quick Google search later, I learned
that this is actually
a thing. Apparently there is something in grape juice that changes the pH
in your stomach and prevents norovirus from multiplying. To have it work, you have to:
Start drinking grape juice before your own symptoms begin. Once
you’ve started puking, it’s pointless.
Ensure the grape juice you are drinking is 100 percent grape juice, no
Start drinking three glasses a day as soon as possible after
Continue doing so for up to a week.
Theoretically, this could work
for your whole family. Which I know could be especially helpful for large
families who tend to cycle this bug around for up to two weeks at a time.
I got my own grape juice about
24 hours after my daughter started puking (being a single mom, I had to wait
until she was well before heading to the grocery store). And, after drinking three
glasses a day for the next five days, I never got sick.
The kid puked on me, in my bed
and on my pillow. So, while I recognize I could have just gotten lucky, I’m
attributing at least some of my success to the grape juice. A ton of my
readers chimed in to say the same trick has helped them to stave off the puking
So, I’m giving this one my
official seal of approval. Not as a doctor or member of the healthcare field
(which, I most certainly am not, just to be clear) but as a mom who knows just
how scary it can be when one of your kids starts puking.
From this point forward, I’ll
be stocking up on grape juice to have on hand every stomach flu season. And
I’ll start by letting my preschooler have a rare juice treat anytime I hear of
whispers of puking at her school.