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Hyperemesis Gravidarum Support

What is it?

Hyperemesis Gravidarum is from the Greek hyper-, meaning excessive, and emesis, meaning vomiting, and the Latin word gravidarum, the feminine genitive plural form of an adjective, here used as a noun, meaning "pregnant [woman]". Therefore, hyperemesis gravidarum means "excessive vomiting of pregnant women.” It is a chronic, debilitating medical condition that causes extreme nausea, excessive vomiting, severe dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, and weight loss. 

Other common effects of HG include a distorted sense of smell, the inability to eat normally, hyper-salivation, exhaustion and fatigue. Symptoms of HG can be made worse by movement and sensory stimulation, and leaves many women bed-bound or at least house-bound, often requiring hospital treatment. Nausea and Vomiting of Pregnancy (NVP) affects around 80% of pregnancies, with variation in severity and duration of symptoms. Whereas HG actually hits an estimated number of between 1-3% of pregnant women. 

But it isn't purely a physical illness. Quality of life is also severely affected. Women are often unable to work, complete daily household tasks and routines or care for young children and isolated away from friends, or support systems. Persistent and severe nausea and vomiting associated with hyperemesis gravidarum may put a strain on various family relationships as well.

Lots of women describe the psychological impact of this illness to be extremely intense and complex, given the nature of it. They describe many range of emotions throughout and once in recovery also. Ranging from overwhelm, exhaustion, anxiousness, depression, rage or anger, fear, sadness, suicidal in some cases. Affecting all areas of their lives from relationships, to basic personal care needs, any form of self care, being unable to manage other children, disturbing sleep patterns, sometimes giving up work, to identity and grief or loss because of the 'expected' view of how a pregnancy should look like.

Many women do not receive the required care or support from professionals or other family members when suffering and are given antiquated or often harmful or hurtful advice such as 'it will go by …...weeks', “try eating ginger”, or “sickness is the sign of a healthy baby” or suchlike phrases. It can be extremely isolating and women often report they feel misunderstood or guilty with feelings they are unable to cope. Many women contemplate or proceed with termination of their pregnancy because the illness is too much to bear. It is extremely traumatic for both mother and baby, however the affects are still not fully understood and sometimes minimised leading the mother to feel even more alone and isolated and unheard.

  • Why am I so passionate about this particular illness?

Quite simply, because I have lived it. I know how it feels to experience Hyperemesis Gravidarum first hand. I have been 'that woman'. Since 2018 I have campaigned alongside the charity Pregnancy Sickness Support and have also worked as a peer supporter supporting women emotionally through their battle with HG. I am passionate in helping women to not feel so isolated and emotionally vulnerable both during and whilst in recovery.

  • Type of support offered:

Because HG can leave women unable to leave their own homes, I am fully trained to be able to provide you with support in your own home by using the platform Microsoft Teams if you are able, or by telephone counselling. I also offer face to face support which is more likely to be an option for women who are in recovery from HG. Looking at the emotional toll or sometimes women just need to go through their own story and feel heard, supported and understood. This is what counselling can do. I listen without judgement and with empathy. Your story is not my story, however because I have been there I have a deeper level of understanding of the effects of this illness, and will never minimise or make light of your experience

  • Counselling sessions information:

Each session regardless of method used – face to face, online or telephone lasts for 50 mins and costs £50. I work integratively which means I use a manner of different ways to explore what might be going on for you but am led by you in relation to how you want to make the most of the session itself. We are not subjected to any particular length of session although I recommend an initial 6 sessions and we can review together how you feel you are getting on and whether you'd like to continue for longer.

Please click the button below for more information or to discuss your individual needs further

Hyperemesis Gravidarum: About Me
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