Pregnancy Sickness Support is the only registered UK charity working to improve care, treatment and support for people suffering from Nausea and Vomiting in Pregnancy (NVP) and the severe form of the condition Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG).
HG is a debilitating and isolating condition which renders people socially isolated and unable to advocate for themselves due to prolonged and extreme nausea and vomiting which can persist throughout the pregnancy. People with HG can be bed bound for months on end with vomiting in excess of 30 times per day and experiencing extreme and severe nausea every waking moment. Complications include dehydration, malnutrition, hyponatraemia, Wernicke’s encephalopathy, preterm labour, intrauterine growth restriction and a host of additional complications. Around 10% of wanted pregnancies affected by HG end in termination.
Awareness of HG and the treatments available varies widely, with some healthcare professionals still dismissing it as a normal part of pregnancy and concerns around medication use in pregnancy persist due to the tenacious shadow of the Thalidomide tragedy in the 1960’s. People with HG commonly report feeling alone, confused and unable to access the treatment they need from doctors and Midwives. Unfortunately the treatment options themselves are limited and no one medication is considered curative; rather anti-sickness medications are used to manage and control symptoms as best they can to prevent complications and IV fluids are used to correct dehydration. Quality of life can be profoundly affected by HG and the condition understandably takes a huge toll on people’s mental health sometimes in a lasting way with post traumatic stress disorder and depression and/or anxiety persisting for years after. The social isolation experienced by people for months as well as the financial hardship can be life changing for people and their partners and family size is often limited due to the severity of HG and its impact.
Specific objectives of this project
To improve care, treatment and support for UK sufferers of Nausea and vomiting in Pregnancy (NVP) and the severe form of the condition Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG)
To improve the mental and physical well-being of people whose pregnancies are complicated by severe pregnancy sickness and hyperemesis gravidarum
The specific activities of the charity are: