Pregnancy Sickness Support

Pregnancy Sickness Support

At a glance


  • Health and well being / research and care
  • Women

Other details

Geographical remit: 
National - Britain


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

  • Through the provision of our support network break down barriers and increase our reach to wider community groups including BAME communities, young people and underprivileged areas. Facilitate hard to reach and isolated communities to either utilise our support or develop their own in a safe and regulated manner.
  • Increase the number of contacts made to the helpline so that more people and their families can be supported.
  • Recruit and train more Support Volunteers so that the increase in demand to our support network can be met.
  • The production of evidence based information in relevant forms to reduce the risk of any long-term health conditions that can be as a result of HG.
  • Develop our knowledge base of treatments and services in localities across the UK
  • Increase access to education for healthcare professionals about the condition, possibly through an online training package
  • Facilitate and encourage further service development throughout the UK based on the national treatment guidelines and current evidence base.
  • Lead the public conversation around the subject through social and mainstream media to raise awareness and erode stigmas
  • Facilitate, encourage and support further research into the condition, its impacts and its treatments enabling the voices of people with HG to be heard within the research process.
  • Vision

    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

  • By expanding and developing our support system, the charity hopes to build a bigger and stronger community for those that have been or are currently affected by the condition. By increasing capacity for information and support provision we will have a positive impact on both the sufferers and supporters’ mental health, enabling them to come to terms with their own experience, rebuilding self confidence and reducing social isolation. The evidence based information the charity provides aims to reduce the risk of short and long-term complications that can be associated with HG by empower women to gain control over their own health and well being through informed decision making and encouraging a proactive approach to seeking help. The growth of the support system is intertwined with efforts to raise awareness of the condition and charity to the wider public.


The specific activities of the charity are:

  • A helpline giving free support and evidence based information about treatments and services available locally to them which empowers people to advocate for themselves or their loved one.
  • Provision of one-to-one peer support from volunteers who have first-hand experience of the condition and specific training, which seeks to reduce the social isolation and mental health burden of the condition.
  • Recruiting, training and supporting a national network of volunteers which can provide people with an empowering opportunity to recover from their experience of HG and turn it into positive action
  • Provision of education and training for healthcare professionals and assistance to hospitals seeking to develop services so that we may have a lasting impact on treatment access for generations to come.
  • A website to increase knowledge and understanding among the public and healthcare professionals
  • An online forum to share experiences and support.
  • Distribution of free patient information material

No current opportunities

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