Nine months of…
Pregnancy Sickness Support (PSS) is launching its first national “nine months of...” campaign to raise awareness of the conditions it supports. It started on the 8th August and will end on the 15th May 2014, which is International Hyperemesis Awareness Day.
Dedicated volunteers across the country are getting involved in nine months of fundraising and awareness with personal challenges including:
- The Welsh Three Peaks, Yorkshire Three Peaks and 6 Peaks (Welsh plus Yorkshire)
- Baking cakes and bread every week to sell for nine months
- Walking 9K each month or every week for nine months
- Crocheting and sewing for at least nine minutes each day for nine months to make items for an Ebay auction in aid of the charity.
- Triathlon training for nine months
- Donating profits from the ‘Bunny Bumpkin’ website
- Getting fit for nine months
Recent research by PSS found that 60% of women with Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG) experience symptoms for the full nine months of pregnancy, yet 93% of healthcare professionals think that symptoms are normally completely resolved by 16 weeks.
PSS volunteers hope to raise awareness of the prolonged nature of the condition with these challenges lasting the same length.
Caitlin Dean, HG survivor and Chief Officer for the Charity says “compared to nine months of HG, these challenges are very achievable. Our volunteers hope that by doing these challenges we can highlight just how hard an HG pregnancy is for the women suffering. It's not like normal pregnancy sickness which is over by 14 weeks for 80% of sufferers. HG goes on and on and on for months - It's a real endurance test.”
Each member of the ‘nine months of…’ campaign has their own blog (which can be viewed by clicking on the links to the right) and their own personal BT Donate fundraising page. To view the main ‘nine months of…’ BT Donate fundraising page please visit:
What is Hyperemesis Gravidarum?
Nausea and Vomiting of Pregnancy (NVP) and Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG) are generally under appreciated and under researched conditions which affect thousands of woman every year. Women experience severe and prolonged nausea and vomiting, 24-7 for months on end leading to isolation and depression. Without treatment HG can be dangerous with complications for both mum and baby. Before modern treatments such as IV therapy, it was the leading cause of death in early pregnancy.
This campaign coincides with the announcement of the initial results from the PSS large scale surveys into the experiences of women suffering HG and the attitudes and knowledge of healthcare professionals caring for women with the conditions. It hopes to highlight the fact that unlike “morning sickness” which is generally over by 12 weeks, HG more commonly persists throughout the pregnancy and 60% of women will still have symptoms by the time they give birth. 65% of women do not have the number of children they would like due to HG.
There are a number of safe and effective treatments available for NVP and HG in the UK but access to treatment is frequently a healthcare lottery. Our peer support network provides support for women suffering NVP and HG through their pregnancy from registered, trained and insured volunteers who have suffered themselves.
For International Hyperemesis Awareness Day 2013 a video was created. It demonstrates how HG can affect lives but also celebrates its survivors.
2013 also saw the publication of our first ever Pregnancy Sickness Support Hyperemesis Gravidarum Survivors Annual. The book can be viewed by clicking on the picture below:
Kimberley Tyler, another dedicated PSS Volunteer has decided to help promote awareness of Hyperemesis Gravidarum during this ‘nine months of…’ campaign on her blog H.O.P.E , where HG survivors have posted personal accounts of their pregnancies. Kimberley set up H.O.P.E (Helping Others and Promoting Education) in order to offer HG survivors a platform from which to share their stories in the hope that it would help raise awareness of this debilitating condition at the same time as giving previous sufferers a voice.
Pregnancy Sickness Support
Pregnancy Sickness Support (PSS) is the only national charity supporting women with nausea and vomiting in pregnancy (NVP) and Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG). It provides a telephone helpline and an online forum as well as a national peer support network for sufferers to access. It also educates and supports healthcare professionals treating the conditions.
The charity provides information leaflets and a website with all the latest information about treatments as well help with a wide range of issues such as coping strategies, employment rights, information for carers and preparation for further HG pregnancies.