More support available in Western NSW for pregnant women experiencing hard to manage symptoms

NSW Gov

In the lead up to Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG) Awareness Day on 15 May, Western NSW Local Health District (WNSWLHD) is encouraging pregnant women to reach out for assistance with hard to manage symptoms, with more support available than ever before.

HG is a severe, lasting form of nausea and vomiting in pregnancy which can cause serious physical, mental and emotional concerns, including dehydration, weight loss and vitamin deficiencies. Managing severe symptoms can be difficult and often women suffer in silence, believing it to be an unavoidable part of pregnancy.

Katie Taylor, WNSWLHD Manager Midwifery and Associated Services, said she is pleased to see the recent increase in awareness about excessive morning sickness, thanks to high profile celebrities being open about their struggles, and urged women to seek out the accessible, affordable support available locally.

“You don’t need to be rich or famous to get the support, treatment and care needed to help manage HG. It’s available right here in Western NSW and we want women to reach out if they need this extra help during their pregnancy,” Ms Taylor said.

“Pregnant women should feel comfortable to speak about their symptoms and struggles with their GP, obstetrician, midwife, Aboriginal maternal and infant health service (AMIHS) or the staff at their local emergency department if need be.

“Don’t be afraid to speak up early because there are treatments and supports to help you and ensure you can have the best possible health and quality of life throughout your pregnancy, not just to assist with physical symptoms but also the social and emotional stress HG can cause.”

The District has worked extensively over the past two years on a number of projects aimed at increasing access to services, further raising awareness of HG and enhancing women’s experiences of care, funded by almost $175,000 from the NSW Health HG Initiative Innovation Grants.

Cassie Harvey, WNSWLHD Clinical Midwifery Consultant and HG Project Lead, Cassie Harvey said there are more HG services, resources and supports available to pregnant women across Western NSW than ever before.

“It’s been really gratifying to see multidisciplinary teams of midwives, dietitians, social workers, obstetricians and GPs working together to better understand the needs of women with HG and put in place the services and resources to help them,” Ms Harvey said.

“We are continuing to build on the effort so far, and this week our team will also have information stands in Bathurst, Orange and Dubbo hospitals and we encourage women to pop by and find out more about how to access support.

“While we’re in the hospitals we’ll also be taking the opportunity to further educate our health professionals about how to recognise HG and better support pregnant women who experience this debilitating condition.

“We’ve also had a real focus on increasing awareness of HG in the community, by developing a new area on our website where women can easily find information about accessing support locally, resources to help manage the condition and stories from local women who share similar HG experiences.”

The HG awareness team will be at the following locations providing information to the public and staff.

  • Bathurst hospital entrance – Tuesday, 14 May from 9am – 12pm.
  • Orange Hospital rear entrance – Wednesday, 15 May from 9am – 12pm.
  • Dubbo Hospital entrance – Thursday, 16 May from 9am – 12pm.

More information about HG and the local support is available on the Western NSW Local Health District website.

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