Peer support for women with hyperemesis gravidarum
Nausea and vomiting in pregnancy (NVP) affects up to 80% of pregnant women in the first trimester (Goodwin, 1998). A recent systematic review has shown that normal pregnancy sickness may offer a reduced risk of miscarriage and improved pregnancy outcomes, even when severe enough to warrant first-line medications (Koran et al, 2014). However, one in 100/150 pregnant women's symptoms develop into hyperemesis gravidarum (HG) (Goodwin, 1998).
Both severe NVP and HG are underappreciated conditions and insufficient care and treatment can lead to poor pregnancy outcomes and complications for both mother and baby (Bolin et al, 2013). Women can become house or even bed-bound, feel isolated, fearful, guilty and even depressed (Swallow, 2010). Furthermore, women can face difficulty advocating for themselves to receive adequate treatment, they can face discrimination in the work place for absence and relationships with relatives and friends can suffer due to a lack of understanding about the condition (Sykes et al, 2013).
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