Lets shout about HG
Following on from my last post about fundraising I want to discuss how you can get involved with raising awareness about hyperemesis so that our daughters and granddaughters don't have to suffer the same injustices, ignorant comments and inhumane treatment that so many of our generation have.
I can't, however, let this post go by without mentioning the terribly sad loss of Peaches Geldof, who set an example as one of the only celebrities to have suffered hyperemesis gravidarum and to have spoken out publicly about her experience, which was so similar to all of ours despite being wealthy and famous. She experienced the same prejudices and poor treatment that so many of us have and went months without proper diagnosis. I'm so proud that the website I helped develop whilst suffering myself actually helped her during her first pregnancy and that she was able to print info for her healthcare providers to improve her treatment. She has set an example for others to speak out and she took time to promote Pregnancy Sickness Support through her social media feeds, giving us a much needed boost at the time. I had contact with her to discuss patronage for the charity and although unable to accept at the time she had already helped in her own way and gave a voice to hyperemesis sufferers across the country.
Now, moving on to what YOU can do to raise awareness and help with the Hyperemesis Improvement Movement...
First of all, volunteer. Either for Pregnancy Sickness Support in the UK and Ireland or the HER foundation in pretty much the rest of the world. They can offer guidance about raising awareness in your local area and resources for you to use. Hold a Big Brew event for International Hyperemesis Awareness Day, May 15th and print out information for your guests.
By volunteering for the charity there may also be opportunities to get involved with conferences, research and interaction with local universities and midwifery colleges. Leaflets and posters are available from the charity to distribute at local hospitals and doctors surgeries.
In terms of media awareness, there is the option of talking to local papers and magazines... But BE CAREFUL. They want an angle and they aren't afraid to twist what you say pretty much any which way they want. A friend of mine told her local paper about her horrendous hyperemesis which resulted in a termination in an effort to raise awareness. They sold it onto the national tabloids and she was literally hounded for the next week having “aborted due to morning sickness”. She received hate mail from pro-lifers and her life was made a misery.
A good option if you are already a volunteer for PSS is to make sure you have the “happy to talk to media” button ticked in your profile on the website. A lot of magazines and papers get in touch with the charity to source case studies for articles and we are able to check the angle and quality of press before putting them in touch. In fact, I was contact just over a week ago about an opportunity to have hyperemesis featured in a Discovery Channel documentary. I have spoken at length to the producer and am confident this will be a great thing for the cause. They are looking for a woman currently suffering in the second trimester. Full details and how to get in touch are below.
Please note that this is completely unrelated to Spewing Mummy or my role as a Trustee for Pregnancy Sickness Support and I have no responsibility for the project and outcomes. I am simply sharing the advert to a relevant audience.
Are you expecting a baby? Is there such a thing as a 'straight forward' or 'easy' pregnancy? Do you think you're having – or you're likely to have- an exceptionally interesting or unusual pregnancy?
Few mums-to-be would say that pregnancy is easy or stress-free, but for some women, having a baby presents very unusual challenges.
Cineflix Productions have been commissioned by Discovery to make 6 x 60 minute episodes on the subject of pregnancy (our working title is “The Pregnancy Project”).
We're looking for mums-to-be from all over the world, who are juggling the usual excitement and anxiety of a typical pregnancy, with an unusual situation or condition.
If you're pregnant in an extraordinary situation (for example, you're acting as a surrogate for a family member or having a baby as an older mother), you're experiencing pregnancy with a pre-existing condition of your own (such as dwarfism or visual impairment) or if you have a condition brought on by your pregnancy (like extreme cravings, orhyperemesis gravidarum) - then we'd love to talk to you.
We're also looking for mums-to-be who might have previously been told they were unlikely to conceive due to unusual gynaecology.
From sharing the news with your loved ones, to medical appointments and baby showers – right up to the big day itself - we want to explore the realities – the highs and lows, the excitement and the inevitable anxieties that being an extraordinary pregnant mum brings, and help you share your pregnancy story.
If you'd be interested in an informal chat with a member of The Pregnancy Project production team, please email us on firstname.lastname@example.org
or call 0203 179 0099– we'd love to talk to you.
(And of course – congratulations on your pregnancy!)