The Death of Ginger!
The results from the ginger survey I did at the start of the year have no been published in a peer reviewed midwifery journal for all to see. This means that whenever a healthcare professional looks up treatment for hyperemesis or does a literature review to see what treatments do and don’t have evidence for being safe and effective this piece of research will appear and blows the nonsense “ginger might help” papers out of the water. Yes it has flaws, it was an online survey of self selected participants and covered a long time period (in research terms). But it was over 500 participants who had all been admitted to hospital for HG and the results were close to unanimous… STOP SUGGESTING GINGER FOR HYPEREMESIS GRAVIDARUM
As mentioned before I’m launching a new research survey in the new year as part of my Master’s dissertation and it’s currently going through ethics approval. So far on my course I’ve written an assignment on how the historical stigma of HG still impact the care and treatment women receive today. I got 85% for it and it has been accepted for publication in MIDIRS next summer!
So now I’m going to ask you to support my work…
First of all, I’m absolutely thrilled to have been nominated for a Tommy’s award for “parent voice”. I’m currently on the long-list and to be shortlisted for it I need as many people as possible to email Tommy’s with “Spewing Mummy” in the title bar and tell them why I should be shortlisted… do I represent your voice and the voice of the HG community? If so please tell them how. The email address to use is firstname.lastname@example.org
Second of all, most of you know that I don’t earn any money for the work I do, my role as Chairperson of Pregnancy Sickness Support is entirely voluntary and unpaid. I rarely get paid for publications and I generally self-fund things like attending healthcare conferences and teaching sessions. I do however earn a small amount each time I sell a book!
Please consider including my kids book as a stocking filler for your little ones this year, even if you’re not pregnant, it’s a good way of explaining what your went through during pregnancy and helping them to empathise with people when they are unwell.
Alternatively you can opt to donate copies of my books to PSS so that we can send them out for free to women who call our helpline (which I’ll be running over Christmas and New Year, again without any pay).
This movement needs your support. If you want to see more research like this reaching the healthcare professionals who treat you then we need your help. I understand that money is tight, particularly after an HG pregnancy with little ones at home and Christmas next week so if you really can’t manage to donate then please share posts and be sure to take part in my research next year to ensure your voice and experience is heard.
If you sign up to my blog mailing list you’ll get an email when I launch the research survey so you won’t miss out.
Finally, Happy Christmas everyone. For those of you pregnant now try to rest and stay hydrated and for those of you no longer pregnant… ENJOY!
Christmas, Keep it in Perspective!
Christmas is a particularly tough time of year for women suffering hyperemesis gravidarum, especially if they already have little children. Guilt can be increased almost exponentially as visions of happy memories being created for Christmas craft activities with kiddies and songs around the Christmas tree are replaced with the grim reality of vomit bowls, consent nausea, pissy pants and general misery.
I’ve written previous years about “surviving” the festive period while chucking your guts up and trying to stay out of hospital and the tips and tricks in those posts still apply. But this year I want to focus on another way to survive this high pressured epitome of motherly perfection… keeping the damn thing in perspective!
This is one year, just one year of you and your children’s lives. If Christmas is not absolutely perfect then so what? They won’t remember come January. If you don’t bother to cook a nice meal then nothing really bad is going to happen. If your kids presents are loosely wrapped in old ASDA bags I doubt very much that they’ll notice. If you can only get them one or two small items online because money is so tight while you’re off sick then, actually, that’s okay… it’s still one or two more than a lot of other kids and they’ll probably grow up to be more rounded and compassionate individuals for the experience of working as a family team while mummy is sick.
Teaching children to be grateful for what we have instead of pinning after what we want is one of the greatest gifts you can give them. All they really want this Christmas is mummy to sit on the sofa for a while and play with their new toys. Keeping out of hospital is far more important than pushing yourself to wait on your family hand and foot and making yourself iller as a result. And what about what you want for Christmas? How about asking your partner and children to give you the gift of Christmas this year… ask them to do the house work and cooking over the festive period. Even small children can pull their weight by pushing the hoover around or tidying toys away.
Yes Christmas is “about the kids” but that shouldn't come at the cost of your health or sanity… which they need far more than an elf on a different shelf every day. Christmas is also about family and children are never too young to understand that they are part of a family who cares for each other and not a family in which the parents are slaves to their offspring. Bear in mind too that the baby you are carrying is part of the family too and that baby needs you to rest and look after yourself as much as you can so that it can have many more Christmas’s.
So here are some ideas for toning down Christmas and keeping it all in perspective:
- Shop online and keep gifts basic and few. The more toys you buy the more clearing up there is to do!!
- Explain to extended family that this year you are giving them the gift of a grandchild/niece/nephew to huge financial and physical expenditure on your part and that is plenty for one year!
- Don’t worry about cooking an all-out Turkey dinner. Buy ready-made stuff or cook a casserole in advance so you don’t have to do anything on Christmas day. Decide that you’ll do a fancy meal with all the trimmings next year.
- Stock up on DVDs or make a list of family films you want to watch and decide to have a “film based Christmas” this year.
- Stock up on “help yourself snacks” that the kids can plough into to reduce the “mum I’m hungry, what is there to eat” bombardment.
- Make your own Christmas gift list for the family to use over Christmas – Loading and unloading the dishwasher, hoovering, tidying their bedroom, emptying the bin. And ask partner and kids to ensure all these things are done without you for the duration of Christmas this year (To be fair, if you’re sick they ought to be doing this anyway for the duration but I’m trying to be realistic).
Remember that it’s only Christmas, it’s not as big a deal as everyone makes out it to be, it happens every year and if this year is really pants then it will make you appreciate next year all the more!
Oh and PS. Don’t forget to ask Santa for my books!
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In conjunction with Pregnancy Sickness Support and Plymouth University I am looking for women who have been treated for HG in the last 2 years in the UK to take part in a research survey. Please click here to find out more.
I am mother of three beautiful children and wife to a fantastic and supportive husband. I am a nurse, a farmer and a trustee for Pregnancy Sickness Support. I love working hard and spending time with my kids.
About this blog
Information and support for pregnancy sickness and hyperemesis gravidarum. Views are my own and do not represent those of any other organisation. Information provided here should not be a substitute for medical advice. My aim is to raise awareness and encourage sufferers to know they are not alone.
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