How WSLHD is supporting women suffering from the debilitating impacts of Hyperemesis Gravidarum

Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD) recently celebrated Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG) Awareness Day by highlighting the incredible work being done in the district to help pregnant women with the debilitating condition.

HG is a condition that causes severe nausea and vomiting in pregnancy. It occurs when regular morning sickness becomes much worse, lasting for more than a few days and making it difficult to keep food or fluids down.

The Pulse recently interviewed Michelle Underwood, Clinical Midwife Consultant (CMC) specialising in HG at WSLHD.

Describing HG, Michelle stressed its debilitating effects.

“It can start as early as four weeks of pregnancy and persist throughout, impacting daily life significantly,” she said.

Her empathy and understanding underscore the need for specialised care for women battling this condition.

Michelle elaborated on the crucial differences between morning sickness and HG, stressing the necessity of medical intervention for the latter.

She emphasised the importance of early diagnosis and treatment, citing tools like the Pregnancy Unique Quantification of Emesis (PUQE) scale, which helps assess the severity of symptoms and guide care.

Discussing the innovative services offered by WSLHD, Michelle shared insights into their outpatient clinics and Hospital in the Home program.

These initiatives aim to provide personalised care, including IV fluids, antiemetics and psychosocial support in the comfort of patients’ homes, minimising hospital admissions and ensuring efficient resource utilisation.

Women are providing feedback that this treatment is making a difference to their lives. They can function again through their pregnancy.

Michelle Underwood, Clinical Midwife Consultant (CMC)

Michelle, a veteran in her field, began her career in the UK before settling in Sydney in 2009.

Since then, she has been a pivotal part of WSLHD, serving as a CMC for various specialties, including the Birth Unit.

Her dedication to extending the scope of midwifery, enhancing clinical skills and ensuring comprehensive care for women underscores her passion and commitment.

“When you become a CMC, you’re an expert in your field. You’re involved in service development, research, policy, education and consultancy,” she said.

Her vast network and collaborative approach ensure that women receive holistic care tailored to their needs.

You can find more information about Hyperemesis Gravidarum here.