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Integrated care to offer improved support for pregnancy disease

13 Dec 2021


For expectant mums, the pregnancy disease hyperemesis gravidarum can turn a joyous time into an incredibly difficult pregnancy. A project underway at Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District (NBMLHD) hopes to provide better support to women suffering from this debilitating disease by bringing together health care services to develop education tools and a consistent model of care.

Currently, with care for hyperemesis available from many services, including GPs, community health centres, pharmacies, midwives and obstetric clinicians, the advice and supports offered to affected woman may vary.

NBMLHD Hyperemesis Gravidarum Project Officer, Sunitha Kalathil Madhavan says the new project aims to unite maternity and health professionals, establishing collaborative care pathways and a model of care to better integrate services to support local women.

“Working with these services, we hope to provide women and their families with more consistent and practical support to help them through what can be a very difficult time,” says Sunitha, who is also a Clinical Midwifery Consultant. 

Hyperemesis affects hundreds of women across the state each year. It differs to the morning sickness women may experience during pregnancy as it doesn’t fade away with time and often leaves women bed-bound with vomiting, dizziness, fatigue and food aversion.

Severe cases of hyperemesis can result in hospitalisation and have profound impacts on physical, mental, social and financial wellbeing at an important time in a woman’s life.

Part of a $17 million investment from the NSW Government into education and research on the disease, the project will also help to provide clinical care including symptom management, nutrition and psychosocial support as well as home-based support and virtual care.

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