Hyperemesis gravidarum (HG) affects over a million women across the globe every year meaning at least 2% of pregnant patients suffer from the debilitating condition. These statistics are drawn mostly from cases of HG which are diagnosed, treated, or reported – mostly from westernized countries by those with health care. Consistent tracking criteria for HG is lacking and would give a clearer idea of how many truly suffer.
While we know the number of people battling HG is likely much higher throughout the world than reported cases suggest, we also know that HG does not discriminate. Regardless of age, gender identity, socioeconomic class, sexual orientation, partnership status, or race, she can experience this extreme pregnancy illness. And while HG itself does not seem to bias itself toward any particular group, we know that medical systems sometimes do.
From access to quality health care to treatment in the delivery room, there is strong research and evidence demonstrating very significant disparities in medical care resulting in negative outcomes for BIPOC/BIWOC (Black, Indigenous and Women of Color).
At the HER Foundation, we are committed to providing research, resources, and support for all patients and families affected by HG. We advocate for everyone and continually work to expand our resources to every corner of the globe. Our goal is expanding access to HG treatment for everyone facing its debilitating symptoms and secondary complications.
Unfortunately, we know that BIWOC, particularly Black women, have additional systemic hurdles to overcome to gain quality HG treatment and specialized medical care during pregnancy. The HER Foundation is dedicated educating medical societies serving these women and partnering with organizations focusing specifically on Black women’s health, so we can amplify the voices and stories of Black women with HG and self-advocacy resources.
Black Maternal Mental Health Week is July 19-25, 2020. Be sure to visit these organizations: Shade of Blue, Black Womens Health Initiative, and Black Mamas Alliance.