Support Network Guidance

The Support Network Guidance for Volunteer Supporters

What Support Do PSS Provide? This is an adaptation of the guidance given to women accessing our support services: -

PSS respects diversity and individuality. We are a small charity offering support to all women in the UK and Ireland experiencing pregnancy sickness, from those with mild symptoms of nausea and vomiting in pregnancy (NVP) associated with healthy pregnancy to those with severe sickness such as that experienced by women diagnosed with hyperemesis gravidarum (HG) and everyone in between. We also support women who have survived NVP or HG who have been traumatized by the experience as well as those who are preparing for their next pregnancy having already experienced HG.

One of the toughest aspects of pregnancy sickness and hyperemesis gravidarum is the isolation and feelings of not being understood. Many women report that the only people who can truly understand what they are going through is women who have been through it! That is why we have set up the support network to be able to provide peer support. Most of our volunteers have either suffered hyperemesis or severe pregnancy sickness themselves or have cared closely for a loved one who has.

The Nature of Support Work – What women can expect from us?

  • Confidential – safe
  • Regular contact reducing isolation and fear of this debilitating illness. The level of support will be determined by the woman in conjunction with you (her Volunteer Supporter)
  • Support can be provided via telephone/text and email or the woman may arrange to meet you face to face (Please refer to the LoneWorking Policy).
  • If women are unable to build a trusting relationship with their Volunteer Supporter, we will do our utmost to offer them another Volunteer Supporter and vica versa.

Model of Support – Our model of support is based around the principles of empowerment

  • To listen and believe - and give women space to tell their own story
  • To treat women as an equal and with respect
  • Not to make decisions for women although we may help them to work out what their options are
  • To give women information where it is appropriate regarding coping strategies, treatments, employment, childcare, planning for future pregnancies but NOT advice
  • To encourage women to take control over whatever aspects of their lives they can
  • To give women space where they are accepted and where they feel they have a right to be
  • To focus on each woman as an individual.

Nausea & vomiting in pregnancy (NVP) is very common, on average it affects 70-80% of pregnant women to a greater or lesser extent.


85% of pregnant women have two episodes of nausea per day.


30% of pregnant women in paid employment need time off work due to NVP.

Pregnancy Sickness Support

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Pregnancy Sickness Support

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