Counselling for partners and families affected by pregnancy sickness

Witnessing a loved one’s pregnancy sickness can leave partners, families, and friends shocked, confused, worried, or low in mood. They might feel overwhelmed or powerless, unable to do anything to end her suffering, or frustrated where struggling to access adequate health care support. They might experience disappointment or a sense of loss around not being able to enjoy a ‘normal’ pregnancy or their usual relationship. They might be inclined to ‘just carry on’ or ‘stay strong’ for her, neglecting their own wellbeing, or disengage emotionally as a way of surviving the period of illness.

While due to limited appointment spaces, I am currently unable to offer specialist Hyperemesis Counselling sessions to partners and relatives affected by Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG), please do bear in mind that general counselling is widely available and can be accessed via a GP, local community agencies, or BACP.

Counselling offers a supportive space where partners or relatives can begin to process and make sense of how the pregnancy sickness experience has affected them. Engaging with counselling can be restorative and replenishing, benefitting not just the individual who attends, but also their relationships. It can enable couples and families to recover, reconnect, and move forward. Where appropriate, it is advisable for therapists to refer to websites such as Hyperemesis Counselling or Pregnancy Sickness Support, to increase their understanding of the medical condition, and ensure their clinical practice is HG-aware.

Information and advice are also available from the Pregnancy Sickness Support website (including dedicated pages for family and friends), telephone helpline, and online forum for partners.