Why do some women get competitive over pregnancy illnesses?

(23 Posts)
YerMaw1989 Thu 13-Dec-12 15:49:43

I got told ginger biscuits and arrowroot biscuits are a favourite too lol.

Furoshika Wed 12-Dec-12 11:04:44

Somebody will have told her to eat a ginger biscuit. They just cannot bloody help themselves.

For the record, Never suggest ginger to someone with HG grin

YerMaw1989 Wed 12-Dec-12 10:48:52

I've had severe morning sickness with every pregnancy, on average 6 times a day so ill I had some days I couldn't walk. I don't know if that would count as hypermesis because no medical person ever helped me at all and were very dismissive.

I think a lot of people are wondering that had she been josie average would she have received this level of care? probably not, It doesn't make me feel like a very good person but when you nearly miscarry due to your stomach muscles being so aggravated and an aggravated cervix the vast inequality in care can make you a little bit angry, I think perhaps thats more the case.

grimbletart Tue 11-Dec-12 13:00:32

Hear hear 10storey: my best friend and I were pregnant at the same time. I sailed through without any nausea or sickness, she poor soul, had HG right up to the end of her pregnancy and was in hospital for most of it. I have never felt so sorry for someone in my life. She look gaunt, lost 10 per cent of her body weight and could not even lift her head from the pillow without vomiting It went on day and night.

Those men on fb don't know they're born. Makes me angry

10storeylovesong Mon 10-Dec-12 21:49:19

I must admit that I've left quite a few sarcastic comments on men's status' on fb who have the audacity to bad mouth Kate, then a few days later are talking about how they've had to call in sick with the 'sickness bug'. I'm just coming out the other end of 17 weeks of extremely bad morning sickness - you've had less than 24 hours of it - how dare you judge what women are going through?! It tends to be the men whose partners sailed through pregnancy.

digerd Tue 04-Dec-12 13:18:38

I had morning sickness - more nausia as did not vomit- but also ate less as most things turned my stomach, but stopped in Covent Garden as fancied a peach, and tasted sooooo good. It was decades ago, but still remember .

I suppose I did not have it that bad and was worried about Kate, as did not hear of Diana being in hospital during either of her pregnancies during those early months.
Or was she? I was living abroad at that time.

IslaValargeone Tue 04-Dec-12 13:14:17

What purplecrayon said especially about the ginger biscuit grin

LRDtheFeministDude Tue 04-Dec-12 13:11:02

namechange - with you there, it is revolting.

HG sounds absolutely awful ... but then, I do think it's absurd that 'just' morning sickness is talked about (not here, but often) as a minor thing. When you think what a fuss some people make about a hangover, and that's self-inflicted!

I'm afraid I just ignore anyone who 'claims' HG but was able to 'soldier on'. If you have HG you can't 'soldier on'. You can't eat, drink or function. You generally lose 10% of your body weight and require hospitalisation for a saline drip and antiemetics. If you are lucky, your stay will be brief and your care consistent. If not, you will suffer more than you need to and possibly end up with complications or losing your pregnancy. It's not a competition I would voluntarily enter in to, tbh.

namechangeguy Tue 04-Dec-12 13:07:50

'Do wonder if men do this with men's health problems?'

I don't know how gender-specific this is, but my favourite angry people are those who come to work full of snot and germs, and proceed to cough it all over the office, thus ensuring that we can all share in their misery. Martyrs, all of them - obviously the economy would grind to a halt if they missed a day at work.

purplecrayon Tue 04-Dec-12 12:58:58

Anyone who has had proper hyperemesis (like me) would not wish it on the Duchess of Cambridge. It is horrendous.

I hope that this will raise the profile of the illness and make treatment better for everyone who has it.

There is nothing to gloat about "soldiering on". For me, this included having a 15 month old toddler penned into a playpen whilst I laid on the floor in a fuzzy consciousness whilst pregnant and vomiting for hours at a time until my husband or mother could help me and DC1. I could not look after DC1, the only way to keep him safe was in the playpen. I could hardly walk I was so weak. I was slumped on the floor half dead next to the playpen containing my bored toddler - WTF is wrong with someone who would wish that on the Duchess of Cambridge? Soldier on my arse, it's much better to be looked after and have proper treatment.

For the record, the definition of hyperemesis is being incapacitated/unable to function daily. If you are able to function but are being sick multiple times per day, that is not necessarily hyperemesis, but bad morning sickness. So some of the reports of "soldiering on" are not quite right IMO.

If I had been the D of C, someone would have taken my toddler to do something fun and brought me a drip and some drugs. I hope she is looked after very well. However, no amount of looking after will make hyperemesis "better". You still feel like shit whatever anyone does for you.

Hopefully someone will not have told her to eat a ginger biscuit grin

Thinking about it, it isn't just pregnancy related. It does seem to be especially bad for women's health problems.

I mean, how often do you hear people saying that period pain is a rubbish excuse for taking time off work? Usually with the addendum of "I don't take time of when I have cramps". And it is almost always women that make these comments.

Or smear tests? I know when I've had women doing the smear test they tend to have little to no sympathy, whereas the men seem much more concerned about the pain you are in.

Obviously this doesn't mean that all women are dismissive and all men aren't. There are exceptions to both. But I've definitely noticed the bias.

I don't get the competitiveness, it isn't helpful to anyone.

Do wonder if men do this with men's health problems?

GalaxyDisaster Tue 04-Dec-12 12:45:24

I think the thread is a bit different to what I have seen elsewhere. That is sharing experience, but generally the theme is " I had this horrible illness and got minimal support" or "thank god I had a doctor that took me seriously". That's rather different from "oh, I had it and I still made it into work and ran a marathon" a la certain sections of the media.

I know that when I was suffering from hyperemesis my doctor thought it was helpful to tell me how she suffered with morning sickness and still made it into work. She also told my husband that I was a "stressy" person and that was why I was so bad. sad

I'm now trying really hard to avoid reading about it everywhere, especially the "I managed without going to hospital" and "pregnancy isn't an illness" type comments.

"And when you get lots of women with a similar experience, it looks Luke competition, but it's nit quite the same thing."

Absolutely. There's another thread talking about the hyperemesis thread being competitive. And it just isn't. It's helpful to be able to talk about it and also read that others suffered too. It's cathartic in a way. The only impression I got from the hyperemesis thread is one of a kind of solidarity.

GalaxyDisaster Tue 04-Dec-12 12:42:01

I haven't seen any negative comments from anyone in real life. The only disparaging comments I have seen have been from people who work near the area of the hospital and are having to brave the media circus- but that's not directed at Kate.

However, the articles are pissing me right off. I think it is another manifestation of the 'mother martyr' culture we seem to have developed in this country. We have to prove just how hard we had it, and how we didn't even break stride. Simultaneously denying female experience, cloning the male model and pandering to the idea that 'women's issues' are small things that we go away if only we were to 'man up'.

LRDtheFeministDude Tue 04-Dec-12 12:34:04

Since we're in feminism, can I moan about something else too?

The number of blokes who're making 'witty' comments about it is really pissing me off. A mate of mine has commented on his pregnant wife's status to say that a bit of 'vomming' never slowed her down because 'she's used to me on a Friday night'. Another one's commented that 'at least you ladies don't get manflu' (oh, yeah, that well-known medical diagnosis, manflu hmm).

It might well be because of the kind of male/female people I know but I've not seen much competitive pregnancy-ing from women, just lots of status updates about how shit hyperemesis is and how it's positive that now people have an opportunity to see that in a high-profile woman. I've seen loads of rubbish twittery from blokes. angry

CailinDana Tue 04-Dec-12 08:28:26

Some people have no empathy. My mother is one of them - she didn't have any morning sickness in pregnancy so she firmly believes it's "in the woman's head." Basically she's an idiot, and all the people who don't understand that people are different and suffer differently are also idiots. Best to ignore IMO.

WidowWadman Tue 04-Dec-12 06:45:06

It pisses me off. It's just not possible to extrapolate from one pregnancy and/or birth experience to another.
So you didn't get hospitalised with HG, but only felt a bit queasy? That's good for you, but doesn't mean that HG didn't exist and isn't serious.

You didn't need pain killers? Yay for you! But doesn't mean all women have it as easy.

BikeRunSki Mon 03-Dec-12 21:27:26

I had HG. It was crap. I was in hospital several times in both pg. But the most "competitive pg" remarks I have ever had was from my sister. Both my DC were born slightly early,butnot scarily so. Her comment, after DC2 was born "I knew you didn't have it in you to go to full term. I was pregnant for 43 weeks both times." (She is overseas, where they don't induce you at 42 weeks).

TheElfOnThePanopticon Mon 03-Dec-12 21:24:51

I think that it's like birth stories about difficult births - a lot of the time a woman's suffering is downplayed and pretty much ignored, so she ends up talking about it over and over again, until people actually start listening and acknowledging the hurt. And when you get lots of women with a simular experience, it looks Luke competition, but it's nit quite the same thing.

NellyBluth Mon 03-Dec-12 21:20:49

Yes - MN seems to be the one place where people are overwhelmingly sympathising. I'm coming from the angle of having had HG myself, I wouldn't wish it on anyone and I wouldn't compare on level of sickness with another. I wasn't hospitalised but mine lasted 5 months; a friend's only lasted about six weeks, but she was hospitalised twice during that time.

I keep noticing this competitve attitude around. Sometimes on here to - I've seen other posters occasionally calling it the Mummy Martyrs. I just find it very sad.

EdithWeston Mon 03-Dec-12 21:16:13

Have you read the today's hyperemesis threads?

It sounds like a number of people suffered greatly and this was compounded by the medical establishment's refusal to take the condition seriously. The extent and duration of the hyperemesis reported is dreadful, and I hope this will mean sufferers do not have to battle HCPs in future as well as struggling with the condition.

NellyBluth Mon 03-Dec-12 21:12:28

I was going to post this on AIBU but I thought this might be a better place for it...

After today's news that the Duchess of Cambridge is possibly suffering from hyperemesis, I've seen a rash of comments on places like Facebook and the Guardian from women talking about how they suffered from hyperemesis but they didn't get whisked off to hospital for a few days because they were ill, that they just soldiered on regardless etc., all generally being very disparaging in tone.

It just feels like some women take great pride in being very competitive about how much they suffered during their pregnancy and how well they coped with it. Which reminds me of how some women can be very competitive about their births as well (as regards natural births and pain relief).

Has anyone else noticed this, or am I just overthinking things? I can't help that feel sad that the news that someone is suffering in pregnancy has become a chance for some women to show off how they managed during their own pregnancy.

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