A woman has kick-started a debate online after believing her pregnant colleague could be faking severe morning sickness to go away on holiday.
Taking to parenting site Mumsnet the anonymous poster explained that a woman in her team, who is 14 weeks pregnant, has been suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum, the condition the Duchess of Cambridge has experienced, and has been signed off work as a result.
“She’s been off sick for 5 weeks with severe hyperemesis and still has a week left on her sick note (she’s being signed off for 2 weeks at a time),” the woman wrote.
But the poster’s suspicions were aroused about how unwell the mum-to-be actually is when she spotted pictures of a mutual friend’s holiday in Greece and her colleague is also in the shots.
“My work colleague is in most of them – sunbathing, eating, swimming in the sea, playing volleyball,” she explained.
This has lead the poster to wonder if she is really as poorly as she says.
“I’m gonna sound like a complete cow but I think she’s faking her sickness.
“She’s on full pay from work and we’re having to pay an agency temp to cover her work too.
“It’s a small company that is struggling and I doubt we’re going to make any profit this month due to this.
“She’s not used any annual leave yet as she’s saving it up to use before her maternity leave.”
The woman went on to ask if she should tell her boss and other posters were quick to step in and offer their opinions on the tricky topic.
Some believed the original poster was right to be suspicious.
“Take screenshots and show the boss,” one woman offered. “People doing things like this are a big part of the reason why sick pay is shit and women’s pregnancy symptoms are doubted imo.”
“I’d take screen pics of everything and show your boss. Let him look into the legal ramifications of her being in Greece when she’s supposed to be so incredibly poorly with HG that she can’t work,” another added.
“There’s no way someone signed off for severe HG would think hopping on a flight and going on a beach holiday in the hot sun would be a great idea. The very idea of being hot and clammy on top of the constant sickness would add to the sickness!” the same poster added.
“As others have said if she has Hyperemesis there is no way on earth she would have had the energy or ability to get to the airport let alone get on a plane and play volleyball!!” another user wrote.
“I currently have HG, I haven’t left the house for two months and some days I can’t even sit up! I’ve lost 1 1/2 stone, been in and out of hospital on drips for my whole pregnancy, we cancelled our family holiday because of it. This woman does not have HG!!”
But others who had also experienced the pregnancy condition, said there was a chance the woman could now be feeling better.
“I had severe sickness that got much better at the 13-14 week mark. It could well be that she is feeling much better and will be returning to work when her sick note expires,” one user wrote.
“It’s exhausting being sick so much so if she is feeling better then I think a week or two to recharge isn’t unreasonable.”
“I had hyperemesis,” added another. “It was diagnosed when I ended up in hospital on a drip. I couldn’t move without vomiting. I have never felt so ill in my life it was awful. I missed a friends wedding as there’s no way I could have gone. I will say that it did magically clear up overnight at 14 weeks. It was so bizarre but just went away. So it’s possible she’s feeling better. After 14 weeks you’d never have known I was that ill.”
Pregnancy Sickness Support (PSS) describes HG as a severe complication of pregnancy. Sufferers can find normal functioning difficult, struggle to maintain adequate food and fluid intake and can experience vomiting in excess of 30 times a day.
Current figures reveal that around 1-2% of women suffer from the condition, which can have very real and very debilitating consequences for both mother and baby.
PSS advises any woman who thinks she might be suffering from the condition to seek medical help.
The NHS state the following on treatment for HG:
“There are medications that can be used in pregnancy, including the first 12 weeks, to help improve the symptoms of HG. These include anti-sickness (anti-emetic) drugs, vitamins (B6 and B12) and steroids, or combinations of these.”
“If your nausea and vomiting cannot be controlled, you may need to be admitted to hospital. This is so doctors can assess your condition and give you the right treatment to protect the health of you and your baby.”
“Treatment can include intravenous fluids, which are given directly into a vein through a drip. If you have severe vomiting, the anti-sickness drugs may also need to be given via a vein or a muscle.”
More information about the condition and treatments can be found on the PSS website and the Pregnancy Sickness Support Helpline Number: 024 7638 2020 is available from 9am – 4:30pm.
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