About H.E.R. Foundation
The HER Foundation is the world's largest grassroots network of hyperemesis gravidarum (HG) survivors and leading site for HG information on the Internet. HER is dedicated to helping those suffering hyperemesis or those who have survived it. Only those who experience HG can truly understand how difficult it is! The Foundation is here to be a voice of support and education to all who are faced with managing HG. Our mission is to find a cure for hyperemesis and its complications through advanced research, provide education and support to those seeking effective management strategies for hyperemesis, and provide information on new resources and treatment options as they become available.
The Founders of the HER Foundation meet Dr. Phil to thank him for helping inform the public about hyperemesis.
From left to right, Kimber MacGibbon, Dr. Phil McGraw, Ann Marie King and Jeremy King.
In 2001 Ann Marie King suffered from severe hyperemesis and was in and out of the hospital throughout her pregnancy. In despair and searching of answers, Ann Marie asked her doctor if she could speak with another woman who had suffered through HG. The doctor did not know of anyone she could contact. It was then that Ann Marie knew her calling was to help other women who are suffering from HG and let them know they are not alone. Thankfully, Ann Marie’s husband Jeremy found Kimber and once Ann Marie had delivered a healthy baby boy, the three co-founders created the HER Foundation and achieved 501(c)3 non-profit status. They created a website (www.HelpHER.org) which included a forum for women to support each other and a referral network of doctors who truly understand HG. In addition, they launched a nationwide awareness campaign which included a briefing on Capitol Hill sponsored by several Congressman.
Today, the website receives over 200,000 visitors each year from all over the world and manages an interactive forum which has over 5,000 members. The directors and volunteers at the HER Foundation continue to be driven by a strong desire to minimize the suffering of women with HG and to eliminate the need for aborting much-wanted babies due to misery, misinformation and desperation. HER hopes that health care professionals will find the information they need to provide consistent, proactive, and effective care for women with HG and that women and their families will find ways to better cope with this debilitating condition. HER Foundation is currently working closely with the University of Southern California (USC) and the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) to conduct genetic research.
“After talking with hundreds of families over the last decade, I still find it shocking to hear how many women were denied needed medical care such that they feared their death or that of their child’s. Thousands of babies die each year before birth, and some mothers lose their lives as well. It’s no surprise that many of these women have signs of post-traumatic stress disorder postpartum. There is sustaining medical care and treatments that are effective in the majority of women, giving them at least enough relief to survive the pregnancy and minimize the occurrence of adverse complications. Unfortunately, the stress and malnutrition associated with hyperemesis increases the incidence of emotional and developmental disorders in a significant number of children born to mothers with HG. The effects of HG last a lifetime and impose a great burden, financially, medically and socially, which affect everyone for generations.”
Ann Marie's Story
"You feel so helpless, no one truly understands HG except those who have experienced it. It's truly frustrating when doctors, nurses, family and friends cannot get what is happening to your body and how the dreams of a normal pregnancy with cravings and taking care of your baby inside by eating healthy and using no type of drugs whatsoever have disappeared. Unless you have walked in the shoes of an HG woman you cannot begin to imagine what they are enduring. You may have endured bad morning sickness and you think you understand, but you can't. Morning sickness and HG are completely different. Do not judge because the physical and emotional pain HG women endure while trying to sustain the life/lives of their unborn children is real. Simply be supportive and let them know you care. What is too painful to remember we try to forget, but I ask HG women and their families not to forget, but help the HER Foundation fight for research and awareness that is so desperately needed. The future of your children depends on it. Together we are heard, alone we are silent!"
“Husbands and fathers need to understand that HG needs to be taken seriously. Although your family and friends may tell you it is just morning sickness, it is not, it does not even come close. The most important thing they can do is support the HG women in their life and be an advocate for them. Be their voice and make sure they are receiving good medical care and are treated with respect and not as if they are a troublesome patients. This is your time to speak on behalf of your wife/girlfriend or loved one, her life and the baby’s could be at stake.”
Updated on: Sep. 23, 2014