When the Perrottets came into Mamamia to talk endo and miscarriage.

When you live in a house with seven children, things get broken.

And for the Perrottets, New South Wales' "First Family" those things have included three precious reminders of loss.

Speaking to Mamamia, the Premier and his wife, Helen Perrottet said they used to have three little cherub statues on the mantelpiece at home to honour the three children they have lost in miscarriage.

"Maxy, Diana and Francis. We did have little cherubs on our mantlepiece but... some toddler smashed them. They ended up becoming very chipped," Mrs Perrottet said.

The family say they still honour the siblings daily.

"They say goodnight to them every single night," she said. "It’s the acknowledgement of them as little people."

Mr Perrottet said when Helen had her first miscarriage he wasn’t sure how to best offer support.

"When Helen had her first miscarriage I had very little understanding," he said.

"I think one of the issues with miscarriage, a lot of people don’t talk about it because a lot of people don’t announce their pregnancy until 12-weeks," Mrs Perrottet added.

"Miscarriage would normally happen before that point in time. So a lot of people will grieve quietly, and then it's that awful conversation, telling their friends or people around them that they've lost their baby, when they haven't even… told them they were pregnant. Or else they don’t talk about it at all."

Mrs Perrottet encouraged people to reach out to friends and family members who have experienced pregnancy loss.


"It’s quite a shock, you get handed a brochure, not a baby and that’s quite a shock."

She also wanted to highlight the unhelpful things that people say to a person who has experienced pregnancy loss.

"The worst one is, 'Don’t worry you’ve got kids'. Or, 'Don’t worry you’re going to have another one'. I was very blessed to have more children, but they weren’t replacements," she said.

This week the Perrottet’s came into Mamamia to provide insight into their life away from politics, pregnancy loss, and gender balance in parliament.

Less than two weeks out from the NSW Election, there’s a lot of talk about poker machines, employment opportunities and road tolls but Mr Perrottet was here to appeal to women and he wanted to talk about endometriosis.

The NSW Liberals have announced that they will invest $16.3 million to deliver new endometriosis and pelvic pain services if re-elected.

Watch: What endometriosis sufferers wish for. Post continues below.  

Video via Mamamia. 

The $16.3 million will be invested over four years to improve the management and care of the often complex and debilitating symptoms from endometriosis and other causes of pelvic pain.


Perrottet was interviewed for Mamamia by The Quicky’s Claire Murphy and she wanted to know if he had known what endometriosis was before he had looked into this extra funding initiative.

"My brother's wife has suffered from endometriosis," he said. "So it's something that has been very personal to them. And it's been a challenge in their lives. But it's one of those areas as well that most people don't talk about... Those [are] the areas in politics that you really want to raise awareness for. Then you make the investments to make a difference."

The next question from Murphy was as follows: "If you were to explain endometriosis to somebody, how would you explain it?"

"Well, I would say... It's a good question. I would say, you know, pain in the uterus, in that area."

Murphy signalled to the Premier’s wife Helen Perrottet, asking if she too wished to provide an answer to the same question. 

The Premier then said: "Helen, time to step in."

Although the Premier couldn’t articulate the condition, he acknowledged it affects 700,000 women and girls across Australia and that funding for the condition is crucial.

"I know that will make a real difference for women across our state."

Mrs Perrottet said watching her husband on the campaign trail has been at times "brutal."

"I am exhausted watching Dom," she said.

"It’s a tough job but you meet amazing people," the Premier added.

When asked what he thought were the top two concerns for Mamamia’s audience of women, as per Mamamia's audience and survey data we have collected for the NSW Election, Perrottet listed two issues.


One was childcare. The other was domestic and family violence.

"I would have thought support for childcare and getting back into the workforce and getting mums and dads – not just women – balancing work and family life. That's something that I hear every single day. Then, I would have thought domestic and family violence," he said.


In fact, Mamamia's NSW female audience said that cost of living and climate change action were the top two issues determining how they would vote in the NSW Election on March 25.

For context, the top five issues in ranking order were: cost of living (71.9 per cent), climate change action (60.9 per cent), health and hospital funding (54.7 per cent), action on family violence (50 per cent), and rental crisis management (45.3 per cent). Childcare did rank as an important issue that some women said would influence their vote in this state election. But it was far from the most voted on in our survey. 

The NSW Premier has claimed that coverage and funds being promised by NSW Liberals would make a tangible difference for women with endometriosis in NSW.

The proposed funding goes as follows.

On Thursday, the NSW Liberals announced a $16.3 million investment for new endometriosis and pelvic pain services under a re-elected Liberal and Nationals Government.

By the way, the announcement of the package via the NSW Government and NSW Health also included a formal definition of what endometriosis actually is.

It's when tissue that is similar to the lining of the uterus (womb), called the endometrium, grows outside of your uterus. It is a progressive, chronic condition, and it is estimated to effect 700,000 Australians, causing significant pain and in some cases infertility.

The NSW Liberals' investment will be made over four years. The package will also fund two comprehensive endometriosis and pelvic pain hubs – one in metropolitan Sydney and one, broadly, in regional NSW. The hubs will deliver a "cost-effective, evidence based, multidisciplinary pelvic pain model of care" with clearly defined referral criteria for women with "severe symptoms". In the announcement, it was said that free services will be accessible.


When asked where exactly the two centres will be in NSW, Perrottet said to Mamamia: "We'll take advice from our health team."

One of the centres will be regionally located to service parts of regional and rural NSW – although two centres for a large state means not everyone will have immediate access. 

As Perrottet noted himself: "Regional NSW is so vast that it is very difficult. We will have 14 staff in total, seven staff at each centre. And I see this as the start. For some people it can take up to six and a half years to for endo to be actually diagnosed and then that prolongs the pain going forward.

"Round the country we have pressure on the public health system... Let's get them up and running and we'll learn from it. It won't be perfect, but that's like everything when you do something new and different in government."

Perrottet's announcement has been welcomed by many within the endometriosis community. But it's also a package that some feel is a bandaid solution to a wider issue. 

Dr Amanda Cohn is a GP and upper house candidate for the Greens this state election.

According to Dr Cohn, reproductive health services - including treatment for endometriosis - should be provided through mainstream public health services rather than siloing these things off into specialist services. And from her perspective, the NSW Liberal Party's plan is opposite to what the Greens believe is the right course of action.


"We know that people are finding it harder and harder to get in to see a GP. We know that hospital elective surgery waitlists have blown out. And we know that the health sector generally is facing a staffing crisis," she said to Mamamia.

"Then people are either having to travel or pay significant costs to get into the private system to access reproductive healthcare."

As a GP and frontline emergency services volunteer based in Albury-Wodonga NSW, Dr Cohn said she has seen firsthand the lack of services available to women struggling with endometriosis.

And she feels the NSW Liberal Party's endometriosis package announcement is evidence of "further fragmentation of the health system".

However, the Premier has asserted that his new scheme is just the beginning and his plan for endometriosis treatment and diagnosis in the state will be somewhat of a learning process. 

"There's a long way to go," Premier Perrottet said to Mamamia's The Quicky. "This is an area I know that will make a real difference for women across our state. What's most important is that you set it up, you get feedback, you learn from it and then expand it further."

Read more: For women in NSW, there's one issue in particular that's driving how they will vote.

Feature Image: Getty/Mamamia. 

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