While the world has been buzzing with the news of a royal baby, Kate Middleton, up until recently, has been suffering from a rare pregnancy condition called Hyperemesis Gravidarum. While the media continues to call it “morning sickness,” many may be under the impression that the Duchess has simply been spoiled and overly dramatic. In fact, just the other day, someone said to me, “How many women suffer from morning sickness and don’t go to the hospital? Give me a break!”
To be clear, Hyperemesis is anything but morning sickness. Morning sickness, affecting between 50-80% of pregnant women, can be mild to moderate nausea or perhaps vomiting, but does not interfere with the metabolic makeup of the mother. Hyperemesis is a rare pregnancy condition, resulting in debilitating nausea and vomiting and affects less than 2% of expecting mothers. Many mothers suffering from the condition find that they are completely unable to go on with their normal day-to-day lives due to illness and many lose up to 10% of their body weight.
Hyperemesis sufferers find that the slightest of smells has the potential to send them into a fit of vomiting. The unrelenting nausea and vomiting that Hyperemis produces leads to dehydration and malnutrition, often requiring a hospital admission, in expecting mothers due to the inability to take in food or fluids. Most women suffering from Hyperemesis will experience relief by the time they reach 18-weeks, however some women suffer until the birth of their baby. Hyperemesis Gravidarum is a serious condition and can be the cause of fetal growth restriction and in some cases, maternal and/or fetal death.
I would have hoped the media would’ve portrayed the Duchess’ condition for what it actually is, instead of making it seem like a princess can’t handle an average run-of-the-mill bout of pregnancy-related nausea.