‘Counting On’: Pregnant Abbie Duggar Is Battling the Same Condition That Afflicted Kate Middleton

Abbie Duggar is having a rough time. The 27-year-old, who is expecting her first child with husband John David Duggar, 29, has been battling severe morning sickness, the dad-to-be told Us Weekly. He called the experience “scary.”

Abbie Duggar had hyperemesis gravidarum

Abbie — who is due early next year — was diagnosed with hyperemesis gravidarum, John David explained. It’s a type of serious morning sickness that causes extreme nausea and vomiting. It can lead to dehydration, weight loss, and can sometimes requires hospitalization.

“It hit her hard, and she was down for probably seven weeks with severe morning sickness,” he told the magazine. “She got diagnosed with hyperemesis gravidarum, and she was hospitalized a couple times. We made multiple visits to the ER for dehydration. … She couldn’t eat, pretty much, or drink, or anything. So she was actually on IVs and had IVs at home. So that was a pretty scary time.”

John David stepped up to take care of his wife

While Abbie’s illness was alarming, John David stepped up to care for his wife and make sure she was as comfortable as possible. 

“I keep her water filled up, and her snacks for her,” the Counting On star explained. “I keep her eating and just comfortable. Anything I can get for her, I try to. I run to the store, [get] whatever she needs, just keep her as comfortable as possible when she’s feeling bad.”

Abbie says she’s been grateful for her husband’s help. “He’s cooked for me. He’s cleaned. He’s just been an angel,” she said. 

Kate Middleton also suffered from hyperemesis gravidarum

Kate Middleton
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge | Samir Hussein/WireImage

Hyperemesis gravidarum affects fewer than 3% of pregnant women, according to WebMD. Many people had never heard of it until 2012, when the royal family revealed that Kate Middleton was suffering from the condition during her pregnancy with Prince George. The duchess had to be admitted to the hospital for treatment. She experienced the condition again during her second and third pregnancies. 

Since then, a number of celebrities have opened up about their struggle with the condition. Amy Schumer’s hypermesis was so serious she had to be hospitalized. 

“I have hyperemesis and it blows,” the comedian wrote on Instagram. “Very lucky to be pregnant but this is some bullsh*t!”

Amber Rose also experienced the extreme nausea and vomiting associated with the condition. “I’m tired and I just want to barf all day. It’s just not fun. But it’s totally worth it,” she said in an Instagram video.

Hyperemesis gravidarum symptoms and treatment 

a pregnant woman
A pregnant woman | Matthew Horwood/Getty Images

Doctors aren’t entirely sure what causes hyperemesis gravidarum, though it might be related to changes in hormone levels, according to the Cleveland Clinic. Symptoms usually begin in the first trimester and include vomiting multiple times per day, losing a significant amount of weight, dizziness and lightheadness, and dehydration. 

Women who’ve experienced the condition describe not being able to keep down most food, being unable to get out of bed, and feeling so awful they considered ending the pregnancy. 

Treatment for hyperemesis gravidarum can include anti-nausea medications, intravenous fluids, and ginger. Some women may need to be hospitalized if the condition is severe.