Royal baby alert! Kate Middleton and Prince William have announced they’re pregnant with their third child. But, with the excitement of another pregnancy, comes another round of Hyperemesis Gravidarum for the Duchess.
Curious to know more about the rare — not to mention: severe — type of morning sickness Kate has fallen victim to during her three pregnancies? From causes to symptoms to how to tell if you have the same problem, we share everything you need to know — plus, Kate Middleton’s history with the sickness — ahead.
What is Hyperemesis Gravidarum?
According to the American Pregnancy Association, “it is a condition characterized by severe nausea, vomiting, weight loss, and electrolyte disturbance.” In other words: It’s a case of extreme morning sickness.
Is it the same as morning sickness?
Think HG is the same as morning sickness? Think again. While the symptoms may seem similar, HG is in fact much more severe than morning sickness and may require professional care. With morning sickness, nausea is sometimes accompanied by vomiting, which usually subsides after the first trimester, does not cause severe dehydration, and allows you to keep some food down.
On the other hand, HG consists of nausea that is accompanied by severe vomiting, nausea that does not go away, as well as, vomiting that causes severe dehydration and doesn’t allow you to keep your food down.
What causes HG?
While the cause of HG may be unknown, many believe it is caused by escalated hormone levels. Symptoms have been reported to appear within the first month and a half of pregnancy (4-6 weeks) and can peak at the end of the first trimester (9-13 weeks). That being said, like regular morning sickness, most women start to feel relief after their first trimester. However, up to 20% of women still show symptoms and require care for HG throughout their entire pregnancy.
Symptoms to look out for
The American Pregnancy Association lists the following symptoms of HG. If you experience any of the below, they suggest seeking professional help.
- Severe nausea and vomiting
- Food aversions
- Weight loss of 5% or more of pre-pregnancy weight
- Decrease in urination
- Extreme fatigue
- Low blood pressure
- Rapid heart rate
- Loss of skin elasticity
- Secondary anxiety and depression
Are there treatments for HG?
While there is no known cause of HG, there are some ways you can manage and treat the symptoms. And, in the event that a case of HG is severe, hospitalization may be required. There, a medical professional will put the patient on an IV to help restore hydration, electrolytes, vitamins, and nutrients. In addition, they may require a tube feeding and medications.
At-home treatments include: bed rest, acupressure, herbs, hypnosis, and homeopathic remedies. That being said, if a patient wishes to be treated with homeopathic remedies, the American Pregnancy Association suggests running it by a doctor beforehand.
How to tell if you have HG
One way to tell if you are experiencing HG is to check for the symptoms listed above. If you are experiencing severe nausea and vomiting that doesn’t subside, or any of the other symptoms — or, are unsure — it is best to seek help from a medical professional.
For more information on HG, visit the HER Foundation.
Kate Middleton’s HG
During Kate Middleton’s first pregnancy, it was announced that the Duchess of Cambridge suffers from HG. In fact, the Duchess had to announce her last two pregnancies earlier than expected, due to this rare and severe morning sickness.
With her third pregnancy, Kate Middleton was due to make an appearance at Hornsey Road Children’s Centre in London, but had to cancel due to falling ill from HG. Kensington Palace made the announcement in early September 2017 and the Duchess is currently being cared for at her home.