There will be no avoiding the discomfort of morning sickness for Britain’s Duchess of Cambridge.
When the Royal Family announced recently that the former Kate Middleton and her husband, Prince William, were expending their third child, it also reported that she was dealing with an extreme case of morning sickness known as Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG).
“About 80 percent of women have some nausea or vomiting during pregnancy,” said Hartford HealthCare OB/GYN Dr. Adam Borgida. “We call it morning sickness, but it’s really not limited to the morning. Most women have it throughout the day.”
Morning sickness is believed to be caused by rapidly rising blood levels of a hormone called HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin), which is released by the placenta.
But the duchess is among the 1-in-100 pregnant women for whom HG is best described as “more extreme than morning sickness.” It includes these symptoms:
- Nausea that does not subside
- Vomiting several times every day
- Weight loss
- Reduced appetite
- Feeling faint or fainting
Dry, bland foods and fluids together are the first line of treatment for both mild and severe forms of morning sickness, according to the CDC.
For women diagnosed with HG, pregnancy-safe medicines may be prescribed to help nausea. Many women with HG have to be hospitalized so they can be fed fluids and nutrients through a tube in their veins. Usually, women with HG begin to feel better by the 20th week of pregnancy. But some women vomit and feel nauseated throughout all three trimesters.
“The reassuring part is that it doesn’t affect pregnancy outcomes. Babies tend to be healthy. Moms tend to be healthy,” said Dr. Borgida.
For more information on maternity services at Hartford HealthCare, click here.