While the world is celebrating the upcoming arrival of Royal Baby #2, Kate Middleton is probably trying to keep her breakfast down. The Duchess of Cambridge is suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum, a severe form of morning sickness that she also had while pregnant with Prince George.
Though most pregnant women experience some form of morning sickness, hyperemesis gravidarum is far less common, and way worse, sending more than 50,000 pregnant women in America to the hospital each year.
Unfortunately for Duchess Kate, women are more likely to get hyperemesis gravidarum if they had it during their first pregnancy. The exact cause of the illness is unknown, but may be due to high levels of one pregnancy hormone spiking and triggering the part of a woman's brain that causes nausea and vomiting. Signs of the condition first appear four to six weeks into a pregnancy and peak between nine and 13 weeks, but about one-fifth of unlucky women have to continue treatment for the entire nine months.
The symptoms include never-ending nausea and severe vomiting that causes dehydration and prevents you from keeping any food down as well as possible weight-loss, headaches, and fainting. Some women can be treated at home through bed rest and homeopathic treatments; more severe cases must be treated in a hospital through IV fluids and feeding tubes. Though she's being treated by doctors in Kensington Palace for the moment, Kate was hospitalized while pregnant with Prince George.
Like last time around, KMidd will likely lay low for a while as she goes through this. She's already canceled a visit to Oxford and any incognito shopping trips to pick out baby clothes are probably out of the question for a while. Here's hoping her symptoms end soon, so she can join the rest of the world in Royal Baby Fever!
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Megan Friedman is the former managing editor of the Newsroom at Hearst. She's worked at NBC and Time, and is a graduate of Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism.
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