Duchess Kate's morning sickness

You’ve probably already heard that everyone’s favorite royal, the Duchess of Cambridge, is expecting her second child. The Duchess revealed the happy news yesterday, after she pulled out of an event at Oxford University due to her acute morning sickness.

If you followed Kate’s first pregnancy, you may know she is no stranger to morning sickness. You may not know that this “morning sickness” is actually a rare but severe condition called hyperemesis gravidarum (HG).

HG is thought to be a genetic illness, suffered by approximately three per cent of pregnant women. It causes constant vomiting during pregnancy and leads to dehydration, weight loss and a build up toxins in the blood and urine. Understandably, what is supposed to be one of the happiest experiences of motherhood, turns into months of physical torture.

Aussie mum of two and HG sufferer, Kirsty, will testify to that:

“It’s like a time warp, a parallel universe – time is going so slow. For me, it was weeks of permanent gastro. I vomited continuously – I couldn’t keep anything down,” she explains of her experience.

Kirsty describes the condition as a nightmare. While she forced herself to eat, keeping down liquids was near impossible. (Some women with HG struggle to swallow their own saliva without vomiting!) The constant loss of fluids and nutrients, meant Kirsty visited the hospital every week, often staying overnight or for up to three days.

However, despite not being able to drive a car or leave the house, Kirsty counts herself lucky. Unlike other sufferers of HG – whose symptoms can last for the entire pregnancy – Kirsty only endured 15 weeks of severe vomiting and gastro during each of her pregnancies.

Sadly, treatments for HG are few. Most medications aren’t recommended for pregnant women, therefore a healthy diet, vitamin supplements, and a good support system are often the best you can do. Some people suggest acupuncture or hypnosis, although neither of these techniques have proven results.

Like Kate, Kirsty went through hyperemesis through two pregnancies. Fortunately, both her children – like Prince George – were healthy, happy babies.

“There is light at the end of the tunnel. (Hyperemesis gravidarum) didn’t stop me from having a second child – and it obviously hasn’t stopped the Duchess either! It’s all worth it in the end,” says Kirsty.

Kate is allegedly eight weeks into her pregnancy. Our best wishes are with her and the baby.

Image via dailymail.co.uk