Kate Middleton suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum: What is it?
The headline of the week (and perhaps the month) is undoubtedly the announcement of Prince William and Kate Middleton’s pregnancy. The future queen is still in the early stages of pregnancy. It is speculated that she is 10 weeks along, which is the end of the first trimester. However, they had to let the cat out of the bag a bit early because she was admitted into the hospital with hyperemesis gravidarum.
What is hyperemesis gravidarum?
Hyperemesis gravidarum is a more severe form of the traditional morning sickness that many women suffer from during pregnancy. In the morning sickness we are used to hearing about, women suffer from nausea, occasional vomiting, food aversions, and fatigue.
With hyperemesis gravidarum, the expectant mother will suffer from a more severe form of these symptoms. All nausea is accompanied by vomiting and the accompanying risk of dehydration and malnourishment. It also tends to last much longer into pregnancy than traditional morning sickness.
How many women suffer from it?
While most women have some nausea during early pregnancy (and about a third experience actual vomiting), only about 1% suffer from hyperemesis gravidarum, so chances are that the discomfort you feel will pass. Contact your doctor immediately if the vomiting gets so severe that you are unable to take in and keep down any fluids or food.
Are there any treatments?
For hyperemesis gravidarum, hospitalization may be the only way to make sure that malnourishment and dehydration do not occur. For less severe morning sickness, there are a few tried and true tips to beat or manage symptoms.
- Change your eating habits to 4-6 smaller meals per day instead of 3 large meals.
- Avoid all nausea inducing foods and focus on foods that you can eat without complications.
- Stay away from processed junk foods, sugars, and greasy/fried foods as they can all increase stomach discomfort and cause heartburn or indigestion on top of nausea.
- Sip slowly on fluids throughout the day including carbonated beverages that may help quell tummy troubles.
- Make sure to get plenty of rest.
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