Earlier today it was confirmed by Clarence House that the Duke
and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting their second child. The statement issued by the Kensington Palace
reported that the Queen and other members of the royal family are “delighted”
by the news. Once born, the baby will be fourth in line to the throne,
regardless of the gender.
According to the Independent, Kensington Palace also
confirmed that Duchess Kate is once again suffering from Hyperemesis Gravidarum
(HG), a condition that complicated her first pregnancy with Prince George.
Hyperemesis Gravidarum explained
Hyperemesis Gravidarum is a condition whereby a pregnant
woman suffers extreme nausea and vomiting which can result in severe
dehydration and weight loss. While many women suffer from some form of morning
sickness during pregnancy, this condition is far more intense. In serious
cases, mothers with HG are admitted to hospital to receive fluids through an IV
to prevent dehydration.
cause of morning sickness is believed to be related to rising levels of a
hormone, human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG), in the blood. During early pregnancy, the HCG levels in the body
double every 2-3 days and continue to rise throughout pregnancy.
There are a number of risk factors that place a mother at a
higher risk of developing HG. According to Healthline, these include:
Being pregnant for the first time
Having a previous history of HG
Being pregnant with multiples
Being overweight or obese
Read: Hyperemesis Gravidarum may be hereditary
The difference between HG and morning sickness
American Pregnancy states that Hyperemesis Gravidarum differs from morning sickness in that the nausea is accompanied by severe
vomiting, often occuring several times per day, sufferers are unable to hold
down any food or fluids and possibly become dehydrated as a result. This presents a serious health risk to both the mother and her unborn child.
Symptoms include the following:
Low blood pressure and fainting
Weighing less than pre-pregnancy weight
Headaches and confusion
Aversion to consuming anything
Should a woman experience any of the above mentioned
symptoms, it is important to seek professional advice from a doctor. It is very
important that sufferers do not self-medicate without consulting a doctor
According to Medline Plus, HG is most severe between the 2nd
and 12th week of pregnancy and usually disappears entirely by the
second half of the pregnancy.
HG unlikely to harm royal baby
Luckily for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, HG rarely
causes harm to the unborn child. Because of the inability to hold down any
food, babies born to women suffering from HG can have a lower than average
birth weight. The Independent states that Duchess Kate is currently being
treated by doctors at the Kensington Palace where her Hyperemesis Gravidarum will
be carefully monitored and treated.
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Image: By Maximus0970 (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (Creative Commons)], via Wikimedia Commons
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