I have to say, I really feel for Kate Middleton and her struggles with hyperemesis during pregnancy. If you haven’t heard the news, the lovely Duchess has been canceling appearances left and right because she’s so sick from the condition. I was miserable with just regular morning sickness, and I wasn’t a famous person who needed to make public appearances during my pregnancy!
What is Hyperemesis Gravidarum?
Hyperemesis gravidarum is like morning sickness on overdrive. Think of the worst episode of nausea you ever had during pregnancy, then multiply by like a thousand. Then suffer from it constantly. As we all know, morning sickness never got the memo that morning ends at noon! How do you know if you have hyperemesis gravidarum rather than just a rotten case of normal morning sickness? Your doctor is the best one to ask, but the differences include:
- Nausea with severe vomiting, versus just occasional mild vomiting.
- Nausea that just never seems to let up, even after the end of your first trimester.
- Severe dehydration as a result of your complete inability to keep anything down. With regular morning sickness, you can typically find at least SOME food that you can keep down.
Did you catch that second sign? While most of us found general relief from morning sickness once the first trimester ended, Kate Middleton and others suffering from hyperemesis don’t get that luxury. I had a friend who suffered from it, she ended up losing quite a bit of weight and spending half her pregnancy on bed rest. Some women lose more than 5% of their body weight when suffering from this condition. Other signs of hyperemesis include secondary anxiety and depression from the condition, headaches, exhaustion and confusion.
When you think about what the Duchess is dealing with, it’s kind of a miracle that she’s still smiling and looking so beautiful in all her pictures. Of course, Kate Middleton likely has some of the best prenatal doctors in the world helping her treat it. What types of treatments can she expect? Again, it depends on the severity and the doctor, but some methods of treating hyperemesis include:
- IV Fluids to keep you hydrated
- Tube feeding (either through an NG tube (the kind that goes into your nose) or, in more severe cases, a PEG tube (the surgical kind that goes through your skin into your stomach)
- Anti-nausea medications, which have a whole slew of problems on their own (including migraines and mood swings).
Most doctors also recommend bed rest, which is difficult for a woman who is expected to make public appearances. You know what I say? Give Kate Middleton a break. Let the poor woman stay in bed relaxing as much as she can while she deals with this. Hyperemesis is serious. Even Duchesses deserve a little peace when they’re hurling constantly!
Have you ever dealt with hyperemesis during pregnancy? Do you feel for Kate Middleton and her struggles with it, or do you think she owes it to her public to make appearances regardless of how she feels?