Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you are well aware that the Duchess of Cambridge (the former Kate Middleton) recently spent 4 days in a London hospital, where she was treated for hyperemesis gravidarum.
True, she is a member of the Royal family…but did she really need to be hospitalized? For morning sickness? Yes. Hyperemesis gravidarum refers to extreme nausea and vomiting during pregnancy that is severe and persistent. It is often accompanied by lightheadedness or fainting and can lead to weight loss.
The condition is sometimes indicative of a “twin” pregnancy, causing many to speculate that the Duchess is pregnant with twins. (Rumors have also been swirling across the pond that the couple used IVF with gender selection to achieve the pregnancy.) The chief concern with hyperemesis gravidarum is dehydration, so IV fluids are often administered. Once home, small, frequent meals and eating dry foods such as crackers may help relieve uncomplicated nausea. Seltzer, ginger ale, or other sparkling waters may be helpful as well.
Vitamin B6 (no more than 100 mg daily) has been shown to decrease the nausea in early pregnancy. Medication to prevent nausea is reserved for cases where vomiting is persistent and severe enough to present potential risks to mother and her unborn baby. The good news? Nausea and vomiting usually peaks between 2 and 12 weeks of pregnancy and goes away by the second half of pregnancy. With careful monitoring, this condition rarely presents serious complications for the infant or mother.
Congratulations to the Duke and Duchess– best wishes for an uncomplicated, healthy pregnancy! We will be anxiously awaiting the news of the birth of a prince or princess (or both!)
*image courtesy of BBC