Is Kate’s pregnancy at risk?
Find out more about serious vomiting during pregnancy and how to treat it.
(Getty Images)
Update, Sept 2014: We all know that Kate's pregnancy all ended with happy news last time, but with the announcement that she is once again pregnant and battling with hyperemesis gravidarum once again we'll be cheering her on for another safe delivery.

A bittersweet announcement from St James Palace revealed that Prince William's wife Kate is pregnant, but also that she has been hospitalised for hyperemesis gravidarum. Reactions to the news include fans being perplexed - not knowing exactly what HG is, to mockery that the princess is simply overreacting to ordinary morning sickness.

What is hyperemesis gravidarum?

HG is much more serious than ordinary morning sickness, but, fortunately, it is relatively rare. Morning sickness is commonly experienced by pregnant women, resulting in the urge to vomit upon waking. It may also occur in the afternoon, or in response to certain smells, tastes or even sounds. It is often limited to the first trimester of pregnancy. HG is an extreme version of morning sickness which is treated as a medical emergency, possibly requiring hospitalisation.

When the expectant mother is vomiting more than five times per day, and the nausea continues throughout the pregnancy, then the condition is termed hyperemesis gravidarum, and it could have potentially serious complications for both mom and the developing baby.

Women suffering from HG may suffer from dehydration and weight loss, despite efforts to eat. Should a woman fail to gain more than 7kg during pregnancy as a result of HG, it is probable that her baby will be underdeveloped, and also that the infant will be born before 37 weeks. Sufferers may also experience diminished sleep and depression. In severe cases, renal failure and other extreme reactions may occur. Fortunately, since the invention of IV hydration, there have been fewer maternal deaths as a result of HG.

HG sufferers sometimes respond to adjustments in diet, but it may also be necessary for them to undergo IV hydration and take anti-nausea medication. Nutritional supplements may be monitored and supplemented, including vitamins and minerals, in order to avoid deficiencies as a result of vomiting.

On TV and in movies, a morning puke is the very unsubtle indication that the character is pregnant. Although vomiting during pregnancy is common, should you suspect that your nausea is becoming unmanageable or that you are losing weight rather than gaining, ask your doctor for advice.

If you’re able to stay at home, investigate ways of changing your diet, and consider involving your partner more in cooking (if you are usually the household cook!).

The good news is that Kate is receiving treatment, and, although it is still early days in the pregnancy (she’s 4 months pregnant), doctors are optimistic that she’ll be able to return home in a few days if she responds to treatment.

Have you ever experienced nausea during pregnancy? How did you treat it?

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