Duchess of Cambridge's extreme morning sickness 'horrendous' and 'gruelling' experience

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The extreme morning sickness suffered by the Duchess of Cambridge during her pregnancies has been described by sufferers as a “horrendous” and “gruelling” experience.

Hyperemesis gravidarum (HG) is what the NHS calls “excessive nausea and vomiting”.

It is thought to affect about one in every 100 women in pregnancy — about 10,000 British women every year. It is the second leading cause of hospitalisation during pregnancy.

It can be treated with antiemetics, but it may not clear up completely until the baby is born.

Symptoms include dehydration and low blood pressure, with some pregnant women being sick many times a day and unable to keep down food or drink.

It is unclear why some women suffer worse than others and why it can persist. 

Leila Hanna, a consultant gynaecologist and obstetrician in London, said: “The condition is associated with the changes in hormonal levels in the body.

“The majority of ladies feel much better after 12 weeks, but a small group do carry on suffering the symptoms well into their second trimester, up to 24 weeks.”

Journalist Miriam Phillips described being “wiped out” from HG while she was expecting.

In 2012, when the Duchess was pregnant with George, she was admitted to King Edward VII private hospital in Marylebone.

Caitlin Dean, trustee of Pregnancy Sickness Support, added: “If it’s untreated, it can lead to very severe complications.”

Former midwife Clare Byam-Cook said: “HG is an extreme morning sickness and it’s just bad luck. In some jobs when you can’t rush to the loo, it’s actually quite frightening.”


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