Celebrities & Pop Culture

The Condition Affecting Kate Middleton During Her Third Pregnancy

This is much worse than your average case of morning sickness.

When young Prince George was 2, his sister Charlotte was born, and the world rejoiced.

Now the little princess is 2 years old and, with that same time buffer in place, it looks like George and Charlotte’s parents are ready to expand the family yet again.

On Sept. 4, Kensington Palace and Clarence House happily announced that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting their third child.

And the entire internet began waiting with bated breath for the most glamorous series of maternity photos ever. After all, no one can pull off a baby bump like Kate Middleton.

kate middleton pregnant photo
Getty Images | Chris Jackson

Putting a slight damper on the excitement, however, is the fact that Kate Middleton is once again suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum, just as she did with her first two pregnancies.

kate middleton pregnant photo
Getty Images | WPA Pool

The condition is so severe that it has caused The Duchess to cancel previously scheduled engagements. She is currently being cared for at Kensington Palace, although the condition has landed her in the hospital in the past.

It’s suspected that she’s not yet in her second trimester, but that the royals decided to share the news early because of her condition.

kate middleton george charlotte photo
Getty Images | Pool

What Is Hyperemesis Gravidarum?

Hyperemesis gravidarum symptoms are like those of morning sickness, but far more severe. Currently, there is no way to prevent the condition. But learning about the symptoms, risk factors and potential complications—as well as treatment options—can help others identify and endure this debilitating condition.

Risk Factors

While 80 percent of women experience morning sickness, hyperemesis gravidarum only occurs in 0.3 to 2 percent of pregnancies. Risk factors include a multiple pregnancy, being overweight and, well, a history of hyperemesis gravidarum.

Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of hyperemesis gravidarum include a near-constant feeling of nausea and loss of appetite, frequent vomiting, dehydration, dizziness or lightheadedness and significant weight loss.

If you are pregnant and have any of the following symptoms, seek prompt medical attention:

  • Inability to tolerate fluids for more than 12 hours
  • Signs of dehydration
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Abdominal pain
  • Weight loss greater than five pounds
  • Blood in vomit

While many women experience morning sickness during pregnancy, including nausea and vomiting, it usually subsides around the 12-week mark. Women suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum will often feel ill throughout their entire pregnancy.

Diagnosis

If you suspect you have hyperemesis gravidarum, your health care provider will look for signs of dehydration, weight loss and low blood pressure. Your doctor may also order tests to check your blood count and electrolytes, as well as ketones in your urine.

pregnant doctor photo
Flickr | Daquella manera

Complications

Potential issues that hyperemesis gravidarum may cause include severe dehydration, poor weight gain, bleeding in the esophagus from vomiting and anxiety or depression.

RELATED: The Royal Family Is Working Together To Bring Awareness To Mental Health

Treatment

If you are diagnosed with hyperemesis gravidarum, your doctor may prescribe anti-vomiting medications, nutritional therapies and bed rest. In some cases IV fluids are administered. Complementary and alternative medicines, as well as behavioral therapy, may also help.