Kate Middleton Pregnant, But In Hospital

Royal Engagement Portrait. Mario Testino/Clarence House Press Office via Getty Images

The months of speculations are finally over.

Buckingham Palace has confirmed that Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, are expecting their first child!

Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are very pleased to announce that The Duchess of Cambridge is expecting a baby. The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh, The Prince of Wales, The Duchess of Cornwall and Prince Harry and members of both families are delighted with the news.

But the good news has been dampened slightly by the news that Kate, who is not yet 12 weeks pregnant, has been admitted to hospital because of a condition of pregnancy:

The Duchess was admitted this afternoon to King Edward VII hospital in central London with hyperemesis gravidarum. As the pregnancy is in its very early stages, Her royal highness is expected to stay in hospital for several days and will require a period of rest thereafter.

Kate Middleton is not the only celebrity who has had hyperemesis gravidarum. Today Maria Schriver tweeted:

What is Hyperemesis Gravidarum and how is it different from Morning Sickness?

Morning sickness, which is nausea and vomiting during pregnancy, is very common. It is estimated that 70-80% of women suffer from some degree of morning sickness. Most complain of nausea, and a third will also have vomiting. Despite its name, morning sickness can occur at any time of the time.  It  usually begins during the first month of pregnancy and continues through the 14th to 16th week (3rd or 4th month).

Hyperemesis gravidarum (HG) is a more severe form of morning sickness.   HG is extreme, persistent nausea and vomiting during pregnancy that may lead to dehydration.

It is postulated that both morning sickness and hyperemesis gravidarum are caused by a variety of factors. These include the rise in the hormone human chorionic gonaditropin (HCG), slow emptying of the stomach after eating and genetic factors. Its exact cause is remains unknown. It is more common during pregnancies with multiples (twins, triplets, etc) and in a condition called hydatidiform mole.

The symptoms of HG include:

  • Severe nausea and vomiting
  • Weight loss of 5% or more of pre-pregnancy weight
  • Dehydration
  • Decrease in urination
  • Aversion to food
  • Headaches
  • Fainting

 How is it treated?

Small, frequent meals and eating dry foods such as crackers may help relieve uncomplicated nausea. Drink plenty of fluids, especially at times of the day when the nausea is less of a problem. Seltzer, ginger ale, or other sparkling waters are good choices.

Severe cases of HG require hospitalization. The pregnant mother will receive IV (intravenous) fluids and may have a small feeding tube placed in the stomach to restore nutrients.

Most cases of HG resolve by 20-21 weeks of pregnancy.

For more information, go to the Resounding Health Casebook on the topic.

Our congratulations and best wishes to the royal couple!

Hopefully Kate’s condition is not overly severe and that her hospitalization is due to an overabundance of caution.

COMING TOMORROW:  Our interview with @HGHusband of Pregnancy Sickness Support UK

Michele R. Berman, M.D. was Clinical Director of The Pediatric Center, a private practice on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. from 1988-2000, and was named Outstanding Washington Physician by Washingtonian Magazine in 1999. She was a medical internet pioneer having established one of the first medical practice websites in 1997. Dr. Berman also authored a monthly column for Washington Parent Magazine.

1 Comment

  1. Edward

    December 8, 2012 at 9:10 pm

    Hi, I took a media and medicine class this year. There were a couple articles we read in class that showed evidence that after certain hospital TV shows aired, more people were aware of certain health facts or diseases. Also, Meg Marinis, who helps with the story production of Grey’s Anatomy, informed us that while the priority for such shows is entertainment, there is also a great deal of effort to convey a health lesson to the public. I think this site is very interesting because it does something similar. In this case, the entertainment outlet used to present us with health knowledge is news about our favorite celebrities because honestly, we read about these people for fun. Normally, people like to keep health matters private or discuss only with close relatives/friends. However, the media does seem to do a thorough job finding out everything about celebrities, British royalty in this case, or simply spreading rumors when they can’t get a scoop. There is a fascination to know about the lives of celebrities because they seem to lead more glamorous lives than us due to their fame, wealth, and/or talents. At the same time, there is an appeal in stories about problems such celebrities experience because that makes them seem so much more human and relatable. Maybe media gets too personal when they report celebrity health problems; but as a result, such news spreads a great deal of awareness when reported appropriately. Recently on TV, I have seen many commercials in between NCAA basketball games raising cancer awareness because a famous NCAA coach, Jimmy V, died from cancer a while back. He actually used his diagnosis and fame to spread awareness and support for research, setting up a foundation known as the V foundation. With the costs of research and harsh of diseases, donations and awareness is always a good thing. While Kate Middleton’s disease isn’t as severe as cancer, proper treatment is necessary for any health issue, and I am sure that more women are probably aware of hyperemesis gravidarum than before. Now, it would be interesting to see if British women showed a greater increase in awareness compared to others!

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