Hyperemesis Gravidarum sounds like a Harry Potter spell, but for mom-to-beKate Middleton it’s a royal pain.
It’s morning sickness on steroids — a rare and potentially dangerous malady that affects one in 50 women and produces vomiting so severe the patient cannot keep food or liquids down.
The Duchess of Cambridge has it so bad she was hospitalized on Monday, forcing the royals to reveal that she is about 12 weeks pregnant.
“Hyperemesis Gravidarum is a condition that affects 1% of pregnancies, typically in the first trimester,” said Dr. Kecia Gaither at Brookdale University Hospital and Medical Center in Brooklyn. “It is characterized by protracted nausea, vomiting, weight loss.”
It tends to be more common in young women, women who are pregnant for the first time, those expecting multiple babies, and — oddly enough — in non-smokers.
Kate is 30 and a first time mom.
“It’s not unusual for pregnant women to get morning sickness,” said Gaither, who heads the maternal fetal medicine program at the hospital. “But when it gets to the point where you’re dehydrated, losing weight or vomiting so much you begin to build up (toxic) products in your blood, that’s a concern.”
Doctors aren’t sure what causes the condition but suspect it could be linked to hormonal changes.
Patients are given plenty of fluids and nutritional supplements to restore electrolyte and vitamin balances — and told avoid fatty foods that can aggravate the condition.
“The good news for the mother and baby is that with treatment the condition usually resolves by the second trimester of pregnancy,” said Gaither.
That means Kate should be able to resume her royal obligations once she is feeling better — and her subjects will get to see their princess plumpen.