What Exactly Is Kate Middleton’s Illness, Hyperemesis Gravidarum?

We were ecstatic this morning when we found out that the Palace had confirmed Kate Middleton‘s pregnancy. But one part of the official announcement was definitely a little opaque for those of us without a medical degree or much knowledge of obstetric difficulties:

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.”

So what exactly is Hyperemesis Gravidarum? While the shorthand description being employed across the web is “acute morning sickness,” the U.S. National Library of Medicine explains the symptoms as “extreme, persistent nausea and vomiting” that generally occur during the first 2 to 12 weeks of pregnancy, and comments on numerous posts pertaining to the news describe women’s personal experiences with the disease, including rapid weight loss and hospitalization for dehydration and malnutrition. HG is often associated with young or first time mothers, or those carrying twins or more (!), and while many of the symptoms sound pretty harrowing, the NLM says that “this condition rarely presents serious complications for the infant or mother,” and we’re sure the Duchess is getting the best care there is.

Obviously, we wish Kate a speedy recovery, and we’ll keep you updated on the all of the baby news in weeks to come.

For more news and live updates on the royal baby, click here!

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