Royal officials today confirmed that the Dutchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, is expecting her second child and is already suffering from severe morning sickness that she had while carrying Prince George. A New York gynecologist and obstetrician says while the condition is not uncommon, it’s important to know it is treatable.
“During the first trimester of pregnancy, most women will expect to feel a little nausea and have occasional vomiting,” explains Valerie Muoio, MD, a gynecologist and obstetrician at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, NY. “Some women experience terrible nausea and a lot of vomiting, while others can’t keep food or fluids down, causing dehydration and a more severe condition known as hyper gravidarum.”
The Dutchess, 32, is not yet 12 weeks pregnant. In 2012, Kate was admitted to a hospital with severe morning sickness during her first pregnancy. “If women have had hyper gravidarum once before, they are at risk for it to happen again,” said Dr. Muoio. “Most pregnant women can be managed on an outpatient basis, which allows them to get through the worst of it during the first trimester …a small fraction of women will be hospitalized for fluids.”
Dr. Muoio notes that while the condition is distressing and uncomfortable, women can be treated and after the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, severe vomiting generally goes away. The condition, Dr. Muoio says, “is very uncommon to be life threatening for the baby unless the mother wound up in a condition that she herself was in danger.”