With all three of her pregnancies, the Duchess of Cambridge has suffered from a rare and serious condition called hyperemesis gravidarum.
The condition is a debilitating form of pregnancy sickness, which often leaves women bedridden or hospitalized. HG symptoms include vomiting and retching up to thirty times in a day, severe dehydration, extremely heightened sense of smell, extreme fatigue, headaches, depression and extreme isolation. More severe complications include esophageal tears, muscle wasting, vitamin deficiency, and DVT from bed rest.
Overall, it is an extremely scary and serious condition. Around 1% of women around the world are diagnosed with HG. We chatted with Mrs Caitlin Dean, chairperson of the UK’s Pregnancy Sickness Support organization and blogger behind www.SpewingMummy.co.uk. She answered our questions on HG, and gave us ideas on how we can help:
WWKD: Why was hyperemesis gravidarum something that many had never heard of until the Duchess’ first pregnancy in 2013?
WWKD: Have you seen a direct correlation between the Duchess’ condition and an increase in awareness?
WWKD: How can we help a friend, or someone who is close to us, who is suffering?
WWKD: How can we help the growing numbers of women around the world who suffer from the condition?