The Princess of Wales, Kate Middleton, just made a rare comment reflecting back on her experience of pregnancy during a royal engagement – empathising with a woman who also experienced the same type of severe sickness and vomiting, known as hyperemesis gravidarum, that she did.
The condition, which is something the Princess is thought to have suffered with throughout all three of her pregnancies, even saw her hospitalised in 2012. She and Prince William share three children: Prince George, 10, Princess Charlotte, 8, and Prince Louis, 5.
Today, over ten years on from that hospitalisation, Kate potentially diverted from royal protocol (discussing pregnancy is said to be somewhat of a no-no) whilst chatting to Steve Ikebuwa from Gravesend, a father-of-four, whose wife suffered from the same sickness.
Speaking about his exchange with the Princess, which also saw the pair discuss how the Kent Portage Service has supported Ikebuwa's son, Nathan, who has learning difficulties, Ikebuwa painted a kind portrait of the future queen.
Ikebuwa added, "You could see an expression of 'I went through that'. She said 'I had that, I know what it's like'. You could see her connection to the fact that my wife went through all of that. That really resonated with me. She is a pleasant lady."
Also known as HG, hyperemesis gravidarum is a form of extreme sickness and nausea that affects around 1% of pregnant people – the reason why isn't entirely known, but some experts suggest it is a result of changing hormone levels in the body. Genetic factors are also thought to be at play.
"Hyperemesis gravidarum can result in vomiting up to 50 times a day and, in rare cases, hospitalisation, to combat dehydration and so that nutritional support can be given intravenously," explains Caitlin Dean, a registered general nurse and chairperson for Pregnancy Sickness Support, when speaking to Cosmopolitan UK previously. "To diagnose such women with 'just' bad morning sickness only adds to their suffering."
Nurse Dean adds that the condition can be so severe that around 1,000 women a year choose to have an abortion because they can no longer cope with the vomiting and constant nausea.
Whilst we more than feel for Kate (and all others who go through HG), it's great that more awareness about the condition - and how it can massively impact on lives - is being raised by her speaking out.
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