Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, is pregnant with a child who will be in a direct line to inherit the throne of England. The news is not all good, as the Duchess has been hospitalized for treatment of hyperemesis gravidarum, or severe and debilitating morning sickness. The New York Times spoke with Dr. Marlena Fejzo, an obstetrics researcher and former H.G. sufferer, about the condition.
Q. What is hyperemesis gravidarum?
A. It’s severe, debilitating nausea and vomiting in pregnancy that generally leads to more than 5 percent weight loss and requires fluid treatment. Sometimes, in more extreme cases, it requires nutritional supplements.
Q. Are there treatments?
A. Doctors try to give IV and anti-nausea medication at first. About 20 percent of the women who contact the Hyperemesis Education and Research Foundation require tube feeding. It’s very serious. They have to have a tube inserted above their heart. Blood tests have to be done every day, or every other day, and the bag of nutrients has to be monitored to make sure it’s personalized for the woman’s needs. But I don’t think Kate Middleton (based on news reports) has it that bad. She’s just gone in for the IV fluids.