The recent news of Kate Middleton's pregnancy and hospitalization has almost been overshadowed by the very sad events that subsequently unfolded at the hospital, but it seems poor Kate (or should that be Catherine now? The Duchess? No, that just sounds wrong; let's stick with Kate) is still suffering with constant sickness, or hyperemesis gravidarum, to give it its catchy medical term.
Affecting a small percentage of pregnant women, this extreme form of the more common morning sickness causes around the clock nausea and vomiting for sufferers and often leads to hospitalization, as in Kate's case, to treat dehydration and to try to stem the vomiting. For most the nausea and vomiting will come to a welcome end by the start of the second trimester, but for an unfortunate minority it will continue to the end of the pregnancy.
As someone who thankfully only suffered very mildly with morning sickness during pregnancy, I can only imagine how debilitating the condition must be and how incredibly long those 40 weeks of pregnancy must seem for those who suffer until the day they deliver the baby.
With this in mind, I was genuinely surprised at so many of the unsympathetic comments the story seemed to generate online, with people mocking Kate for being unable to deal with pregnancy as "normal" women have to. I've known "normal" women who have also required hospitalization for the effects of constant sickness and who actually lost weight over the course of their pregnancies as a result, and I'm sure they could sympathise with Kate.
Where the lucky majority of pregnant women can try to deal with nausea by eating frequent small meals, nibbling on gingernuts or sticking to bland food, these home remedies just won't do anything for those suffering severe sickness like Kate and I'm sure it must become extremely irritating for sufferers to constantly hear those suggestions from people who don't understand it.
Have you been unlucky enough to suffer through severe sickness while pregnant? How did you manage to deal with it? Let us know in a comment below!