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Prince William and Kate, along with Prince George and the rest of the Royal Family, are preparing for a new addition. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have confirmed they are expecting their second child sometime next year. It has been released that Kate is in the early stages of pregnancy, however, the exact stage is in question. Reports have said she is not beyond her 12-week mark and the Duchess of Cambridge is once again suffering extreme morning sickness, similar to her first pregnancy with Prince George.
Prince William released a statement saying the Royal Family is thrilled by the news of the second pregnancy, following just one month after their son and heir to the throne, Prince George, celebrated his first birthday in July 2014. The Duke of Cambridge also confirmed that Kate is suffering from the same uncommon but severe form of morning sickness that she encountered during her first pregnancy. The condition is known as hyperemesis gravidarum, which is diagnosed when an expectant mother loses an excessive amount of weight (over 10 pounds) due to severe nausea and vomiting, according to the Cleveland Clinic.
As Prince William and Kate prepare for their new addition, royal officials have stated that doctors are treating the duchess at Kensington Palace for her condition, and Kate may require hydration (via IV or other means), medication, and nutrients. Hyperemesis gravidarum is a condition that affects approximately one to two percent of pregnancies and is characterized by severe vomiting, which can lead to dehydration, weight loss, and even ketosis (build-up of toxins in the blood or urine).
This is the second time Prince William and Kate have been forced to announce her pregnancy early. The duchess’ first pregnancy was revealed when she was just a few weeks pregnant with Prince George after she was admitted to King Edward VII Hospital in London with the same illness in December 2012. She subsequently gave birth to her son the following July.
According to medical experts, having hyperemesis gravidarum during one pregnancy may lead to a recurrence in subsequent pregnancies, and it may be worse with each pregnancy encountered. Subsequent pregnancies could have it starting sooner, lasting longer, and being more severe in nature. One of the doctors described the debilitating pregnancy disorder as morning sickness “like a hurricane is a little bit of rain.” However, medical experts also stated the condition poses little danger to the tiny heir and mother when properly treated, but it can very difficult to endure. Most women who suffer from the condition experience a perpetual nausea and it can be very obstructive to an expectant mother’s life, especially one as hurried and scheduled as Kate’s.
The cause of hyperemesis gravidarum remains unknown, however, it may be related to high levels of the pregnancy hormone, hCG, or human chorionic gonadotropin. The disorder is commonly diagnosed about nine weeks into the pregnancy, and in most cases, resolves itself by 16 to 20 weeks. In rare cases, the condition can last the entire pregnancy. Women with hyperemesis gravidarum are treated with fluids, as well as vitamins and ginger capsules initially to combat the effects of the condition. If the vomiting continues, doctors will often prescribe antihistamines and stronger anti-nausea medications. If the condition is left untreated, a pregnant woman who is severely dehydrated for a long period of time could die, as with any severely dehydrated individual.
In extreme cases in which the woman is losing weight and unable to eat, doctors will often admit the patient to the hospital and treat them with intravenous nutrition. This is most likely the case with the Duchess of Cambridge, given her history and the severity of the condition. According to doctors, the length of stays for women who require hospitalization due to the condition can vary, and it is common for them to be admitted more than once before the condition passes.
As Prince William and Kate prepare for their new addition, Royal Baby Watch number two has now been kicked into high gear in the United Kingdom, across the pond, as well as the world over. The worldwide fascination and admiration with William and Kate is not likely to go away anytime soon. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have restored the glamour and prominence of the Royal Family on the international stage, as well as at home. William and Kate’s growing brood will only further endear them to their countryman, and intensify the interest of onlookers across the pond, as well as those in the global community.
By Leigh Haugh
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