How Common is Extreme Morning Sickness?

Q: I heard about Kate Middleton’s pregnancy and that she has been hospitalized for extreme morning sickness. Is this common?

A:  Many women in early stages of pregnancy experience discomfort: tired all the time and for some women sick all the time. You feel like the early stages of pregnancy will last forever: but you will get better. By 15 weeks most women are feeling better, but an unfortunate few go longer.

Severe morning sickness is known as hyperemesis gravidarum and women suffering from that vomit every day, many times a day throughout their pregnancy and are at risk for weight loss and dehydration. If Kate Middleton is experiencing hyperemesis gravidarum, she may be being treated with IV fluids and anti-nausea medication.

Interestingly, women with mild nausea and vomiting during pregnancy experience few miscarriages and still births than women without these symptoms. So this may actually be good news for the future royalty. However, pregnant women should always talk to their physician to rule out other issues and to get good prenatal care. It is guaranteed that the Duchess of Cambridge will be getting excellent care from her obstetrician.

By Stephen Savage, MD, OBGYN with Women’s Health Specialists, Appleton.