Are you a print or broadcast journalist? Have you or are you writing or recording a piece covering the news of the pregnancy of the Duchess of Cambridge? Or are you someone who wants to know more about Hyperemesis Gravidarum, or should I say "morning sickness" as some of you call it? If so this blog post is for you.
Firstly let me start off by thanking you for reading this post and I hope what I have to say will help you with your understanding of Kate's condition.
There is one point that I think is so very important to raise from the start, Hyperemesis Gravidarum is not morning sickness, nor acute sickness, nor is it a normal aspect of pregnancy. You wouldn't say to someone with cancer they just have a lump, so don't label a person with Hyperemesis as having morning sickness, the two are very very different!
Morning sickness is common during pregnancy and can sometimes make it difficult for pregnant women to eat; it commonly occurs in the morning, hence it's name.
Hyperemesis on the other hand is debilitating and can take hold of you before you even know you are pregnant. As a result of Hyperemesis, I had to announce my pregnancy to my family and friends before the all important twelve weeks, as I couldn't hide being sick all day every day, feeling totally washed out and unable to do undertake basic tasks like having a shower or doing the washing up. I was unable to eat and was hospitalised and pumped full of drugs and fluids. I had a scan shortly after I was admitted to hospital that confirmed my pregnancy, and my baby was measuring just 0.5cm!
Hyperemesis can affect anyone, it doesn't occur any more frequently if your having a girl or even carrying twins.
I have somehow, although I don't really know how, got through two Hyperemesis pregnancies! I feel so very sorry for Kate, as at a time when you should be excited about being pregnant, you actually just want to break down and cry. I've heard mention on some news programmes that when she reaches 12 weeks she will be better, this is not always the case, Hyperemesis can and does in many cases affect the entire pregnancy.
If you only take two things from this article, firstly please stop calling Hyperemesis, "morning sickness" or even "acute morning sickness" as it's not, please don't trivialise Hyperemesis. Secondly if you want to know what Hyperemesis is really like, imagine having food poising 24 hours a day 7 days a week non stop and then you'll get the idea of what its really like to suffer from this awful condition.
If you would like to know more, I have written several other blog posts on my experiences with Hyperemesis, you can read them here.