With the exciting news that Kate Middleton is expecting her second child, the world is once again focussed on her health as it’s been announced that she is also suffering from the same acute morning sickness she experienced with Prince George. The chances of the Duchess of Cambridge having Hyperemesis Gravidarum or vomiting and nausea this time around are higher, as unfortunately it tends to follow a pattern; if you have suffered in one pregnancy then you are likely to experience it again.
Hyperemesis Gravidarum is excess vomiting which leaves you exhausted and debilitated and dehydrated, usually ending up in hospital to be rehydrated. Even if Kate is not suffering as badly this time, if she is still experiencing vomiting and nausea, then having a toddler to look after makes it much harder to get the rest you need on top of a demanding schedule. With morning sickness you usually experience a lack of appetite, and find it difficult to eat, meaning blood sugar levels fall, exacerbating the situation. With Prince George only being 14 months old, it will have taken her body time to get over the first pregnancy so she may well be feeling more exhausted this time round. My advice for Kate would be to rest, take in plenty of fluids and eat little and often; foods rich in B6 or a if you can tolerate them, pregnancy supplements may all help, along with acupuncture which studies show help with nausea.
Here’s my interview for the Daily Telegraph about Hyperemesis Gravidarum and Kate Middleton
My top tips for morning sickness:
Sips of water
When you’re suffering from severe sickness then the idea of putting anything into your mouth is awful, but it’s important to take sips of water to stay hydrated. Dehydration can be dangerous for both mum and baby in pregnancy.
Taking plenty of rest is vital to tackling sickness, make sure you take the pressure off and ensure you get the rest you need, get plenty of sleep to build your energy reserves.
I am a keen advocate for many conditions which arise during pregnancy. There is good evidence which shows acupuncture stimulation of the ‘pericardium 6’ pressure point can help safely reduce nausea in early pregnancy.
Foods rich in vitamin B and especially vitamin B6
Vitamin B rich foods include beef, pork, chicken, fish, as well as whole-grains and many vegetables. They are very important in pregnancy and are not stored in the body, so women need to keep a steady supply. A supplement may be useful here, although it can be difficult to swallow a pill when you’re feeling sick.
Plenty of carbs
Carb-rich foods like bread and crackers help to keep your blood sugar up, and there’s evidence to suggest that blood-sugar plummets can be at least partially to blame for nausea in pregnancy. Nibbling food first thing in the morning, before you get out of bed, may help prevent sickness. Dry crackers are an easily digestible option, but go with whatever you fancy.