William and Kate were bounced into announcing Kate’s pregnancy before she hit the 12-week mark after she had to be admitted to hospital suffering from an acute form of morning sickness, or, to give it the proper name, hyperemesis gravidarum.
“Hyperemsis” is the Latin word for vomiting, “gravidarum” means pregnancy.
To have been admitted to hospital, Kate would have likely been vomiting pretty much constantly after eating, and sometimes women affected by the condition can vomit blood.
The statement issued by the palace announcing the pregnancy indicted that Kate wil have to stay in hospital for several days.
Medical experts are now rushing to explain details of the condition.
The Telegraph reports that hyperemesis gravidarum can be so acute that it causes “dehydration, weight loss and a build-up of toxins in the blood or urine called ketosis”.
The paper’s expert, obstetrician Daghni Rajasingam, spokeswoman for the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, says that morning sickness of this severity affects 3.5 per 1,000 pregnant women and can even cause women to vomit blood.
The Daily Mail calls on Dr Peter Bowen-Simpkins, consultant obstetrician and medical director of the London Women’s Clinic, who says: "It is almost always a positive sign that the pregnancy is progressing well. The sickness is thought to be due to a rise in hormone levels. It normally occurs during weeks six and eight of pregnancy, when the placenta takes over production of hormones from the ovaries.
“It generally continues until around 12 or 14 weeks, but if it stops before, it can — although not always — be a sign that all is not well.”