MORNING sickness – as suffered by Kate Middleton – can make pregnancy a nightmare, says a Murton mum.
Deborah Johnson says the condition plagued the first five months of her pregnancy with son Seth and that it’s important to raise awareness of how debilitating it can be.
The spotlight has been thrown on to hyperemesis gravidarum (HG) after it was revealed that mum-to-be Duchess of Cambridge is in hospital suffering from extreme sickness.
Deborah, 29, was also hospitalised and was bedridden due to constant vomiting during her first pregnancy.
“It was absolutely horrendous,” said the businesswoman.
“I didn’t even know I was pregnant but because I was vomiting all the time and not just in the morning I thought it was a sickness bug. I literally couldn’t get out of bed.”
At one stage Deborah, who now runs her own PR company, had to be placed on a drip at North Tyneside Hospital to rehydrate her body.
“At its worst I was off work for six weeks”, she said. “I worked in an office at the time. But even when I went back to work I had to have doggy bags with me at my desk because the urge to be sick would take over so quickly that I couldn’t get to the toilet in time.”
Deborah, who is married to Kevin, gave birth to Seth, who is a happy, healthy toddler, in August 2010 but she says the horror of HG was enough to make her think twice about having a second child.
She said: “Obviously Seth was totally worth it. It sounds mad, but you can’t quite describe how horrendous it is. Obviously it’s horrible for Kate to have this but I think it’s a good thing if it raises awareness.
“People seem to think that the sickness happens just in the morning and that you should just get on with it but it takes over your life.”
She added: “The only thing is it seems strange that Kate was pictured playing hockey a couple of days ago. I couldn’t move when I had it so either she’s a real trooper or she isn’t as bad as they are making out.”
HG affects about one in every 200 pregnancies and results in severe nausea and vomiting. One of the main dangers is dehydration.
The condition is unlikely to cause any harm to the baby. However, there is a risk of the baby being born with a low birth weight if there is significant weight loss during the pregnancy.
Hyperemesis gravidarum, for which the Duchess of Cambridge was admitted to hospital, is an extreme form of morning sickness. Charlotte Bronte is reputed to have died of it in 1855, but nowadays doctors say it is a routine complication of pregnancy and easy to treat.
It is the name given to the situation when a pregnant woman cannot hold down fluids and becomes so dehydrated that she needs medical treatment, especially rehydration, to help her recover.
The symptoms include intractable vomiting, an inability to hold down food, dizziness or light-headedness, lethargy, headaches and sometimes fainting.