Duchess of Cambridge pregnant: What is morning sickness?

It was announced earlier today that the Duchess of Cambridge is expecting her third child.

Kate is said to be suffering from severe morning sickness, known as hyperemesis gravidarum (HG), and has had to cancel an engagement that had been planned for later today.

The condition also affected her first two pregnancies, with Prince George, who is now four years old, and Princess Charlotte, who is two.

It often requires hospital treatment, but at the moment the Duchess is being cared for at Kensington Palace.

According to the NHS, nausea and vomiting is very common in early pregnancy.

While unpleasant, experts warn it should not put your baby in any danger, and usually goes away by weeks 16 to 20 of pregnancy.

However, the condition Kate is said to be suffering from, HG, can be very serious.

It requires specialist treatment and can continue longer into a pregnancy than more common morning sickness.

The condition can cause pregnant women to be sick several times in a day, and in the case of some women up to 50 times.

It can mean they struggle to keep down food and drink.

For many pregnant women it can have very negative impact on their daily life.

According to the NHS, it is thought one in every hundred women experiences HG.

Symptoms include prolonged and severe nausea and vomiting, low blood pressure, dehydration, ketosis - where acidic chemicals build up in the blood and urine - and weight loss.

If you are being sick frequently and can’t keep your food down, you should tell your midwife or doctor as soon as possible.

It is not known what causes HG, but some experts believe it is linked to the changing hormones in your body that occur during pregnancy.

However, there is some evidence it runs in families and if you have suffered it in a previous pregnancy, you are more likely to get it again.

The condition is unlikely to harm the baby if treated effectively with anti-sickness drugs, vitamins B6 and B12 and steroids.

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