Lyndsay Buckland: Sympathy for morning sickness

Morning sickness can last beyond 12 weeks for 24 hours a day. Picture: Clara Molden
Morning sickness can last beyond 12 weeks for 24 hours a day. Picture: Clara Molden
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THERE aren’t many areas of my life where I can claim to relate to Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge.

I’ve visited Cambridge, and we both got engaged and married in the same months. But that’s where the similarities ended.

That is until the day when we learnt of the forthcoming arrival of our future king when Kate was forced into an early announcement after being admitted to hospital with hyperemesis gravidarum – a severe form of morning sickness.

Many were quick to jump in with disparaging comments about her need for hospital care.

After all, morning sickness is a common ailment with most women suffering from it during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, and most don’t need medical attention. That this was a case of “too posh to puke”, was the clear inference in many of the comments directed at her.

But having been blighted by morning sickness with my first child, and suffering again now, I did not have this reaction to the Duchess’s woes. While luckily – touch wood – avoiding the need for hospital admission, I can easily see how it could get so bad that you would need medical help.

There are many myths around morning sickness, the most obvious being that it only happens in the morning. If only.

For many, the symptoms are 24 hours a day. If you’re not actually being sick, then you’re feeling like you might, which is almost worse.

Another myth is that it disappears at 12 weeks. Having watched this magical milestone come and go twice now with no effect, I also know for some this can be untrue.

The day becomes a battle to eat and drink enough, and more importantly keep it down.

You are constantly told to eat healthily but that is easier said than done. Salad in reverse isn’t good.

Midwives are always keen to tell you that morning sickness is actually a good sign that the pregnancy is well established. I’d take more comfort in this if they were telling those lucky souls who aren’t afflicted that this is actually a bad sign and they should be really worried.

For obvious reasons, I’m guessing this does not happen.

Sympathy for sufferers is often limited. This is, after all, a self-inflicted condition, some argue, ignoring the fact we’re helping produce a future generation of taxpayers to fund their pensions.

So next time you see a woman looking a little green around the gills please spare a thought for what might be causing her unhealthy pallor.

And if you’re one of those “glowing” pregnant women with no sickness to bother you, please just don’t talk to me!