YOU poor girl’ was the first thought to cross Natalie Yurek’s mind when she discovered the Duchess of Cambridge was suffering the same severe form of morning sickness she had endured.
The 33-year-old mum-of two, from Colne, knows exactly how Kate will be feeling today.
“Think of the symptoms of flu and then multiply it tenfold and you have some idea of what it’s like,” she said.
“Every time you move you vomit, every time you have a sip of water you vomit and, on top of that, you feel like you have been hit by a truck.”
Like Kate, Natalie, of Blascomay Square, was diagnosed with hyperemesis gravidarum (HG) just six weeks into her first pregnancy and spent three days in hospital hooked up to a drip.
“I had only just found out I was pregnant and one morning I felt so ill I couldn’t get out of bed; my husband Jonathon somehow got me to the doctor’s but I kept passing out.
“They were very worried about my condition at the surgery and the next thing I knew I was in an ambulance being rushed to hospital. I was given fluids and my blood pressure was monitored constantly.”
Now the proud mum of five-year-old Aidan and Melody, who is two next week, Natalie added: “I remember that the slightest movement hurt me and made me nauseous.
“I was severely dehydrated and my head ached constantly.
“I am just so glad that I didn’t suffer the symptoms for too long, although when I came out of hospital I still felt very ill and weak.
“I was advised to take it easy and my doctor signed me off work for three months, until I had fully recovered.”
Now an admin assistant at Burnley General, Natalie said: “I have been watching the news about Kate and I feel very sympathetic.
“I know exactly how she is feeling. It’s truly horrible.”
Telegraph medical expert Dr Tom Smith also has every sympathy for the Duchess. An extremely rare condition, he said he had only seen three of four cases of HG during his long career.
It is also believed that novelist Charlotte Bronte died from the condition at Haworth Parsonage, in the days before medical advances.
“It is an extreme form of morning sickness and an awful thing, yet we don’t really know what causes it, although hormonal imbalances have been suggested,” said Dr Tom.
“Kate will be feeling very sick all the time and will become badly dehydrated.
“While she will need to be given fluids intravenously, the problem doctors will have is what drugs they can give her to stop the sickness, without harming the baby.
“We all remember Thalidomide, for instance, that was given to many woman suffering all forms of morning sickness in the Sixties and the terrible side effects that had.
“The vital thing at the moment is that if Kate is less than 12 week’s pregnant, her baby’s organs will still be developing and you can’t really consider giving any drugs because they could cause some damage.
“Once she has passed the 12 week mark, the doctors will be able to help alleviate the feeling of nausea with prescribed medication.”
Dr Tom added: “It is a terrible illness and can last a number of weeks, so it may be that Kate will be staying in hospital for some time.”
Dr. Rineke Schram, consultant obstetrician and medical director at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “Some pregnant women experience severe nausea and vomiting, which usually settles after 12 weeks, but sometimes continues throughout pregnancy.
“This condition is known as hyperemesis gravidarum and is a severe form of nausea and vomiting in pregnancy.
“It requires specialist treatment and is very different to the more common nausea and vomiting known as morning sickness.
“Fortunately, most women recover quickly from this condition.”