While the miracle of birth is nothing short of a celebratory commemoration, the horrors and degrading health conditions of mothers over the months leading up to it, as well as the day of birth is nothing less than traumatic, not to mention the ill-fated effects of post-partum depression.
Oftentimes, the act of giving birth is taken as a natural given, and mothers are neglected, their pain and discomfort are waived off as ‘natural,’ and most often these mothers start comparing their traumatic childbirth to someone else’s easy-going one, leading to undesirable inferiority birth complexes. We paint the royal family as a pristine family where nothing can go wrong, and royal births surrounded by world-class doctors are smooth sailing.
The Princess Of Wales, Kate Middleton bravely shared her struggles with childbirth during all three of her pregnancies and debunked this pre-conceived myth. She opened up about her own experience with hyperemesis gravidarum with a woman who was suffering from severe symptoms of the disease. HD is a condition that causes severe nausea, vomiting, weight loss, dehydration, and electrolyte imbalances in pregnant women, which goes beyond typical morning sickness, where it affects only 1% of pregnant women.
Portage is an essential service for children with special educational needs and disabilities, and their families, providing a home learning service. pic.twitter.com/fNVlFDtblT
— The Prince and Princess of Wales (@KensingtonRoyal) September 27, 2023
According to Cosmopolitan, the interaction took place between Middleton and Steve Ikebuwa from Gravesend, a father-of-four, whose wife suffered from the same sickness. She was at a royal engagement at the time, visiting a sensory clinic at the Orchards Centre in Sittingbourne, Kent as part of her Shaping Us campaign, where she visited seven children with social communication difficulties and other complex needs, and interacted with their parents.
Daily Mail reports this conversation, “It was nice meeting her,” Ikebuwa said “When I told her about my wife having hyperemesis gravidarum, it struck a chord with her.” He added saying, “You could see an expression of ‘I went through that’. She said ‘I had that, I know what it’s like’. You could see her connection to the fact that my wife went through all of that. That resonated with me. She is a pleasant lady.”
The Princess of Wales was reportedly admitted to the hospital in 2012 during her troublesome pregnancy term with her and Prince William’s child, George. She even missed a series of royal engagements while she was pregnant with their daughter Charlotte. The Prince and Princess Of Wales currently shares three children: Prince George, 10, Princess Charlotte, 8, and Prince Louis, 5. She revealed that she had these conditions throughout all three of her pregnancies.
While she was on Giovanna Fletcher’s Happy Mum Happy Baby podcast, she shared her tip on how she managed to get through her difficult pregnancies through lots of deep breathing and meditation. HELLO! reports her saying, “I saw the power of it, the meditation and the deep breathing and things like that, that they teach you in hypnobirthing when I was sick,” Adding to this, she said, “I got very bad morning sickness, so I’m not the happiest of pregnant people”. Middleton added speaking about her thoughts after Prince George was born, “I was keen to get home because, for me, being in the hospital, I had all the memories of being in the hospital because of being sick so it wasn’t a place I wanted to hang around in.”
While speaking with Cosmopolitan UK, Caitlin Dean, a registered general nurse and chairperson for Pregnancy Sickness Support said, “Hyperemesis gravidarum can result in vomiting up to 50 times a day and, in rare cases, hospitalization, to combat dehydration and so that nutritional support can be given intravenously,” she continues saying, “To diagnose such women with ‘just’ bad morning sickness only adds to their suffering.” She revealed that the condition is so severe, that it leads over 1,000 pregnant women to seek for abortion rather than go through the pain.
We applaud the Princess Of Wales for diverting from the royal protocol(they are not allowed to speak about their pregnancies), and sharing her own experience, providing solace to millions of mothers who suffer from the disease that they are not alone. This act alone makes her remember her mother-in-law, The Queen Of Hearts, Princess Diana.