AN ARBROATH music teacher has spoken of the sympathy she feels for the Duchess of Cambridge after suffering the same condition during pregnancy.
Heather Miranda, who teaches around 84 pupils violin at Arbroath High School as well as many primary schools in the area, also suffered from hyperemesis gravidarum (HG) while expecting her son Joseph in 2009.
The condition is characterised by severe nausea and vomiting and as in the case of Her Royal Highness, it can lead to being admitted to hospital if there is a risk of dehydration.
For Heather her struggle with HG started at week five of her pregnancy and only really subsided once she gave birth.
She explained: “I was becoming so malnourished and desperate that something needed to be done.
“It wasn’t until week 11, after weeks of hardly eating or drinking anything at all, vomiting several times a day, feeling horribly sick all of the time, and being unable to do anything but lie down all day every day and count down the minutes to bedtime, that doctors finally realised this was more than morning sickness and I was admitted to hospital for IV fluids.
“It was just devastating – made worse by the fact that I know pregnancy should be an incredibly happy time.
“When I first heard about Kate Middleton all I felt was sheer sympathy for her.”
Since her experience with HG, Heather is now the Scotland representative of a new charity called Pregnancy Sickness Support.
And now as there has been an unexpected awareness raised of HG by the Duchess of Cambridge, Heather hopes people will become more compassionate towards women suffering from the condition.
She added: “If there is a silver lining out of Kate having this it is that the awareness of HG has definitely been raised.
“It is sad that people don’t try to understand what it is like and just dismiss it as morning sickness, which is so frustrating.
“Hopefully Kate will consider maybe speaking out about this in the future and people will learn just how horrific and hard this can be.”
For more information or support on the condition visit www.pregnancysicknesssupport.org.uk.