Kate Middleton Pregnant: What Is Hyperemesis Gravidarum? (VIDEO)

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Kate Middleton and Prince William expecting first child
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On Monday afternoon, millions around the world were overjoyed when they heard the news that Kate Middleton is pregnant with her first child.

But so far, Middleton's pregnancy hasn't exactly been a bundle of joy, so to speak. In fact, the 30-year-old mom-to-be is currently hospitalized with hyperemesis gravidarum, an "acute" type of morning sickness, according to Palace officials.

How will this affect her pregnancy, which is only less than 12 weeks along?

To learn more about the rare disease, Celebuzz spoke to Nurse Practitioner, OB/GYN Marcelle Pick, who said that Middleton has been hospitalized to restore her electrolyte balance.

"One of the problems is that if the mother is vomiting all the time, it's a problem for the mother and her child because she loses a lot of electrolytes," Pick said in the video, above. "Now the good news is that most women actually stop vomiting after about 12 weeks. But for some people they continue to vomit after that time, so she has to be watched pretty carefully -- and that's why she's in the hospital, to restore her electrolyte balance."

"It's very hard for the mother to always be feeling so nauseous that she can't really eat," Pick continued. "So, for many women, it's really being careful about having lots of liquids -- that you don't combine foods and liquids. Oftentimes, using crackers in between meals can be helpful. And also ginger tea can be helpful, as well."

What actually casues hyperemesis gravidarum?

"It's [caused by] an increased amount of hCG, which women have a high amount of when they're pregnant," Pick explained. "There are many women who will tell you they felt nauseous in pregnancy, but hyperemesis gravidarum is an extension of that. They're vomiting all the time, and they have a very great deal of difficulty of keeping food down, which then increases the problem with weight loss as opposed to weight gain."

This will be the first child for Middleton and her husband, Prince William, who were married Apr. 29, 2011.

"Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are very pleased to announce that The Duchess of Cambridge is expecting a baby," the Palace said Monday in a statement.

"The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh, The Prince of Wales, The Duchess of Cornwall and Prince Harry and members of both families are delighted with the news."

According to the statement, Middleton will remain in the hospital for several more days and will require a period of rest shortly after.

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