A new mother lost 3st after a rare pregnancy condition suffered by Kate Middleton left her vomiting up to 60 times a day.
Stacey Teakle, now 30, fell pregnant with her only child Ophelia in February 2020. and what first appeared to be mild morning nausea quickly spiralled out of control.
The emergency call handler was hospitalised at six weeks after becoming so dehydrated that she struggled to get out of bed or wash.
Mrs Teakle, from Neath in Wales, was diagnosed with hyperemesis gravidarum (HG), which strikes fewer than one per cent of all pregnancies.
The condition is thought to be caused by sudden hormone changes and can lead to low blood pressure and even hallucinations.
Mrs Teakle spent her entire pregnancy in and out of hospital after several frightening falls and dizzy spells.
She has now given up on her dream of having a big family because the ordeal was so traumatising.
The Duchess of Cambridge famously struggled with HG during all three of her pregnancies with Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.
It has also affected Kim Kardashian, US comedian Amy Schumer and the singer Mandy Moore.
A gaunt and weak Stacey Teakle is pictured five-and-a-half months pregnant, still blighted by constant sickness
Even at seven months the starving and dehydrated expectant mother was still unusually slim
The new mother holds her only child Ophelia in September 2020 – at the height of the Covid pandemic and after a gruelling pregnancy
The emergency call handler was diagnosed with hyperemesis gravidarum (HG), which strikes fewer than one per cent of all pregnancies
The Duchess of Cambridge famously struggled with HG during all three of her pregnancies with Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis
Detailing her ordeal, Mrs Teakle said: ‘I absolutely love being a mum. Ophelia is the best thing to ever happen to me, but my pregnancy was just awful.
‘I was so unwell that I was being sick 60 times a day. I couldn’t even keep water down.
‘I could barely leave my bed and my husband had to shower me – I just had no energy.
WHAT IS HYPEREMESIS GRAVIDARUM?
Hyperemesis gravidarum (HG) is defined as severe nausea and vomiting during pregnancy.
Celebrities who’ve been open about their own battles with HG include:
- The Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton
- Kim Kardashian
- Kourtney Kardashian
- Debra Messing
- Kelly Clarkson
- Tia Mowry
- Tori Spelling
- Amy Schumer
- Mandy Moore
It affects around one per cent of pregnant women.
HG symptoms usually appear between weeks four and six and peak at nine-to-13 weeks.
Up to 20 per cent of sufferers experience symptoms up to weeks 14-to-20, however, most have relief in the later stages.
Unlike morning sickness, which affects up to 80 percent of pregnant women, HG causes severe dehydration and prevents sufferers from keeping any food down.
Other symptoms include:
- Losing five percent or more of their pre-pregnancy weight
- Reduced urination
- Extreme fatigue
- Loss of skin elasticity
- A rapid heart rate
Some HG cases require hospitalization where women can receive IV fluids and nutrition.
HG’s cause was thought to be hormonal, however, research suggests it may be due to genetic variations.
Source: American Pregnancy Association
‘The smell evasions I had were horrendous too. My husband wouldn’t be able to cook strong smelling foods in the kitchen, even if I was upstairs in bed, because it would trigger my sickness.
‘My body went into starvation mode. My husband and I always wanted multiple kids but that’s not going to be able to happen for us any more.
‘I was so unwell, we just can’t go through that again, and it wouldn’t be fair to Ophelia either.’
HG is thought to be linked to levels of oestrogen and a hormone produced in the placenta during pregnancy.
The exact role they play in causing nausea is still not clear but women with HG usually have higher than normal levels of the hormones.
Oestrogen can cause muscles in the stomach and intestine to relax, slowing the digestive process down and allowing food and liquid to linger.
Exactly how many pregnant women get HG is not known as some cases may go unreported, but it’s thought to be around one in every 100.
The condition may not clear up completely until the baby is born, although symptoms normally improve at around 20 weeks.
Mrs Teakle and husband Sam, 27, a prisoner custody officer, had been trying for a baby for a month before Stacey discovered she was pregnant in February 3, 2020.
Mrs Teakle was hospitalised six weeks later when the sickness left her bedbound and weak.
She was in and out of hospital for the entirety of the pregnancy, at one point becoming so unsteady on her feet she collapsed in the shower and had to be taken to A&E in an ambulance.
Mrs Teakle said: ‘Sam had just helped shower me – I basically sat in the bath tub whilst he showered me with the shower head – which he had to do multiple times as I just had no energy at all.
‘He was blow drying my hair in the bedroom afterwards, and I was sat on the floor when I just fainted and ended up hitting my head on the bedside cabinet.
‘That night, we counted how many times I was throwing up, and it was 60 times in a 24 hour period. It was horrific.
‘We called an ambulance but they just gave me an anti-sickness injection. They’d already tried that in hospital and it didn’t work, I just couldn’t stop being sick.’
Mrs Teakle went into labour a month early but had an emergency C section when her unborn daughter began suffering from an abnormally fast heart rate.
Ophelia was born on September 21, 2020, but was rushed to neonatal ICU with low blood sugar and it was another six hours after giving birth until Mrs Teakle got to hold her baby.
Happy families: Mrs teakle with husband Sam, 27 and Ophelia. The couple were left so traumatised by the pregnancy they’ve scrapped plans to have more children
Mrs Teakle went into labour a month early but had an emergency C section when her unborn daughter began suffering from an abnormally fast heart rate. Ophelia was born on September 21, 2020, but was rushed to neonatal ICU with low blood sugar and it was another six hours after giving birth until Mrs Teakle got to hold her baby
Despite the traumatic birth, Mrs Teakle woke up with all nausea subsided and finally got to eat a proper meal for the first time in months – bangers and mash.
The mother said: ‘I was a bit all over the shop, really, being put under suddenly and then not being able to hold Ophelia immediately, but I had support then.
‘It’s funny – the first thing I said when I woke up was I don’t feel sick any more. It was just suddenly gone as if it was never there.
‘The first meal I had was bangers and mash in the hospital. It was genuinely the best meal I’ve ever had! It felt so good to finally eat again and not be sick.’
She added: ‘I’m so thankful to finally have my daughter – it’s amazing – but I do feel jealous of people who had a normal pregnancy, didn’t go through what I did and still got their baby at the end of it. It’s hard.
‘My advice to those going through hyperemesis is be persistent and adamant with getting help from doctors.
‘A lot of nurses told me to just eat ginger biscuits – I couldn’t even keep water down! If you can’t fight for it yourself, have someone there who can fight for you.’