Comment & Analysis

Why Kate deserves honour
"Kate Cambridge emblemises the sacrifices that mothers have faced, and endured, because they love the life that they carry", writes Mary Kenny

If proof were needed that all the world loves a baby, the announcement that Kate and William are expecting their third provides full evidence. Globally, the third baby for the Cambridges has been front-page news. 

And significantly, although Kate is only “a few weeks” pregnant, the media is already treating the royal infant as a person. The Italian press, I can predict, will be in a tizzy – they love the young royals with their bambini.

But something else, besides joy and congratulation, should be said about this pregnancy. Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, deserves honour and admiration for the way she faces motherhood.

Nausea

‘Morning sickness’ – nausea, usually in the morning time, sometimes associated with vomiting – affects to a greater or lesser degree most pregnant women. For many, it’s not much more than a passing nuisance. But for a minority, morning sickness – hyperemesis gravidarum – is a really serious physical complaint. No food can be kept down and the woman feels utterly drained and sometimes truly wretched. Sometimes she has to be hospitalised – as Kate has been in the past.

It has been claimed that up to a thousand terminations of pregnancy take place every year in Britain because of acute hyperemesis gravidarum. The woman feels so horribly ill that she feels she can’t continue with the pregnancy.

In very acute situations, this is considered to be a medical reason to terminate a pregnancy.

Kate has suffered badly from this condition in both her previous pregnancies. And yet, she has been open to conceiving another child and is happy to bear that child. Even though she knows she will feel really ill for the first few months – she’s already had an onset of hyperemesis gravidarum.

Kate Cambridge emblemises the sacrifices that mothers have faced, and endured, because they love the life that they carry. Mothers of all backgrounds should be honoured, valued and respected for the physical sacrifices that they make, and in some cases, the physical afflictions they endure. Kate’s situation has highlighted this for the world media.

Focus

It has also highlighted the medical condition in question, which deserves more focus. Mothers who suffer from hyperemesis gravidarum should be, in every possible way, supported and alleviated of their discomfort. Many a mother has suffered attacks of morning sickness in a stoical spirit of endurance, without demanding or receiving the credit they deserve. Bravo to Kate and William for their third child and to Kate for being an emblem of Mother Courage.

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Bedsits could solve Ireland’s housing crisis

We all know about the dire shortage of housing stock in Dublin – pushing up rents and triggering a crisis of homelessness. But a property manager tells me that, in actual fact, there is a huge number of properties lying idle. And there are, all over the city, perfectly habitable bedsits which would be suitable for students or young people just starting out on a first job. 

Except that none of these bedsits can be made available because of the regulations – ushered in by the Green Party when they were in coalition – that every bedsit must forthwith have an ‘en suite’ bathroom. 

This is another example of ‘the best is the enemy of the good’. If you try to make everything absolutely perfect, you fail to attain what can be reasonably good.

Tenants

Generations upon generations of students and young folk have started life in a bedsit, sharing bathroom facilities with other tenants. It’s not ideal over a long period, but it’s surely better than being homeless, or paying the high rents now being demanded for ‘studio flats’ – in effect, bedsits with an en suite built into a corner.