It's a Girl: Kate Delivers a Healthy Princess

By Peter Russell
WebMD Health News

Reviewed by Sheena Meredith, MD

May 4, 2015 -- The Duchess of Cambridge has given birth to a baby girl.

Kensington Palace says mother and daughter are doing well. It announced Monday the newborn is named Charlotte Elizabeth Diana. She was born at 8:34 a.m. on May 2, around 2 and a half hours after Kate was driven to a London hospital in labor.

Charlotte, who is fourth in line to the throne, weighed 8 pounds and 3 ounces. Prince William was reportedly at his wife's side when she gave birth.

The public's anticipation had been building for days. A crowd of well-wishers gathered outside the private Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital in Paddington ahead of the birth.

It's said that William and Kate didn't know ahead of time whether they were having a boy or a girl.

"They chose to stick to the old-fashioned and very British way of letting this be the really big surprise of their lives, and I'm sure that when they say they don't know, they don't know," Ingrid Seward, editor-in-chief of Majesty Magazine, told the BBC.

Royal commentators say the new princess will be the "spare behind the heir," due to her position as Prince George's younger sibling. But constitutional experts say there are plenty of examples of second-born children assuming the throne, including Queen Elizabeth II's father George VI, and Elizabeth I.

Details on Kate's Pregnancy

The palace announced that Kate was pregnant with her second child last September. At the time they also said that, as with her first pregnancy, she was dealing with morning sickness and would have to cancel a number of official engagements.

This form of morning sickness was diagnosed as hyperemesis gravidarum, which causes nausea and vomiting.

Dr. Daghni Rajasingam, consultant obstetrician at Saint Thomas' Hospital in London, says it's key to avoid getting dehydrated when someone has this condition. "If they can't manage that on their own, they may need to come in somewhere where they can have intravenous fluid," she says. "It means giving them anti-sickness tablets -- and the ones that we use are very safe in pregnancy."

Hyperemesis gravidarum is more common in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy and rarer in the later stages. In fact, Kate was able to resume her royal duties later last year, and she kept working until shortly before the birth.

Full Palace

The royal couple must now care for two children under the age of 2.

"When the baby arrives, it's amazing how your toddler will seem so much bigger and older," says Sanjima DeZoysa from the National Childbirth Trust. "Don't forget though, they are still young, and being an older brother or sister doesn't suddenly make them more mature or responsible."

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SOURCES: Kensington Palace. Dr. Daghni Rajasingam, consultant obstetrician, St Thomas' Hospital in London. Sanjima DeZoysa, National Childbirth Trust. BBC News.

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