On Wednesday, Jan. 24, Kate Middleton stepped out to shed light on an important issue close to her heart. The 36-year-old royal, who is currently pregnant with her third child, visited two institutions focusing on postpartum illness–something that affects millions of mothers worldwide.
The Duchess of Cambridge began her official engagements at the King’s College London, where she stopped by the Maurice Wohl Clinical Neuroscience Institute, People reported. She met with experts who were conducting research in perinatal psychiatry and was briefed on their ongoing work using avatars to help schizophrenic mothers.
“Oh, okay, as in the movie Avatar?” Kate Middleton jokingly asked.
Scientists at the college are working on a way for a computer avatar to help ease a mother’s mental condition post-birth. A mother can turn to the avatar, which is controlled by a therapist, during bouts of hallucination. The Duchess reportedly listened attentively and remarked that the whole research is “interesting.”
Kate Middleton then proceeded to the Mother and Baby Unit at the Bethlehem Royal Hospital, which specializes in treating postnatal depression and postpartum psychosis cases. The pregnant royal had the chance to interact with doctors and patients at the unit.
When asked how she felt at this point in her third pregnancy, Kate Middleton reportedly said that she feels “very broody” ahead of her due date.
Kate Middleton, an outspoken advocate of mental health awareness, has previously spoken about the struggles of motherhood and postpartum depression. Speaking at a charity event last year, the princess acknowledged that being a mother is both rewarding and challenging.
“Personally, becoming a mother has been such a rewarding and wonderful experience. Even for me who has support at home that most mothers do not,” the royal mother-of-two stated, as reported by People.
“Nothing can really prepare you for you the sheer overwhelming experience of what it means to become a mother. It is full of complex emotions of joy, exhaustion, love, and worry, all mixed together. Your fundamental identity changes overnight. You go from thinking of yourself as primarily an individual, to suddenly being a mother, first and foremost.”
Now that Kate Middleton is about to enter her third trimester of pregnancy, her baby bump is becoming more visible. On Wednesday’s outing, the Duchess of Cambridge donned her “loveliest maternity look” to date, according to Marie Claire. Kate wore a baby blue Seraphine coat over a floral dress by the same brand and paired it with navy blue pumps.
While royal watchers can take the Duchess’ choice of outfit as a hint that her third child will be a boy, Prince William and Kate Middleton have not yet announced their baby’s gender. Kensington Palace has previously confirmed that the third royal baby will be due in April.