Image: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge arrives at Hope House in south London
Stefan Wermuth / Reuters

TODAY   |  February 19, 2013

Duchess Kate shows off bump, returns to charity work

The four-and-a-half-month pregnant Duchess of Cambridge is back doing charity work today after taking a Caribbean vacation with husband Prince William, and doctors say it’s important for her to stay relaxed to avoid the return of the acute morning sickness she suffered early in her pregnancy. NBC’s Keir Simmons reports.

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>>> morning, the duchess of cambridge is making her first public appearance.

>> reporter: this is the first time we've seen the duchess in public since christmas, officially at least. she is now very visibly pregnant. she appeared wearing a figure-hugging dress and holding her hands protectively in front of her. a blossoming duchess of cambridge , showing off her baby bump. now around 4 1/2 months pregnant. this morning she visited a center that treats women with addiction. it's one of her charities. kate, back at work after a vacation with william.

>> she's had a relaxing and wonderful holiday in the caribbean with her husband and family. i think she's raring to go, to show she's not ill. she's pregnant, but like many women wants to continue working until she doesn't have to and the baby is ready to emerge.

>> the palace was far from relaxed about photos on the beach last week, first published in italy, an invasion of privacy, they say. the same treatment that princess diana had. too invasive. the palace said she suffered early on.

>> she's going to be under the spotlight all the time. i would strongly advise her if she wants to avoid this getting worse again that she stays aaway from stress as much as possible.

>> reporter: kate's next public appearance is in march, but as she gets more visibly pregnant, it's the pictures of her in private that the palace is determined to fight against. now the duke of cambridge is away, concentrating on his duties as a search and rescue pilot. they tell me they have decided what to do for the future and there may be a decision soon that he plans to leave the royal air force . after all, david, being a future king and a new dad, that's work enough for anyone.

>> absolutely. keir simmons , thank you very much this morning.