Reality TV star of "Girls Next Door," model, and first-time mom-to-be Holly Madison, 32, can sympathize with Duchess Kate Middleton. The two share more than the need to feather a nest; both pregnant women have battled extreme cases of morning sickness.
However, unlike the Duchess who was diagnosed with hyperemesis gravidarum late in her first trimester, Madison’s bout occurred late in her pregnancy. “Morning sickness didn't hit me until I was six-and-a-half months along in my pregnancy. Much later than all the books say it will happen,” she says.
The precise cause of morning sickness is unknown, but doctors speculate hormonal changes related to pregnancy are the driving force behind the nausea and vomiting that is common in the first trimester.
Madison, who is expecting a daughter in early March, says this was her first experience with morning sickness.
Madison says her symptoms came on fast and furious. “It was very immediate. I was on vacation in Hawaii and one morning after breakfast, nausea hit me hard and I couldn't stop throwing up. I was throwing up several times in a row and over the course of time not feeling any better.”
Madison wisely called her doctor because she couldn’t keep down any food or liquids.
“My doctor was very concerned about dehydration and advised me to go to the hospital and get an IV because throwing up like this was so unusual for me. It was kind of scary to me just because it seemed like something so unusual, something that I hadn’t read about”
Extreme morning sickness – which can occur at any time of the day, not just the morning – typically subsides after the pregnancy reaches 12 or 13 weeks. Although it’s not common, a woman can experience nausea and/or vomiting intermittently or continually throughout pregnancy.
The IV helped, but didn’t completely resolve Madison’s symptoms. Extreme morning sickness required a second trip to the hospital days later. “I've had other days of more reasonable nausea that I was able to overcome on my own, but there was one more day where I had to go to the hospital and get an IV because the vomiting was so intense,” she says.
In addition to IV fluids to prevent dehydration, Madison says she was prescribed a safe antacid medication to help curb the nausea. She says those remedies helped her recover and regain her strength and stamina, but the symptoms aren’t completely gone. “The morning sickness has been reoccurring over the course of the last two weeks so far.”
In addition to her time in the hospital she also changed her diet.
“Now I start my day with a mild, gluten-free carb instead of a green smoothie like I used to. I now have my green smoothie a few hours after I wake up and not right away. A Sprite also makes me feel better, but I hate having to drink something so unhealthy while pregnant. I feel like the healthier I ate, the worse the nausea, unfortunately, which is a bummer because I was doing so well at eating healthy before this nausea kicked in.”