Diarrhoea and vomiting in pregnancy

Stomach bugs in pregnancy are common. It is very unlikely that your baby will be harmed from a bug lasting less than 48 hours.

Stomach bugs can be exhausting for you and you should look after yourself if you catch one while pregnant.

Stomach bugs in pregnancy

Here are a few simple rules to remember if you do have a stomach bug:

  • If you do have diarrhoea and vomiting, don’t panic.
  • Make sure you rest as much as possible.
  • Drink plenty of water through the day.
  • Eat small, light meals if you are hungry and it doesn't make you feel sick. If you are not hungry, you do not have to eat for 24 hours so long as you drink plenty of fluid.
  • Wash your hands before and after going to the toilet and after vomiting.

When should I see a doctor with diarrhoea and/or vomiting in pregnancy?

If the diarrhoea does not go away within 48 hours, see your GP.

You must NOT take any medication to stop diarrhoea in pregnancy without consulting a medical professional or pharmacist first.

If you also have any of the following you should see a medical professional as soon as possible:

  • a fever
  • any stomach pain
  • very dark urine
  • blood in the stool.


  1. Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust, FAQs pregnancy. Also available at: http://www.bhrhospitals.nhs.uk/our-services/faqs-pregnancy.htm#q7 (accessed 28 April 2014)
  2. Macdonald S, Magill-Cuerden J, Mayes’ midwifery, fourteenth edition, Edinburgh Baillir̈e Tindall Elsevier, 2012


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  • By Heather (not verified) on 14 Mar 2018 - 15:09

    Hi I found out I was pregnant very early, I've been feeling sick everyday it doesn't go away, I try eating smaller meals plain foods and drinking but now I've started being sick and shaking and very cold can't seem to warm up. Also bad pains in my stomach, I want to wait as first midwife appointment is next week, but just wanted to ask am I alright to just wait until I see them then?? Thank you

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 15 Mar 2018 - 16:26

    Hi Heather,
    I am sorry to hear that you are feeling so unwell. It is difficult to know what is happening, it maybe that you have a virus and become unwell or if it is pregnancy sickness. If the pains and sickness are on going then do speak with your GP , try to regularly sip water to ensure that you are keeping hydrated. I few can support you further then please do be in touch with use - [email protected] Best wishes, Tommy's midwives.

  • By Leigh-Ann (not verified) on 22 Feb 2018 - 08:21

    Hi, I have felt ill since I ate lunch on Tuesday 20th Feb. I went home from work and since then have had diarrhoea. Today I have quite bad tummy pains as well as in my ribs. I'm not sure how to explain the pains, they feel sharp and are not cramps.

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 22 Feb 2018 - 15:29

    Hi, Thankyou for your comment.

    We are sorry to hear you have been feeling so unwell. It could be that you have picked up a stomach bug from something you have eaten or just out and about. If you are pregnant and this pain is constant and not improving then we would advice that you get checked over. Keep drinking plenty of fluids to avoid becoming dehydrated and try and eat little and often if you can manage it and rest until you feel better. If you are not getting any better then again please seek medical advice. Hope this helps, Take care, Tommy's Midwives x

  • By Brenda sasha (not verified) on 21 Feb 2018 - 12:25

    I have vomited and had stomach pains in the night can it mean am pregnant again because these were the same symptoms I had with my first pregnancy

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 21 Feb 2018 - 14:30

    Hi Brenda
    Vomiting and stomach pains can be attributed to many illness'/virus' etc more commonly than pregnancy. If you are actively trying to conceive, then please do take a pregnancy test to see if you are pregnant or not.
    If you have any further questions, please do feel free to contact us.
    Sophie. Tommy's Midwife

  • By thabile (not verified) on 15 Feb 2018 - 09:30

    Good Day

    i have a diarrhea since sunday,but its not that strong

    should i get worried or take it easy.am 4 months pregnant

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 15 Feb 2018 - 12:07

    Hi, Thank you for your comment.

    Sorry to hear the you have been having diarrhoea for a few days now, especially as you are pregnant. As you have had this longer then 48 hours, we would recommend that you see your GP. It could be a stomach bug that you have and it may need treatment, but we would encourage you to see your doctor.
    Make sure that you are drinking plenty of fluids as having diarrhoea can cause you to be dehydrated, also maintain a healthy diet. Your doctor may check your urine for signs of dehydration and give you treatment if needed. Hope this helps, Take care and feel better soon, Tommy's Midwives x

  • By Angela Cameron (not verified) on 10 Feb 2018 - 23:57

    Nausea started at week 4 and was driving me crazy. I was getting nauseous even after drinking water and was unable to eat and drink. Unisom, vitamin B6, ginger ale, even Zofran didn't work for me, but once I started drinking No to morning sickness tea, my nausea ended miraculously.

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 14 Feb 2018 - 10:32

    Hi Angela.
    Thank you for sharing your story with us. I am glad to hear that you are feeling better.
    All the best
    Sophie, Tommy's Midwife

  • By chantelle (not verified) on 28 Jan 2018 - 19:29

    Hi I am 37+3 weeks pregnant with my first baby and have been vomiting for aboutique a week in have a lot of lower back pain just to the right of my back which is effecting my walk and have stomach pain and dark urine is any of this dangerous for my baby x

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 30 Jan 2018 - 15:35

    Hi Chantelle,
    I am so sorry you are poorly and it sounds like you are dehydrated as you mention that your urine is dark. Please get checked out today at your Maternity unit. There should be a contact number on the front of your notes so contact them in advance and explain what symptoms you have and how you have been vomiting for about a week.
    You can be treated and they will also listen in to your baby for a longer time than usual on a CTG machine. You may need treatment including intravenous fluids and blood tests but you must get in contact ASAP.
    Wishing you well
    Anna-Tommy's Midwife

  • By Jordan (not verified) on 24 Jan 2018 - 21:34

    Hi, I have caught the sickness bug that my daughter has, I'm currently 17+4 and from where I have been sick I have pains in my stomach. Will this affect the baby?

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 25 Jan 2018 - 10:46

    Hi, Thank you for your comment.

    Sorry that you have been feeling so unwell, hopefully this sickness bug wont last for too long. Having sickness in pregnancy shouldn't effect the baby as they get all the nutrients from the placenta, however, if you are experiencing abdominal pain then we would always advice that this needs to be checked. If you can contact your GP, midwife or maternity unit then they will be able to check you over and listen in to baby's heartbeat. Keep drinking plenty of fluids and eat little and often if you can tolerate it. Hope this helps, Take Care, Tommy's Midwives x

  • By Summer (not verified) on 28 Dec 2017 - 18:10

    Diarrhea vomiting and dark urine for 4 days now saw my obgyn they said to just take it easy and try to keep things down if it lasts longer then to come back. How much longer do I wait to go back to see the dr?

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 3 Jan 2018 - 14:40

    Hi Summer
    I really hope that you are feeling better by now. Apologies in the delay in the response, but we had a Christmas break from Fri 22nd Dec 2017-Tues 2nd Jan 2018. If you do not feel any better by now, please do go and get yourself seen urgently again. If you have more concerns, please feel free to get in touch with us by telephone or email. Tommy's Midwife

  • By Anonymous (not verified) on 29 Nov 2017 - 22:22

    No to morning sickness tea is Godsend. I was on Zofran to manage my severe morning sickness and the side effect has been constipation. As someone that “goes” quite regularly, having my “schedule” thrown off was really causing havoc on my body. 4 mornings of drinking the tea on an empty stomach has worked like a charm. I also think it has helped with heartburn and indigestion-

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 30 Nov 2017 - 14:07

    Hi, Thank you for your comment.
    Pregnancy sickness isn't enjoyable and every pregnant woman will have her own ways of coping with this. We advised that in pregnancy to try and drink plenty of fluids, maintain a healthy diet and rest well when feeling nausea or vomiting. If vomiting worsens and fluids can't be kept down, then it is advisable to see the GP who will check for signs of dehydration. Take care, Tommy's Midwives x

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 10 Nov 2017 - 10:16

    Hi, I am sorry to hear that you are unwell at the moment. You do not mention how many weeks pregnant you are however the most important thing is to try and stay hydrated, taking small sips of water through out the day. If you are unable to keep down any water or your dark urine continues or you have any other symptoms such as pain or bleeding then do ring your GP for advice.

  • By Michelle (not verified) on 9 Nov 2017 - 18:02

    I have had diarrhea and vomiting and dark urine since 2am yesterday what should I do

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