Diarrhoea and vomiting in pregnancy

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

Stomach bugs can very tiring. Try to look after yourself if you catch one.

Stomach bugs in pregnancy

Here are a few things to do if you have a stomach bug.

  • Don’t panic if you do have diarrhoea and vomiting.
  • Make sure you rest as much as possible.
  • Drink plenty of water throughout the day.
  • Eat small, light meals if you are hungry and it doesn't make you feel sick.
  • If you don’t eat for 24 hours don’t worry but make sure 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?

See your GP if:

  • the diarrhoea or vomiting does not go away within 48 hours
  • you are unable to keep any fluids down.

If you can’t get to your GP surgery you may be able to organise a telephone appointment.

DO NOT take any medication to stop diarrhoea in pregnancy, such as Imodium, without speaking to your GP, midwife or pharmacist first.

There are many medicines that can be unsafe to take during pregnancy. So it’s always best to ask your doctor, midwife, pharmacist or dentist before you take anything. Find out more about drugs and medicines in pregnancy.

Speak to your GP, midwife or a hospital doctor as soon as possible if you have:

You may have dehydration or a gastrointestinal problem and need treatment.

Vomiting without diarrhoea may also be pregnancy sickness (morning sickness).

Read more

Sources

NHS Choices Diarrhoea and vomiting https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/diarrhoea-and-vomiting/ (Page last reviewed 16/04/2018 Next review due: 16/04/2021)

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Last reviewed on September 28th, 2018. Next review date September 28th, 2018.

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Comments

Please note that these comments are monitored but not answered by Tommy’s. Please call your GP or maternity unit if you have concerns about your health or your baby’s health.
  • By Fima (not verified) on 15 Jul 2019 - 12:54

    Hi I’m 32weeks and Im so scared too eat coz everything comes out again this started last night. And I just want to know is this harmful towards baby in anyway??

  • By 3rd time mom (not verified) on 13 Jul 2019 - 20:08

    11 weeks pregnant almost 12 weeks. I havent been able to keep anything down including liquids in a few days and I'm extremely tired and feel week.Could I be dehydrated? I never experienced this my last 2 pregnancies...

  • By Kawthar (not verified) on 11 Jun 2019 - 03:25

    Hi, this is is my first pregnancy and I'm just in my 12th week, vomiting hasn't been easy on me and I really thought it will get better towards the end of first trimester. But I still had a dose of it yesterday together with diarrhoea, I haven't been able to keep any food down since yesterday and am worried my baby's development will be affected. Do I need to see my OB?

  • By Kedi (not verified) on 1 Jul 2019 - 21:56

    What is the cause

  • By Melissa (not verified) on 8 May 2019 - 03:34

    I’m 25 weeks pregnant & I’ve been having a stomach ache the whole day after I ate pancakes this morning. Im thinking maybe the pancake wasn’t fully cooked & I’m terrified of catching salmonella that this will affect my baby ?

  • By Rachel (not verified) on 23 Apr 2019 - 10:55

    I have had bad stomach cramps, vomiting and diarrhoea for 24 hours. The dr thinks it’s a bug. Will this harm my baby?

  • By Sam (not verified) on 23 Mar 2019 - 11:06

    Hello,
    I haven’t been feeling to great since last Saturday I wasn’t sick up until last night and then I was sick twice again today I had a bit of toast and some orange juice and then I had a sausage with water and both came straight back up within minutes. I did try taking a tablet this morning but that came back up with my food. Is it normal to feel like this? I am 16 weeks tomorrow and am getting some slight pains in one side of my stomach since I’ve been sick but I’m hungry and can’t eat. Also last night after I had been sick whenever I coughed blood came up. What should I do?

  • By Rizel (not verified) on 7 Mar 2019 - 03:23

    Hi I got vaccinated for measle before I was knew that I am pregnant . I am worried with my baby but my ob gave me medications and vitamins . Im also having diarrhea and vomitting .

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 7 Mar 2019 - 11:36

    Hi -Thank you for your message.
    If you have been given the MMR vaccine whilst pregnant, you should discuss this with your Doctor who can advise on the risks and implications.

  • By Lucia (not verified) on 21 Feb 2019 - 02:51

    Is it normal for me to keep vomiting and when i do my stomach feels upset and whenever i eat i wanna vomit it all im 15 weeks pregnant

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 22 Feb 2019 - 13:15

    Hi Lucia,
    If you are vomiting a lot then do speak with your GP or midwife for support, it is important that you are able to stay hydrated.
    Best wishes
    Tommy's midwife

  • By Endurance (not verified) on 30 Jan 2019 - 16:27

    pls am 5 weeks pregnant and this watery stooling started today with serious noise in my stomach and cant eat at all because i dont have appetite. what do i do pls?

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 31 Jan 2019 - 10:54

    Hi - Thank you for your message.
    It isn't unusual to experience some changes in your bowel movements in early pregnancy. However if the the diarrhoea does not go away within 48 hours or you are unable to keep any fluids down, you should contact your GP.

  • By Izzy (not verified) on 30 Jan 2019 - 12:17

    I'm 17 weeks pregnant and last night after sex, I found blood on my bed. I have felt fine since, but after going to the toilet this morning, a little blood came out like the last of laSt night's actions. Shold I be worried? Or is this common after having sex when pregnant?

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 30 Jan 2019 - 15:57

    Hi Izzy
    Any bleeding in pregnancy, after sex or not, it is recommended that you be reviewed at your maternity units triage/labour ward. Bleeding can be caused by intercourse, but other things also need to be ruled out. So please go into be seen as soon as you can with your pregnancy notes to be checked over. All the best, Tommy's Midwife

  • By Anonymous (not verified) on 20 Jan 2019 - 19:17

    Hi . I'm 22 weeks and I've been having bad sharp pains in my back and stomach along with diarrhea and vometing . Should I be worried??

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 25 Jan 2019 - 15:42

    Hi,
    Sorry to hear that you are in pain. If you are having diarrhoea and vomiting then it is important to keep hydrated and eat when you can. If the pains are consistent and ongoing then I would suggest for you to see your GP or midwife for a review.
    Best wishes
    Tommy's midwife

  • By Lisa (not verified) on 7 Jan 2019 - 18:10

    Hi,

    I wonder if you could give me advice. I started feeling nauseous Friday night, vomited violently Saturday morning and then twice more that day, including bile on he way home from the doctors, who had said it was a stomach bug and just gave me anti sickness pills. Now it is Monday night and I’ve barely managed to eat much as I feel some nausea still, plus diarrhea didn’t stop until this morning and I’ve still got aches and chills. Should I be going back to the doctor or do you think I’m over he worst of it? Last time I threw up was yesterday afternoon, but am finding eating a struggle. I’m almost 32 weeks. I worry bubba isn’t growing due to my lack of food although he is still moving ok.
    Thanks Lisa

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 8 Jan 2019 - 14:33

    Hi Lisa - Thank you for your message.
    Stomach bugs are common in pregnancy. It is very unlikely that your baby will be harmed from a bug lasting less than 48 hours. Stomach bugs can very tiring. Try to look after yourself if you catch one.

    Here are a few things to do if you have a stomach bug:
    *Don’t panic if you do have diarrhoea and vomiting.
    *Make sure you rest as much as possible.
    *Drink plenty of water throughout the day.
    *Eat small, light meals if you are hungry and it doesn't make you feel sick.

    If you don’t eat for 24 hours don’t worry but make sure you drink plenty of fluid.
    Wash your hands before and after going to the toilet and after vomiting.

    See your GP if:
    *the diarrhoea or vomiting does not go away within 48 hours
    *you are unable to keep any fluids down.

    DO NOT take any medication to stop diarrhoea in pregnancy, such as Imodium, without speaking to your GP, midwife or pharmacist first. There are many medicines that can be unsafe to take during pregnancy. So it’s always best to ask your doctor, midwife, pharmacist or dentist before you take anything.

    Speak to your GP, midwife or a hospital doctor as soon as possible if you have:
    *a fever
    *any stomach pain
    *very dark wee
    *bloody diarrhoea or bleeding from your bottom.

  • By Fran (not verified) on 16 Dec 2018 - 07:09

    I am 36 weeks pregnant and have had Diarrhea around three times a day for the past two weeks. No other symptoms. Should I speak to a dr?

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 20 Dec 2018 - 11:42

    Yes, Diarrhoea that lasts for more than 7 days could have an underlying cause, so see your doctor when you are able. Also please ensure that you are maintaining strict hand hygiene after using the toilet and before preparing food to prevent it's spread.

  • By Natasha (not verified) on 10 Dec 2018 - 04:44

    Hi, I am 19 weeks pregnant and I began with diarrhea two nights ago, it persisted with vomiting and very bad stomach cramps. I have barely noticed baby move as much as I did before and my stomach has almost halved in size. Please may you give me some advice as to what I should do I am really worried and this is my first pregnancy. Best regards

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 13 Dec 2018 - 14:15

    Hi Natasha, Thank you for your comment.

    Apologies for the late reply, hope you are feeling a little better by today. Having a tummy bug can be very debilitating in pregnancy but it is important that you rest and drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration. If you are still concerned then please see your GP who will be able to check you over and give treatment if needed. Take Care, Tommy's Midwives x

  • By Georgia hayse (not verified) on 9 Dec 2018 - 19:53

    Hi
    I've been having stomach pains similar to period pains and since these pains have started (a few hours ago) I've been running to the toilet, I'm 20 weeks on Tuesday, is this just a simple tummy bug or should I see a GP on Monday?

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 13 Dec 2018 - 14:07

    Hi Georgia, Thank you for your comment.

    It sounds like you may have a tummy bug if these pains are associated with your going to the toilet often. If you have not seen the GP yet and your symptoms are persisting then we would suggest that you see your GP. If you have any abdominal pain or bleeding then please contact your local maternity unit. Make sure that you drink plenty of fluids and try and rest when you can. Take Care, Tommy's Midwives x

  • By Anonymous (not verified) on 8 Nov 2018 - 23:10

    I am 36 weeks pregnant, have felt queasy on and off for the last few days but today I have felt sick since lunchtime and vomited quite badly this evening. Should I be worried?

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 12 Nov 2018 - 15:57

    Hi. One episode of nausea and vomiting is not a reason to be concerned. If the vomiting continues for 72 hours or more, then it would be advisable for you to be seen in your hospital maternity unit. But otherwise, this could be attributed to any number of virus', cold or pregnancy symptoms.
    Please take good care of yourself and rest up.
    Tommy's Midwife

  • By Leanne (not verified) on 5 Nov 2018 - 17:06

    Hi,

    I'm really worried had severe diarrhoea and stomache pains over the weekend, only 7/8 weeks pregnant. It's stopped but I still feel very weak and dizzy. How can I tell of this is a bug or food related? I haven't had a high temperature, but have started feeling hot and stuffy. Should I see someone or see if my symptoms improve over the next few days?

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 8 Nov 2018 - 15:06

    Hi Leanne, Thank you for your comment.

    It is reassuring that you haven't had a temperature but after having diarrhoea your body will be trying to replace the fluids which it has lost so will leave you weak and dizzy. It is important that you drink plenty of fluids to keep yourself hydrated. If these symptoms have not got any better or you are feeling worse, then we would recommend that you see your GP who will be able to send off a stool sample and this will identify if you have a bug that needs treating. Feel better soon, Take Care, Tommy's Midwives x

  • By Thelma (not verified) on 27 Oct 2018 - 10:25

    Hy am 32 weeks pregnant
    I've been having diarrhoea for 3 days now and I feel very dizzy even after Eating and I can hardly sleep well..But the baby's movements are fine ...and I've not been drinking a lot of water.

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 29 Oct 2018 - 15:19

    Hi Thelma. It sounds like you need to see a midwife in the pregnancy triage unit urgently as:
    your diarrhoea has not gone away within 48 hours and you continue to feel dizzy (which could indicate anaemia)

    DO NOT take any medication to stop diarrhoea in pregnancy, such as Imodium, without speaking to your GP, midwife or pharmacist first.
    There are many medicines that can be unsafe to take during pregnancy. So it’s always best to ask your doctor, midwife, pharmacist or dentist before you take anything. Find out more about drugs and medicines in pregnancy.
    You may have dehydration or a gastrointestinal problem and need treatment urgently. Please be seen as quickly as possible
    Tommy's Midwife

  • By Yasmine (not verified) on 21 Oct 2018 - 17:28

    Hello, I have currently got a bad sickness bug to which I’m struggling to even keep down sips of water. I’ve noticed over the course of the day my baby has hardly moved. Can this be that she is also feeling under the weather? Is it normal? Thank you

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 22 Oct 2018 - 15:39

    If you are not able to keep sips of water down, please see your doctor. Also if you are concerned by the baby movements at 37 weeks, please go to your maternity unit for advice. It may be that the sickness is keeping the baby quiet, but without being able to examine you it is best to advise on the cautious side. Take care.

  • By Naz (not verified) on 26 Sep 2018 - 13:02

    Hi I am 22weeks pregnant and reached home last night from work feeling very sick didn’t manage to eat dinner and suddenly I was violently sick and this was happening on and off all night as well as diarrhoea. Should I be worried? Thanks

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 26 Sep 2018 - 13:42

    Hi Naz
    If your vomiting goes on for 72 hours or more, then you need to go into your maternity unit for urgent review with a midwife and obstetric doctor. Up until 72 hrs, it is important that you stay well hydrated and try to eat little amounts, as often as you can to keep up your nutrition.
    If you need to call to talk anything through please do.
    All the best
    Tommy's Midwife

  • By Victoria (not verified) on 20 Sep 2018 - 06:37

    Hello. Last night I went out for a meal, I had lamb, I was told the meat was all pregnancy safe. The room was very warm and I ended up leaving the restaurant after my meal due to be to warm. As soon as I went outside I was fine but when I got home I had diarrhoea. I felt fine after that but this morning I went to the bathroom and had a bit more diarrhoea. I have no fever, feel absolutely fine otherwise and have been able to keep down water. I am 14 weeks pregnant.

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 21 Sep 2018 - 15:56

    Hi Victoria, There is no knowing whether this is related to the food eaten last night or whether you may have an unrelated tummy bug. Try not to worry, As long as this resolves quickly and you have no dehydration there is no reason to think that your pregnancy will be affected. With best wishes for a full recovery. Tommy's midwives

  • By Emma (not verified) on 19 Sep 2018 - 20:12

    Hello,

    I suddenly needed to vomit immediately after eating lunch 2 days ago and was quite violently ill. I have not been sick since, though feel a bit queasy still. My baby has been moving normally for the last 2 days but on reflection was a bit quieter the day before I was sick. I went to the doctor and have no temperature, normal blood pressure and he said the heartbeat was fine but I’m still worried because I still feel a bit odd. I’ve had no diahorrea or any other pain or symptoms. Should I be worried about still feeling sick?

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 21 Sep 2018 - 12:04

    Hi Emma, Sorry to hear you have been feeling unwell. It's good advice to see your GP or midwife if these symptoms continue past 2-3 days but it is reassuring that the GP has seen you and had no concerns. Just as when you aren't pregnant you can get the occasional bug, but your baby is unlikely to be at risk and you should start to feel better soon. Take care

  • By Nina (not verified) on 18 Sep 2018 - 03:44

    I’m 20 weeks pregnant and my husband has had a low-level stomach bug over the past week, which I think I’ve picked up. I’m making sure I keep my fluids up, and will go to my GP if it persists beyond 48 hours, but I was wondering, as diarrhoea is my main problem, with some quite forceful stomach cramping, what to I need to watch out for/be aware of in terms of preterm labour? Is there anything I can do to help prevent it? Thank you!

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 20 Sep 2018 - 13:58

    Hi Nina, Thank you for your comment.
    You are keeping your fluids up and this is what we would recommend you to do. With regards to pre term labour, if the cramping that you are having is related to an episode if diarrhoea then just try and rest as much as you can. If you feel that you are getting constant abdominal pain or bleeding, or pains that come and go then we would recommend that you call your local maternity unit for further advice. Please see your GP if you are still having symptoms of this stomach bug. Take care, Tommy's Midwives x

  • By Zena Simpson (not verified) on 17 Sep 2018 - 13:54

    Hi! I'm hoping you can help me.
    I'm 22wks pregnant and yesterday after feeling rough with stomach cramps for two days I was badly sick and diarrhea. I felt fine once it had all come out just, spent the day sleeping.
    We had been away all week and didn't get much sleep so I don't really know how to treat it, as a bug or just me pregnant!
    Would be grateful for some feedback.
    Thanks. Zena

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 19 Sep 2018 - 12:56

    Hi Zena,
    It sounds like you had a bug but either way if it has resolved and you have managed to catch up on sleep then this is reassuring. If you have ongoing symptoms then tried to keep hydrated and practise hand hygiene. If you are unable to keep fluids in or this carries on for several days or you have a fever then do contact your GP or midwife for a review.
    Best wishes
    Tommy's midwives

  • By Verity (not verified) on 13 Sep 2018 - 18:57

    Hi, I’m 28 weeks pregnant and have been suffering now for a week or more with loose stools. It’s not proper diarrhoea as I only go once/ twice a day. But it’s more than I would normally go and I haven’t had a single solid bowel movement for many days. I also have some nausea although no vomiting, and mainly when hungry which is the same as I had in first trimester. Baby is moving lots so no concerns there but I do have a bit of pressure down below. I have no reason to suspect precterm labour, I was induced on due date with my first. Should I say anything or just accept it as a pregnancy symptom?

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 14 Sep 2018 - 12:12

    Hi Verity,
    It is difficult to know if it is pregnancy related or you have just picked up a bit of a bug which your body is working through. If you are only going 1-2 times a day then I would suggest just to monitor. If this increases, or you have any pain, bleeding or fever then do see your GP. You should also have midwife appointment around this time, so do speak with your midwife about your symptoms.
    Best wishes
    Tommy's midwife

  • By Jemma (not verified) on 26 Aug 2018 - 18:30

    Hello, I’m just 5 week pregnant and have diarrhea. Is this normal and due to an influx of hormones? I have 2 children already (very fortunate!) however I’ve not experienced this before, just morning sickness. Many thanks

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 29 Aug 2018 - 16:05

    Hi Jemma
    Diarrhoea is most likely to be associated with a 24-72 hour bug. It is not usually due to a change in hormones. If it goes on for more than 3 days, then please call 111 for advice or go to your GP to be reviewed. I hope you feel better soon. Stay well hydrated by drinking 2-3 litres of water a day.
    All the best Tommy's Midwife

  • By Xiomara (not verified) on 8 Aug 2018 - 22:46

    Since about 3 in the morning I’ve been feeling like I need to use the bathroom. Recently today I started to have diarrhea and I’ve been throwing up at the same time. Should I got to the doctors and see what’s going on?

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 13 Aug 2018 - 14:46

    No, If you have diarrhoea and vomiting the best thing you can do is to use the advice on this page and see your GP if you still have symptoms after 48 hours. Hope you feel better soon.

  • By Tiffany (not verified) on 8 Aug 2018 - 20:14

    I work in a nursery (baby room) and we sent five children home due to vomiting today. I'm 13 weeks pregnant and worried about whether it's safe for me to go to work tomorrow. It's also hard to tell whether my nausea is my normal pregnancy stuff or early signs of this.

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