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. Your baby will be protected and take all the nutrients it needs from you.

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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