Throwing Up in Third Trimester of Pregnancy - Should You Worry?

Vomiting in the Third Trimester of Pregnancy – Is It a Concern?

Medically Reviewed By
Dr. Sabiha Anjum (Gynecologist/Obstetrician)
View more Gynecologist/Obstetrician Our Panel of Experts

Nausea and vomiting are common in the first trimester of pregnancy; these are two of the first symptoms that help you realise you are pregnant. While it’s common to feel nauseated all the time in the first trimester of your pregnancy, if throwing up in the third trimester continues, then it will obviously be taxing for you. If you are in your third trimester of pregnancy, it is essential that you know whether you should be concerned about vomiting at this stage.

Also Read: Complications during Third Trimester

Reasons for Vomiting in the 3rd Trimester of Pregnancy

Of the several symptoms that you go through while you are pregnant, vomiting in the third trimester of pregnancy is a concern that is bound to leave you worried. However, please remember that you are not the only one going through this and hence, it is not unnatural or abnormal. Some of the possible reasons for vomiting in the third trimester are as follows:

1. Morning Sickness

One very obvious reason for vomiting in the final trimester of pregnancy is morning sickness. It is a common phenomenon and might result in vomiting even in the last trimester of pregnancy.

Also Read: 3rd Trimester Pregnancy Checklist

2. Heartburn or Acid Reflux

This is also a common occurrence in the advanced stages of pregnancy. When the muscles of the valve between the stomach and the oesophagus relax due to hormonal changes in pregnancy, it allows the stomach acids to move back up into the oesophagus. Also, as the size of the uterus gradually increases, it exerts pressure on the stomach, forcing acids upwards. This can then lead to vomiting.

3. Dehydration

Not drinking adequate amounts of water can lead to dehydration in the body which, in turn, can result in nausea and vomiting.

Also Read: Sex during Third Trimester

4. Food Poisoning

Food poisoning results in vomiting whether you are pregnant or not; however, it can be more severe and harmful when you’re carrying your baby. Infectious organisms in your food basically lead to a stomach bug or food poisoning, causing you to feel nauseated and vomit.

5. Preeclampsia

Vomiting might also be because of preeclampsia, a complicated condition that can affect the baby. However, vomiting is a symptom that occurs only at a very late stage of the condition, which is usually detected earlier.

6. Gestational Diabetes 

Women with gestational diabetes may experience vomiting as a symptom.

7. Anxiety or Stress

Pregnancy can be a stressful time, and anxiety or stress can lead to nausea and vomiting

8. Gastrointestinal Issues

As the uterus expands in the third trimester, it can pressure the stomach and intestines, causing digestive issues such as nausea and vomiting.

9. Hormonal Changes 

Pregnancy hormones can cause changes in the digestive system, leading to nausea and vomiting.

Also Read: Diet during 3rd Trimester

Is Vomiting a Sign of Serious Pregnancy Complications?

Vomiting during the third trimester of pregnancy is not a rare or unusual symptom. However, you should try to find out the reason behind this condition in order to cross out any serious issues that may be causing it. If vomiting is because of reasons like morning sickness, food poisoning, acidity, etc., the baby will not be harmed and simple medications can treat such problems. However, it is always better to be safe and consult a doctor if you are experiencing any such symptom which you feel is unusual or detrimental to your health.

Can Vomiting in the 3rd Trimester Affect the Baby?

Occasionally throwing up in the third trimester is not likely to affect the baby. However, persistent or severe vomiting can lead to dehydration and nutrient deficiencies, potentially impacting the baby’s health. Severe vomiting can also cause weight loss and electrolyte imbalances in the mother, harming both the mother and the baby.

Sometimes, vomiting in the third trimester may be a symptom of a more serious condition, such as preeclampsia or gestational diabetes, which can affect the baby’s growth and development. These conditions can lead to complications during delivery or after birth if left untreated.

If you are experiencing persistent or severe vomiting in the third trimester, it is important to speak with your healthcare provider to determine the underlying cause and to receive appropriate treatment. This may include medication to manage symptoms, dietary changes, or hospitalisation for intravenous fluids and other interventions if necessary.

How to Avoid Vomiting in the Third Trimester

Some small precautions taken beforehand can reduce the symptoms of nausea and vomiting, if not eliminate them completely. So, if you are worried about vomiting in or around the 8th month of pregnancy or vomiting at 36 weeks pregnant, you can take the following measures to keep nausea at bay:

1. Drink lots of water

Water helps you feel refreshed and keeps your bowel movements consistent. Drinking enough water would also decrease the chances of vomiting in the third trimester to a great extent. However, avoid drinking a lot of fluids in one go; keep sipping a bottle of water every few hours. If you don’t like the taste of plain water, you can always add a lemon wedge or a piece of fruit to it to improve its taste. You can also opt for ice chips or clear fruit juices to ensure that you maintain your fluid intake.

A pregnant woman with a glass of water in her hand2. Opt for small meals.

A pregnant woman is often advised to ‘eat for two’ since she is carrying a baby, but this is not true or required. Too much food on your plate might make you lose your appetite, especially if you are vomiting frequently. So, do not eat too much at a time; instead, have small meals spread throughout the day. Eat less but eat often, as this ensures smooth digestion. If foods with strong odours trigger nausea, you can choose to have such foods that can be eaten at room temperature (without any side effects).

3. Maintain a healthy diet.

A proper diet would decrease the chances of food poisoning or help prevent any kind of infection in the stomach for that matter.

4. Do not go to bed immediately after a meal.

Walking or rest for some time after a meal is always advisable, rather than going to bed immediately, as this ensures that digestion takes place sooner and better.

5. Make sure you’re well-rested.

Get plenty of rest during your pregnancy, be it through a good night’s sleep or by fitting in naps throughout the day (but not immediately after a meal, as mentioned!). This will alleviate a lot of problems you face while pregnant, nausea included.

Vomiting during pregnancy is not something very abnormal or unusual. Still, if you experience vomiting in the later stages of pregnancy like sudden vomiting at 34 weeks pregnant even after trying out these measures, it is recommended that you consult a doctor.

Also Read: What Body Changes Occur during the Third Trimester of Pregnancy?

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