Nausea in early pregnancy
Regular nausea/vomiting before 12 weeks is commonly known as ‘morning sickness’ (although the name is misleading, as it can happen at any time of the day) and is usually not serious.
If you find you are vomiting several times during the day and unable to keep food/drink down, you may need to be treated to help you cope with the symptoms and stay nourished and hydrated. You should see your GP or midwife to be checked. If you have severe and persistent vomiting usually starting very early in pregnancy (hyperemesis gravidarum), you should also see your doctor or midwife, as this needs to be treated.
Sometimes this nausea will last until later pregnancy.Read more about morning sickness.
Nausea in late pregnancy
If you start vomiting during the second half of your pregnancy, it may be a sign of pre-eclampsia. This could especially be the case if you also have stomach pain, sudden, severe swelling in your face, hands and feet, vision problems and/or headache, or if your blood pressure has started to rise during your routine checks. Call your midwife immediately if you have these symptoms. Vomiting accompanied by diarrhea could be a sign of food poisoning or a tummy bug. If you’re vomiting and have pain and a temperature it could mean you have a kidney infection. If you have these symptoms you should contact your doctor, midwife or hospital.
Macdonald S, Magill-Cuerden J, Mayes’ midwifery, fourteenth edition, Edinburgh Bailliere Tindall Elsevier, 2012
Patel NB et al, Urinary tract infections in women, London BMJ Best Practice, 2013. Also available at: http://bestpractice.bmj.com/best-practice/monograph/77.html (accessed 29 April 2014)