Nausea and vomiting in pregnancy, often known as morning sickness, is very common in early pregnancy.It can affect you anytime during the day or night, and usually settles by 16-20 weeks. Some women suffer with severe sickness during pregnancy, this is called hyperemesis gravidarum and may require treatment from your GP.
Diarrhoea and vomiting is not usually pregnancy related and most commonly caused by gastroenteritis (a tummy bug). During bouts of sickness and/ or diarrhoea it is important to remain hydrated. If you are vomiting, try to take sips of water (little and often) rather than large volumes in one go.
Diarrhoea usually last 5-7 days and vomiting usually lasts 1-2 days.
Review in A&E
Diarrhoea and vomiting is not a medical emergency, however medical help should be sought immediately if you have an infection (usually associated with a fever) and show signs of sepsis.
Signs of sepsis:
Go to the nearest Hospital Emergency (A&E) Department or phone 999
Contact your GP if:
Please alert the receptionist to your symptoms as they may wish you to wait in isolation, apart from the main waiting area.
Contact your maternity unit if you are experiencing:
You need to contact your maternity unit or GP/NHS 111 depending on the advice to the left.
self-care at home if you have none of the red or amber signs above and:
Stay at home and get plenty of rest, drink plenty of fluids such as water or squash. If feeling sick take small sips only. Eat when you feel able to, you don’t need to have or avoid any specific food.
If you are still concerned, call NHS 111 – dial 111 or contact your maternity unit.
Your local maternity unit is staffed 24 hours a day with obstetrician s and midwives to help care for you, your baby and your pregnancy related health concerns. For some AMBER concerns it may be possible to be seen in a midwifery led unit if it is more convenient for you. For health concerns that are not related to your pregnancy you are advised to see your GP, call NHS 111 out of hours, or attend A&E if it is an emergency.
To find the contact numbers for your local maternity unit, please click here.
Whilst you may have individual contact details for your community midwife, if you are concerned about your pregnancy we advise you call the maternity unit on the numbers provided because staff are available 24 hours a day. Please do not leave urgent voicemails or text on a community midwife’s phone.
GPs assess, treat and manage a whole range of health problems. They also provide health education, give vaccinations and can arrange referral to a hospital specialist should you need it. Whilst pregnant, you will have regular appointments with a midwife but it is still important to continue with any ongoing care from your GP.
NHS 111 can ask you questions to assess your symptoms, give you advice or can put you in touch with a GP out of usual working hours.
A&E departments provide vital care for life threatening emergencies, such as suspected heart attack or breathing difficulties. If you are not sure it’s an emergency, call 111 for advice.