Very few mamas-to-be escape morning sickness.
Up to 90% of pregnant women experience nausea in the first trimester. 🤯
And many don’t only experience it in the morning.
But in addition to losing your breakfast, lunch, or dinner, you might also find yourself throwing up blood while you’re pregnant.
Wait… what? 😳
Yes, it can be concerning, but throwing up blood while pregnant actually happens more often than you might think.
Don’t feel comforted yet? We’ve got you.
Read on for expert insight into what vomiting blood during pregnancy means and what to do next.
In this article: 📝
- Is it normal to throw up blood while pregnant?
- Why am I throwing up blood while pregnant?
- Why am I throwing up blood while pregnant in my 1st trimester?
- What are the treatments for throwing up blood while pregnant?
- When should you call a doctor?
Is it normal to throw up blood while pregnant?
While it can be a bit alarming at first, vomiting blood during pregnancy does happen from time to time.
Depending on the cause, it will either go away on its own or will need to be treated.
Because identifying the cause can be a little tricky, we recommend that you speak to your doctor straight away if you notice blood in your vomit.
They’ll be able to assess what’s causing it, make sure that it’s nothing serious, and advise you on the best way forward.
And in case your mind is wandering there, vomiting blood is not a sign of pregnancy loss.
There’s every chance your pregnancy is fine and well on track.
But to really put your mind at ease, let’s find out more.
Why am I throwing up blood while pregnant?
In medical terms, vomiting blood is called hematemesis, and there are quite a few reasons why you might experience it while you’re pregnant.
Some causes are relatively common, but others are more serious and might need medical attention.
Here are some of the possibilities:
1. Esophageal irritation or tear
Your body isn’t meant to vomit every day, and doing so during pregnancy often puts strain on the lining of your esophagus.
This irritation can cause small amounts of blood or dried blood to appear in your vomit.
A more serious condition is an esophageal tear, which can happen when there is too much pressure inside your stomach or esophagus.
An esophageal tear can occur at any time during your pregnancy, even in your third trimester, and is usually identified by quite a lot of bright red blood.
You might also feel dizzy, have difficulty breathing, or experience heartburn, stomach pain, or unusual fatigue. 😩
If these symptoms sound familiar, be sure to speak to your doctor straight away.
Gastritis is inflammation of the stomach.
It’s often caused by harmful bacteria called H. pylori. If you get gastritis, you might notice that you vomit red blood, sometimes excessively, and you could also feel quite weak.
Again, speak to your midwife or doctor. You need your energy right now, mama.
3. Bleeding gums
Sore, swollen, and bleeding gums are common in pregnancy (medically known as pregnancy gingivitis) and can become even more irritated if you’re vomiting a lot.
This is due to an increase in pregnancy hormones, leading to an increase in blood flow to the gums.
So, the blood you notice in your vomit could be coming from your mouth.
Make sure you floss and brush your teeth regularly. Keeping your gums clean and healthy can help to stop them bleeding.
Pregnancy supercharges your blood flow.
Even the blood vessels in your nose swell with new blood.
If you happen to have a nosebleed shortly before you vomit, the blood might be pushed to the back of your throat and come out of your mouth. Delicious.
Nosebleeds are common during pregnancy, but if you find you are bleeding often and/or a lot—or your nosebleeds are accompanied by other symptoms—it’s a good idea to check in with a healthcare professional.
Some medications, such as aspirin and ibuprofen, can irritate the lining of your stomach and cause bleeding.
If you think the medication you’re taking might be responsible for the blood in your vomit, speak to your doctor ASAP. Be sure to mention everything you’re taking, as well as the dosage.
6. Mouth or throat irritation
Vomit usually contains some of your stomach’s most acidic juices.
This can irritate the back of your throat and your mouth and can cause small flecks of dark or dried blood to appear in your vomit.
Why am I throwing up blood while pregnant in my 1st trimester?
Note that some of us battle to shake bouts of nausea and vomiting for the duration of our pregnancies.
Know that you don’t have to struggle through this alone.
If you’re worried, check in with your doctor. And if you need support, check in with your Peanut community.
While many of the causes are explained by the conditions we’ve spoken about, vomiting blood during pregnancy can also be a symptom of severe morning sickness or hyperemesis gravidarum in medical speak.
Morning sickness is considered severe if you’re vomiting several times a day, losing weight, or if you’re at risk of becoming dehydrated.
If untreated, it can affect your health and the health of your little one.
Speak to your doctor if:
- Your nausea doesn’t go away
- You’re losing weight
- You’re feeling faint
- You’re peeing less than usual, or
- You’re vomiting blood
Your doctor might advise you to try eating small, frequent, and very bland meals or may even prescribe intravenous fluids or vitamin supplements.
What are the treatments for throwing up blood while pregnant?
The answer to this depends on the cause and can vary from no intervention at all to surgery, as is the case with esophageal tears.
Sometimes certain medications will be needed to treat the cause, and sometimes your doctor might prescribe something simply to ease the symptoms.
Important: Before you take anything that you can pick up from the pharmacy yourself, double-check with your doctor that they’re OK during pregnancy.
If you’re looking for ways to support your body so that you’re less likely to vomit blood, avoid alcohol since it causes inflammation of the stomach, and spicy foods, as they irritate the stomach and cause acid reflux.
It’s also a good idea to give up smoking while you’re pregnant.
On the hunt for home remedies that can offer some relief?
Ginger is probably your best place to start.
Studies suggest that ginger can improve nausea and vomiting in the first trimester. Try starting your day with a small glass of ginger juice.
When should you call a doctor?
Since it’s not always easy to know whether the dark or bright red blood you’re vomiting is something minor or something dangerous, it’s always a good idea to let your doctor know.
Pay special attention if your hematemesis is also combined with other symptoms, like:
- Fast, shallow breathing
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Blurred vision
- Enlarged pupils
- Cold or clammy skin
- Abdominal pain
- Dark poop or blood in your poop.
These are signs that something’s not quite right.
When it comes to your health and the health of your baby, it’s always best to play it safe, mama.