Being pregnant is an incredible journey filled with joy and anticipation. However, it can also bring about various unexpected changes and concerns. One such concern that pregnant women may encounter is blood in vomit. While this can be alarming, it is essential to understand what it means and when to seek medical attention.

Understanding the causes and implications of blood in vomit is paramount to ensure the health and well-being of the expectant mother and the developing baby. By addressing this topic with clarity and expert advice, we aim to empower pregnant women to make informed decisions and seek appropriate medical attention when necessary.

So, let’s dive into this topic together, unravel the mysteries surrounding blood in vomit during pregnancy, and equip you with the knowledge you need for a safe and healthy pregnancy journey.

Is It Normal To Throw Up Blood While Pregnant?

While vomiting and nausea are common during pregnancy, the presence of blood in vomit is not. It is crucial to understand that vomiting is not typical during pregnancy, and prolonged or severe vomiting should always be reported to a healthcare provider. Moreover, if you experience bleeding or blood in your vomit, you must seek medical attention immediately.

What Causes Blood Vomit In Pregnancy?

Here are some possible causes of having blood in vomit during pregnancy:

Severe Morning Sickness (Hyperemesis Gravidarum)

Hyperemesis Gravidarum is a severe morning sickness affecting about 1-2% of pregnant women. It is a condition where the expectant mother experiences prolonged and extreme nausea and vomiting, leading to dehydration and significant weight loss. In severe cases, the force of vomiting can cause ruptures or tears in the esophagus, leading to blood in vomit.

Gastritis or Peptic Ulcers

Gastritis or peptic ulcers can cause blood in vomit during pregnancy. These are conditions that occur when the stomach’s lining is inflamed, leading to the production of excess stomach acid. Gastritis and peptic ulcers can cause significant discomfort, including nausea, vomiting, and sometimes blood in vomit.

Esophageal Varices

Esophageal varices are a condition where veins in the esophagus become swollen and enlarged, leading to the rupture of these veins, causing blood to vomit. This condition can occur in pregnant women with pre-existing liver conditions such as cirrhosis.

Mallory-Weiss Tears

Mallory-Weiss tears are a condition with a tear in the esophagus lining caused by excessive vomiting. This condition is common in pregnant women with severe morning sickness, obesity, or alcoholism. Symptoms include vomiting, abdominal pain, and blood in vomit.

Gastrointestinal Infections

Gastrointestinal infections can also cause vomiting, nausea, and blood in vomit. Pregnant women are more susceptible to these infections due to changes in the immune system during pregnancy.

Erosive Esophagitis

Erosive esophagitis is a condition where there is inflammation and erosion of the lining of the esophagus, leading to bleeding. It can occur due to long-term reflux or vomiting, a common condition affecting pregnant women.


Certain medications can cause blood vomiting, including nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as aspirin and ibuprofen, which pregnant women should avoid. Blood in vomit during pregnancy is not normal and requires immediate medical attention.

Understanding the causes and symptoms is crucial to identify the underlying issue and seek the right treatment. Remember, always consult a medical professional for proper diagnosis and guidance on how to manage this condition

Can Morning Sickness Lead to Blood in Vomit?

Young pregnant woman suffering from morning sickness at home.

While mild to moderate morning sickness is common during pregnancy, it generally does not lead to blood in vomit. However, in severe cases of morning sickness, known as hyperemesis gravidarum, the forceful and frequent vomiting can cause tears or ruptures in the esophagus, leading to blood in vomit. It is essential to differentiate between typical morning sickness and severe cases that may require medical attention.

What Are Some Possible Complications Associated with Blood in Vomit During Pregnancy?

During pregnancy vomiting with blood can be concerning and may indicate underlying complications. Let’s explore some potential complications that can arise from this symptom.


Frequent vomiting, particularly if accompanied by blood, can lead to severe dehydration. Dehydration during pregnancy can harm both the mother and the developing baby. It is essential to replenish fluids and seek medical attention promptly to prevent dehydration.

Nutritional Deficiencies

Prolonged vomiting, especially with blood in vomit, can result in inadequate nutrient intake. This can lead to nutritional deficiencies, affecting the mother’s health and potentially impacting the baby’s growth and development. Working with a healthcare provider to ensure proper nutrition during pregnancy is crucial.

Weight Loss

Severe vomiting with blood in vomit can lead to rapid and significant weight loss. Excessive weight loss during pregnancy can harm both the mother and the baby. Managing vomiting and addressing the underlying cause is crucial to prevent excessive weight loss.

Electrolyte Imbalance

Vomiting can disrupt the body’s electrolyte balance, especially if it is persistent and accompanied by blood. Electrolytes, such as sodium, potassium, and chloride, are crucial in maintaining bodily functions. An electrolyte imbalance can lead to various health complications and requires medical attention.

Fetal Distress

Blood in vomit during pregnancy can be a sign of fetal distress. It is important to monitor fetal movements and seek immediate medical attention if any concerning symptoms are observed. Regular prenatal check-ups and communication with the healthcare provider are essential to ensure the baby’s well-being.

Preterm Labor

In some cases, blood in vomit during pregnancy may be associated with preterm labor. Preterm labor refers to the onset of labor before the 37th week of pregnancy. It is crucial to seek medical attention promptly if you experience blood in vomit and signs of preterm labor, such as regular contractions, pelvic pressure, or lower back pain.

Maternal Stress and Emotional Impact

Experiencing blood in vomit during pregnancy can be emotionally distressing for expectant mothers. Addressing the emotional impact and seeking support from healthcare professionals, family, or support groups is important. Managing stress and anxiety plays a vital role in promoting a healthy pregnancy.

When Should I Seek Medical Help for Blood in Vomit During Pregnancy?

If you experience blood in vomit during pregnancy, it is important to seek medical help promptly.

Here are some situations in which you should contact your healthcare provider:

  • If you see large amounts of blood in your vomit or if the blood appears bright red or like coffee grounds.
  • If you have been vomiting blood for a prolonged period.
  • If you experience other concerning symptoms, such as severe abdominal pain, dizziness, lightheadedness, or signs of dehydration.
  • If you notice a decrease in fetal movement or any signs of fetal distress.

Remember, it is always better to err on the side of caution and consult a healthcare professional for proper evaluation and guidance.

Can Blood in Vomit During Pregnancy be a Sign of a Serious Condition?

Yes, blood in vomit during pregnancy can be a sign of a serious underlying condition that requires medical attention. Conditions such as severe morning sickness (hyperemesis gravidarum), gastritis or peptic ulcers, esophageal varices, gastrointestinal infections, erosive esophagitis, and Mallory-Weiss tears can lead to blood in vomit.

These conditions can have potential complications if left untreated, so it is important to consult with your healthcare provider to identify the underlying cause and receive appropriate treatment.

Does Vomiting Blood During Pregnancy Affect the Baby?

Vomiting blood during pregnancy can affect the baby’s well-being depending on the underlying cause and severity of the condition. Some complications associated with pregnant vomiting blood, such as dehydration, nutritional deficiencies, weight loss, and preterm labor, can indirectly impact the baby’s growth and development.

Additionally, fetal distress can occur in certain cases. It is crucial to seek medical help to address the issue promptly and ensure the well-being of both the mother and the baby. Your healthcare provider will be able to provide you with personalized guidance and appropriate treatment options.

What Diagnostic Tests or Examinations May Be Conducted to Determine the Cause?

Preparation for blood test with young woman by female doctor in medical uniform.

When a woman vomits blood during pregnancy, it’s important to determine the potential cause before treatment can be prescribed.

Here are some of the diagnostic tests and exams a doctor might use to determine what’s happening:

  • Endoscopy: This minimally-invasive procedure uses an endoscope to view the inside of the esophagus, stomach, and part of the small intestine to see if there are any abnormalities, ulcers, or sources of bleeding.
  • Upper GI X-ray with barium: This test involves swallowing a chalky substance that coats the digestive system and makes it easier to identify any issues.
  • CT scan or MRI: These imaging tests provide more detailed information about the gastrointestinal system.
  • Blood tests: These tests will check the patient’s blood count to ensure that they are not anemic.

How Can Blood in Vomit During Pregnancy Be Managed?

Managing blood in vomit during pregnancy involves treating the underlying cause and symptoms.

Here are some things a doctor might recommend:

  • Rest and rehydration: Drinking plenty of water can help the body recover from vomiting, while rest can aid recovery and limit additional strain on the digestive system.
  • Antiemetics: These medications can help relieve nausea and vomiting for pregnant women throwing up blood. Antiemetics are typically used if the vomiting prevents the woman from getting enough nutrition or leads to dehydration.
  • Treating the underlying cause: Depending on what diagnostic tests reveal, treating the underlying condition may mean medication, surgery, or lifestyle modifications.

Seek Immediate Help

Vomiting blood during pregnancy can be a distressing experience, but it’s important to remember that it can be treated. Willingness to seek medical help and diligence in following up with recommended screenings can help ensure that blood in vomit is treated and the underlying cause is addressed.

By consulting a doctor early in the pregnancy and following recommended treatments, women can minimize the discomfort and health risks of vomiting when it occurs.
If you need urgent medical care, particularly for treating serious conditions like blood in vomit during pregnancy, Aether Health – SilverLake ER in Pearland, Texas, comes highly recommended.

Renowned for its team of board-certified physicians, Aether Health – SilverLake ER is well-equipped to diagnose and treat a wide range of emergencies. The dedicated, compassionate staff at Aether Health – SilverLake ER take a patient-centric approach, providing a supportive environment during a stressful period. If you’re experiencing serious symptoms such as these, we encourage you to seek immediate help.