How Many Times Should You Vomit When You're Pregnant? Here's When Experts Say You Should Worry

Ad failed to load

There's no doubt about it: morning sickness sucks. Most moms-to-be experience at least some nausea or vomiting during their pregnancy, which is inappropriately nicknamed morning sickness. Trust me when I say it's not limited to just the mornings. Even though it's common, according to professionals there's a point when enough is enough. In fact, there isn't really a limit to how many times you should vomit when you're pregnant before you seek medical care, and there are treatments available to help that might make a huge difference when it comes to your nausea, vomiting, and overall comfort.

Romper spoke with certified nurse midwife Anette Ferrell, MSN, ARNP, CNM via phone about how much vomiting during pregnancy is "too much," and when you should call your obstetrics provider. According to Ferrell, if you are pregnant and are unable to keep food down, you should call your doctor regardless of how many times you vomit. The Mayo Clinic's website agrees, stating that if your vomiting is making you dehydrated you need to get help, because it can be harmful for you and your baby. According to Hyperemesis Education and Research Foundation, if you can't stop vomiting you may actually have Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG), a severe health condition that can have irreversible impacts. So, if your vomiting won't let up, it's important that you call your health care practitioner and get some help as soon as possible. After all, that's what they're there for, right?

Ad failed to load

The American Pregnancy Association (APA) states that more than 50 percent of women will experience morning sickness, or nausea or vomiting, during pregnancy. According to the APA website, it generally begins around the sixth week of pregnancy and as your body reacts to the increased levels of hormones, and goes away as you head into your second trimester. Fortunately for most women, while annoying, morning sickness will not hurt you or your pregnancy, and some doctors even think it's a good sign; a sign that your pregnancy is progressing and your hormone levels are increasing as they should. But the same site notes that if you can't keep food down, or still feel sick after your first trimester is over, it's time to call your doctor.

According to Ferrell, there are safe and effective treatments available to help women cope with nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. As she told Romper, "Pregnant women do not need to suffer. Prescription Diclegis or its components — unisom and vitamin B6, which are available over-the-counter — can help significantly with nausea. If the patient is experiencing vomiting with every meal, unable to keep fluids down, or not making tears or urine, that’s when I recommend going to the ER for fluids and medication." She adds, "Zofran is effective for treating vomiting in pregnancy, and the risks are low. Vitamin and iron levels should also be checked to rule out other causes of vomiting."

When asked if there is a minimum or maximum number of times a pregnant woman should vomit before they get help, Ferrell says, "not really." She adds, "You should go in ASAP if you have any symptoms of dehydration. Rehydration and Zofran are life." The Mayo Clinic agrees. According to their website, if your vomiting is making you dehydrated — you don't have to pee as much, feel faint, or your heart races — you need to get help right away, because it can be harmful for you and your baby.

Ad failed to load

According to Healthline, like Ferrell, many health care providers recommend taking the over-the-counter sleep aid, Unisom, along with vitamin B-6, to help with nausea and vomiting during pregnancy, which has been shown in research studies to lessen symptoms. Of course, on the downside it might also make you tired, as it is designed to help you sleep. As always, you should consult your doctor or midwife before taking over-the-counter medications or supplements when pregnant.

The Hyperemesis Education and Research Foundation cautions moms-to-be not to ignore vomiting during pregnancy. If you can't stop vomiting, you may have Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG) — "a severe form of nausea and vomiting in pregnancy. It is generally described as unrelenting, excessive pregnancy-related nausea and/or vomiting that prevents adequate intake of food and fluids." If left untreated, HG can cause pregnancy complications and irreversible side effects.

Ad failed to load

The bottom line is that while morning sickness is common, and generally not a big deal, if you can't stop vomiting you should get help right away. Never hesitate to call your doctor or midwife for help or information. That's what they are there for, and you shouldn't have to suffer alone.

Check out Romper's new video series, Bearing The Motherload, where disagreeing parents from different sides of an issue sit down with a mediator and talk about how to support (and not judge) each other’s parenting perspectives. New episodes air Mondays on Facebook.

Ad failed to load
Ad failed to load
Must Reads

The Pressure To Worry About The Gap Between Kids Is So Bad For Moms

"Two under two is absolutely crazy," a friend recently told me upon hearing the news that I was expecting a second child. "Why would you do this to yourself? Seriously, why?" However harsh her words, she was only echoing the same feelings I'd been ba…
By Marie Southard Ospina

To Be Honest, I Couldn't Survive Motherhood Without My Job

The decision to work outside the home once you've become a parent can be a complicated one. Some people don't really have a choice, and go back to work because they're either a single parent or can't sustain their family on one income. Some choose to…
By Priscilla Blossom

I Feel Guilty That My Kid’s Dad Is A Better Parent Than Me, & That’s Bullsh*t

I was scared, and he was sure. I was clueless, and he was well-researched. I was making mistakes, and he was picking up the pieces. From the moment I found out I was pregnant until just last night, when I threw my hands up in the air and left the alw…
By Danielle Campoamor

These Millennial Parents Are Taking Gender-Neutral Parenting To An Entirely New Level

A woman on the subway looks at my bulbous shape and asks, “What are you having?” I take a deep breath and throw a glance to my 5-year-old. “I’m having a baby,” I say to the woman. “No, no” the woman says laughing as she pushes further. “Are you havin…
By Madison Young

I’m Registered At Babies “R” Us, & I'm Freaking The Hell Out

Hi. My name is Abi, and I’m registered at Babies “R” Us — and I’m freaking out. This may sound silly, but after being a die-hard Toys “R” Us kid, I was so excited to register at their baby store once my husband and I finally got our big fat positive …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

My Daughter Is Obsessed With Being "Pretty" & I'm Way Past Terrified

Last week, when I picked up my daughter after school, she immediately wanted to know if I liked her hair. "Is it pretty?" she asked. Her hair was pulled up into two ponytails that were intertwined into thick, long braids. A shimmering pink and purple…
By Dina Leygerman

7 Things No One Tells You About Having A Baby In Your 20s, But I Will

I was 24 when I found out I was pregnant with my daughter. The pregnancy was a surprise, since I was on birth control (side note: antibiotics and birth control don't mix), but my partner and I decided to continue with the pregnancy and committed to m…
By Candace Ganger

Women Who Miscarry Early Deserve To Grieve — Here's How Hospitals Should Be Helping

When I lost my baby back in 2013, it was because of a very early miscarriage. Because of the little amount of time I spent being pregnant, it was though my child had never really existed, which made the next few years hard — I felt like they had been…
By Risa Kerslake

7 Things I Wish My Partner Had Said To Me In The First Hour After Giving Birth

I don't know if it was the buzz of the surrounding machines, the non-existent cry of our son as the doctors tried to resuscitate him, or the fact that I'd already been through labor and delivery once before, but I knew something was missing after I h…
By Candace Ganger

Moms’ Groups Weren’t For Me, Sorry

I go to my moms’ club everyday of the week, but not usually on weekends. My moms' group is a place I can always count on finding fellow mothers who understand the daily struggles and triumphs of parenthood and of juggling life’s responsibilities. Dep…
By Samantha Taylor

Millennial Women Are Getting Married Later Than Gen X, & The Reasons Why Are Pretty Badass

The battle of the generations seems to come up when it comes to every lifestyle or career choice people make. Women, especially, are an important demographic when it comes to analysts looking at the lifestyle choices we make or the expected milestone…
By Josie Rhodes Cook

I've Had 3 Miscarriages But *Please* Keep Telling Me About Your Pregnancy

I can feel the tension the moment my friend announces her pregnancy. I can hear the forced nonchalant attitude she's willing herself to exude as she fishes for the ultrasound. I know why I was the last to learn that she was expecting; why she keeps l…
By Danielle Campoamor

7 Early Signs You're Going To Need An Epidural, According To Experts

Even if you've constructed an elaborate birth plan, it's impossible to control every aspect of labor and delivery. Complications can occur, proactive measures might be necessary, and your mind is subject to change when those damn contractions really …
By Candace Ganger

I'm Pregnant & I Refuse To Read Any Parenting Books

I didn't read any parenting books when I was expecting my daughter, and I refuse to read any parenting books as I await my second child now. I'm the first to admit that I don't really know what I'm doing when it comes to raising my daughter. A good d…
By Marie Southard Ospina

7 Reasons Why March Babies Are Total Badasses

From the moment you become pregnant, you begin to wonder what your little one will be like. Will they look like you, your partner, or your Great Aunt Edna? Will they be the quiet, thoughtful type or arrive on this planet raring to go? It's fun to ima…
By Caroline Shannon-Karasik

12 Overnight Face Masks To Use To Wake Up Feeling Pampered AF

Spring is right around the corner, and as far as I'm concerned, the sunshine and warm breezes can't come soon enough. But now that we're about to say goodbye to winter, it's a good time to take stock of your facial skincare routine. You know, in the …
By Katie Malczyk

11 Essential Products To Pack In Your Hospital Bag, According To OB-GYNs

The minute you go into labor (or think you're going into labor), chaos ensues. You and your partner are likely to get a little frantic, just like in the movies, so you most definitely want to have a hospital bag packed before the day comes. This prec…
By Abi Berwager Schreier

7 Photos You *Must* Take In The First 6 Months Of Motherhood

In my experience, becoming a mom is like becoming an amateur photographer. There's just something about the need to capture every single coo and sorta-smile that leaves you obsessed with all things photography. I know I couldn't stop taking selfies w…
By Candace Ganger

Here's How Early An Ultrasound Can Actually Determine Your Baby's Sex

From the moment you see those two lines on a pregnancy test, there are a few markers along the way that stand out as especially exciting. Amongst them are hearing your baby's heartbeat and feeling that first, sweet little kick. And if you are finding…
By Caroline Shannon-Karasik

9 Easy Kid Foods To Turn Green, Just In Time For St. Patrick's Day

The best part about having kids is that you get your own personal crew to celebrate the holidays with, in all your color coordinating and matching glory. And with St. Patrick’s Day right around the corner, you are obviously working on turning everyth…
By Mishal Ali Zafar