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What Does It Mean If I Throw Up During Labor? It's More Common Than You Think

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As your due date creeps closer, you might get more and more interested in what the labor process will be like. Of course, each woman’s labor and delivery is different and depends on a variety of factors. In fact, if you’ve talked to your friends about it, you might be hearing a different story from each, and you might wonder which way yours will go. Will my labor be fast? How long will I push? Am I going to have a C-section? And, what does it mean if I throw up during labor? All of these are common concerns, and as it turns out, throwing up during labor is more common than you think.

According to Parents, there are a few reasons you may vomit during labor, and one of them has to do with whether or not you have an epidural. Epidurals increase your chance of hypotension, which is another word for a sudden drop in blood pressure. A sign of this, as Parents mentioned, is usually nausea and vomiting.

Also, as Parents noted, if you’ve eaten recently, the food sitting in your stomach might find its way back up during the laboring process. This is because digestion tends to stop while you’re in labor.

Even if you haven’t had an epidural, you could still vomit during labor simply from the intensity of the pain you’re experiencing.

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According to the American Pregnancy Association (APA), there are three phases of labor: early labor, active labor, and transition. Transition is the hardest of those, and your cervix usually dilates the last few centimeters at this time. As the APA mentioned, contractions during the transition phase are long and intense, and can be accompanied by hot flashes or chills, and nausea and vomiting. Though transition is arduous, it also means you’re really close to delivering your baby.

If you do feel like throwing up during labor, ask your nurse or support person to grab you a bowl, and don’t feel embarrassed about it. Vomiting can be a very normal part of the childbirth process, and your doctor or nurse can assure you of that. If you speak up early enough, they might be able to provide you with medicine to help that nausea subside.