Is Nausea and Vomiting Normal in the Third Trimester?

Reviewed on 4/8/2022
Is Nausea and Vomiting Normal in the Third Trimester?
Symptoms that typically start earlier in pregnancy, such as nausea and vomiting, usually improve but may continue into the third trimester for some women.

The third trimester refers to the last three months of a pregnancy, lasting from weeks 29-40. As the fetus continues to grow and develop and turn itself head-down in preparation for delivery, most women experience a number of uncomfortable symptoms. 

Symptoms that typically start earlier in pregnancy, such as nausea, vomiting (morning sickness), and fatigue, usually improve but may continue into the third trimester for some women. 

Morning sickness can persist into the third trimester in 15%-20% of women and until delivery in 5% of women. However, vomiting later in pregnancy usually is not pregnancy-related. 

Other causes of nausea and vomiting during the third trimester may include:

Tell your doctor if you experience nausea and vomiting in your third trimester.

What Are Common Symptoms in the Third Trimester?

Common symptoms of the third trimester of pregnancy include:

  • Increased urinary frequency due to increased pressure on the bladder
  • Fluid retention (edema) that may cause swelling of the ankles, hands, fingers, and face
    • If swelling is sudden or extreme, or if you gain a lot of weight quickly, talk to your doctor right away as this could be a sign of preeclampsia, a serious complication of pregnancy in which high blood pressure (hypertension) and evidence of organ injury develops after 20 weeks of pregnancy
  • Hair growth on the arms, legs, and face due to hormones
  • Hair that feels more coarse
  • Protruding belly button
  • Stretch marks on the abdomen, breasts, buttocks, and thighs
  • Dry, itchy skin, especially on the belly as it grows and the skin stretches
  • Difficulty taking deep breaths as the fetus crowds the abdominal cavity
  • Difficulty getting comfortable at night for sleep
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Worsening back pain
  • Increased skin temperature and feeling hot
  • More frequent leg cramps
  • Decreased blood pressure due to the fetus pressing on the main vein that returns blood to the heart
  • Increased sex drive
  • Dark patches of skin on the face 
  • Constipation
  • Heartburn/indigestion
  • Varicose veins in the legs
  • Increased white-colored vaginal discharge (leukorrhea), which may contain more mucus
  • Breast tenderness
  • Baby moving lower in the abdomen (dropping)
  • Fluid leaking from the nipples (called colostrum, which is a milky fluid produced just before breast milk)
  • False labor (Braxton-Hicks contractions), which can occur at irregular intervals in preparation for childbirth

SLIDESHOW

Conception: The Amazing Journey from Egg to Embryo See Slideshow

What Is the Treatment for Nausea and Vomiting in the Third Trimester?

As long as your doctor has ruled out other underlying causes of nausea and vomiting in the third trimester, home remedies can help relieve symptoms. Home treatment may include: 

  • Drinking plenty of water to stay hydrated
  • Eating smaller meals throughout the day
  • Avoiding going to sleep right after eating
  • Consuming a healthy diet
  • Getting plenty of rest

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Reviewed on 4/8/2022
References
Image Source: iStock Images

https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/the-third-trimester

https://www.womenshealth.gov/pregnancy/youre-pregnant-now-what/stages-pregnancy

https://www.uptodate.com/contents/nausea-and-vomiting-of-pregnancy-beyond-the-basics/print

https://utswmed.org/medblog/4-common-pregnancy-related-gi-issues-and-when-call-doctor/