You were likely expecting some degree of morning sickness, but is nausea in late pregnancy normal?
Just like the first trimester, you may still encounter this unpleasant feeling throughout the third trimester. 9 months of running to the bathroom constantly and dealing with reflux sounds miserable, right?
We are going to share some tips for battling nausea in later pregnancy. But first, let’s cover why it may return in the first place.
What causes nausea in late pregnancy?
Morning sickness and nausea are terms that are often used interchangeably, but it's important to note that they are not the same. Morning sickness is the unpleasant symptom you experience in the first trimester, where you are constantly running to the bathroom to vomit, or just feeling nauseous.
Nausea, on the other hand, is just a general term to describe an upset stomach, vomiting, or just feeling “ill”. There are a number of things that can be attributed to nausea, especially in the third trimester. Some of them are not so serious, and others are very serious.
Changes in your body
Changes in your body are the most common reason for nausea in late pregnancy. These changes, especially in your stomach and gastrointestinal muscles, can make you feel very ill all the time, coming in waves.
As your pregnancy progresses, these your stomach and gastrointestinal muscles relax. Coupled with pressure on your stomach from your growing baby, it's not surprising so many expecting women complain about this issue.
Certain foods can exacerbate the symptoms as well, such as oily, acidic, or spicy foods, which are tougher to digest. If you notice you feel nauseous after one of these types of food, learn your lesson the first time and cut it out!
The return of morning sickness
After the first trimester, you’ll likely get a break from morning sickness. This will make it very frustrating if nausea returns in the third trimester, but it does happen.
When does nausea from morning sickness return?
You may notice you are becoming more and more nauseous around the 27 or 28 week mark of your pregnancy.
Pre-eclampsia is a serious condition that pregnant women are prone to. You are especially susceptible if you have high blood pressure.
This disorder and can begin to take hold after 20 weeks, but most cases are reported in the third trimester.
You can differentiate it from other causes of nausea by looking for other symptoms of the disorder, including:
- Facial swelling, particularly around your eyes
- Severe pain in the upper right abdomen
- Severe headaches with dizziness and a decrease in vision
- Decrease in urine
This is a very serious disorder, and if you suspect you may be affected by it, contact your midwife or doctor immediately.
This is another pretty serious disorder which can be accompanied with nausea and vomiting. HELLP stands for Hemolysis, Elevated Liver enzymes, and Low Platelet count. This disorder becomes more common in the third trimester, and you are at increased risk if you suffer from pre-eclampsia.
It only occurs in a small frequency of pregnancies, and can seriously harm not just you, but your developing baby as well. Look for mid-upper abdomen pain, tenderness of the liver, and high blood pressure. This is another disorder where we recommend you contact your doctor immediately if you think you may be experiencing it.
Acute Fatty Liver of Pregnancy
Also known as AFLP, this disorder is caused by the production of excess fatty acids in your liver. It is not very common, but is very serious. It occurs most often in the last few weeks of pregnancy.
This disorder can lead to permanent liver damage, to the point you may need a transplant. It can also contribute to high blood pressure, renal failure, and blood clotting issues. On top of this, it can lead to the death of your baby.
Along with nausea, look for abdominal pain and jaundice. The combination of these symptoms can be a key indicator of the disease, and if you suspect it, go to the hospital.
Is nausea in late pregnancy normal?
If your morning sickness subsides after the first trimester but then comes back, there can be reason for concern. First and foremost, you should look for a combination of symptoms, and see if they match any of the above disorders. If you do, don’t just assume its chance. These disorders are rare, but they do occur. Contact your doctor immediately, or go to the hospital. It is always better to be safe rather than sorry!
Can nausea be a sign of labor?
Every woman’s labor is unique, and feeling nauseous around your due date doesn’t necessarily mean you are going into labor. However, your body will start to tell you when your baby is coming - and nausea can be one way of communicating that.
You’ll probably be able to tell if it's just nausea with no real underlying cause at it again, because labor will be accompanied with plenty of other symptoms, including:
- Loss of nasal plug, excess mucus production
- Breaking of your water (pretty obvious)
- Contractions (another tell-tale sign of labor)
- Pelvic pressure
Again, look for a combination of symptoms - nausea on its own is no real reason for concern, it is just an unpleasant symptom of pregnancy.
How to combat nausea
Once you’ve ruled out any of the serious above disorders, there are a few things you can do to prevent or alleviate nausea. For instance, you can cut out some of the foods in your diet that may be contributing to reflux. Also be sure that your diet contains a healthy amount of vitamin B6, and stay hydrated.
Other than that, you can try an anti-nausea product. You should probably avoid drugs and even if you are approved for them, you can only use so many doses a day, and nausea can strike at any time. After experiencing this awful symptom myself during late pregnancy, I came up with “Nausea Away” Organic Essential Oils.
This super discreet, easy to use roll-on product can provide FAST relief for nausea in all stages of pregnancy.
Simply apply the roller onto your pulse points, like your temples, wrists, or neck, and your nausea should subside. It's made from 100% organic ingredients, and should be a staple in your pregnancy arsenal -- especially if you're dealing with nausea in late pregnancy.