The very sight of blood during pregnancy can cause frantic alarm in expectant moms. Is vomiting blood while Junior’s on the way a cause for alarm or a mere side effect that can be brushed aside?
As expected, the answer to this is ‘It depends.’ However, find consolation in the fact that hematemesis (vomiting blood) while pregnant may be a harmless consequence of your regular pregnancy symptoms like morning sickness, dizziness, and constipation. So, while we tell you not to panic just yet, go see a doctor for other serious conditions that you need to rule out first.
Vomiting blood is indicative of ruptured blood vessels somewhere along the digestive tract. It is mostly a consequence of persistent vomiting caused by various triggers…
- Dehydration: Drink enough fluids to keep your body hydrated. Not following this basic rule can exacerbate your morning sickness.
- Food poisoning: Unknowingly consuming food contaminated with microbes or toxins can wreak havoc on your digestive system. Not being able to keep you food in your stomach is definitely a cause of concern.
- Starvation: Skipping meals or not eating enough can cause you to feel even more nauseous.
- Pregnancy-induced hypertension: Hypertension or high blood pressure is part and parcel of pregnancy. If not kept in control with adequate relaxation, it can irritate your stomach and cause you to throw up.
- Intake of certain medications: Prescription of OTC NSAIDs (anti-inflammatory drugs) during pregnancy is normal. However, they may sometimes irritate the stomach lining causing you to vomit.
- Cirrhosis: Extensive alcohol consumption may cause cirrhosis of the liver. Cirrhosis causes sensitization of the lining of blood vessels. Spikes of high BP can cause sensitive blood vessels to rupture and bleed—which is why you may throw up blood with the rest of your stomach content.
2. Accompanying Symptoms
Consistent vomiting may rupture the gastrointestinal (GI) tract further, exacerbating your condition—more blood loss. After all that strenuous vomiting, you will feel weak and low on energy. You will have lost not only essential nutrients, but vital red blood cells, too, causing anemia (deficiency of red blood cells). Abdominal pain and discomfort, blurred vision, dizziness, breathlessness, palpitations, feelings of confusion, cold or clammy skin, lowered urine output, and depression may also ensue.
3. Degree Of Seriousness
As repulsive as it may sound, keenly observe the color of the blood you vomit. Darker shades indicate rupture lower down your gastrointestinal tract and greater severity of hematemesis. The color can cvary from bright red (lower esophageal sphincter) to maroon or dark brown (stomach or duodenum) to the color of ground black coffee (jejunum or proximal part of the small intestine). Hematemesis over an extended period of time may be accompanied with black, tarry stools.
The logical course of action would be to restore your body’s fluid content either intravenously or by guzzling down large volumes of water, electrolyte solutions, or fruit juices. To keep your nausea in control, eat a light breakfast and have smaller meals every two hours. Adding ginger to your food and drinks may help ease the queasiness. Open up your windows and practise yoga to relax.
Avoid alcohol, cigarettes, spicy or oily food, aspirin, and stress. Keep a watchful eye for post-surgery complications (any surgery you may have had), stay well hydrated, don’t skip your regular medical check ups, and eat healthy.
Pay close attention to your body as you nurture the little life growing inside you. Anything that seems out of the normal should be looked into. Do not procrastinate your visits to your gynecologist and do not be stingy on the questions asked. Most importantly, do everything in your power to ensure a safe, disturbingly uneventful pregnancy.