Prenatal Health — Diarrhea and Vomiting

Diarrhea and/or vomiting may be caused by such things as food allergies, food poisoning, certain medications, and some diseases and infections. Intestinal flu is probably the most common cause of vomiting and diarrhea. Other flu symptoms include chills, fever, backache, and weakness. We generally do not recommend medications to stop vomiting or diarrhea, as most intestinal flu is self-limiting and lasts only 24 hours. Treatment involves resting the GI tract for a short period of time. You may rest assured that both you and your baby will do fine with limited food and fluid intake for one day.

Treatment of vomiting

  • You should have nothing by mouth for 3-4 hours after the last episode of vomiting.
  • During the following 2 hours, take 1 tablespoon of ice chips or water every 15 minutes if desired.
  • If this is retained, try small amounts of clear liquids for 2 hours. Allowable fluids are water, 7-Up, ginger ale, weak tea, bouillon, popsicles, Jell-O, apple juice, and Gatorade. No milk or dairy products. If tolerated, gradually increase the amount of liquids until your thirst is satisfied.
  • After 12-24 hours you may progress to a soft, bland diet. This is sometimes called a white diet and includes such foods as boiled white rice, white bread or toast, saltine crackers, boiled or mashed potatoes, baked or broiled chicken or turkey without skin, and pasta without sauce.

Treatment of diarrhea

  • Go on a BRAT diet for 24-48 hours.
    This consists of Bananas, Rice (white), Applesauce, Toast (dry white).
  • Lots of clear liquids – as listed under vomiting.
  • No milk or dairy products for 72 hours.


  • If you have severe abdominal pain.
  • If you have more than 10 stools or vomit more than 10 times per day.
  • If you have blood in the stool or vomit.
  • If you have symptoms of preterm labor. Intestinal cramps are usually relieved with the passage of stool. Contractions, on the other hand, continue and cause the uterus to ball up or become firm.
  • If you have vaginal bleeding or symptoms of ruptured membranes.
  • If you have been on a clear liquid diet for vomiting or a BRAT diet for diarrhea for at least 24 hours and your symptoms haven’t improved.
  • If your temperature is over 100.4° F., 2 times and 6 hours apart.