Nausea Before Labor: What Causes It And How To Deal With It?

You have patiently waited for a whole nine long months, and now you are late in your last trimester. You eagerly (or nervously) wait for any sign so that you know that you are due anytime.

In a contrary opinion to what we see in movies and shows (your water breaking and being rushed to the labor ward), there are several signs that are pointers of going into labor. Among these indicators is nausea.

It is very normal for most pregnant women to feel the effects of third-trimester nausea. As a sign that your labor is imminent, it is very similar to the one you feel during the early stages of your pregnancy (the morning sickness).

I must admit here that I am no big fan of nausea; it makes you feel pretty awful about yourself. But what actually causes Nausea before Labor? And what can you do to feel a little better when it strikes? All these form the basis of this article. Stay on and find out.

What Causes Nausea Before Labor?

Numerous ways can be used to explain why you sometimes feel nauseated just before labor or during your last trimester. And these explanations mostly have everything to do with the hormones that your body secretes during the pregnancy period.

Changing Hormone Levels

During the last trimester, the amount of hormones the female body secrets increases a lot. From the 7th to 8th month, the secretion of Progesterone peaks to regulate the inner lining of the uterus.

After the 8th month, the level drops to just slight levels as the unborn become fully developed. During the course of the pregnancy, this hormone also stimulates the milk-producing glands in the breasts in preparation for the newborn.

The other hormone produced during pregnancy is estrogen hormones. This hormone is normally at its peak during the third trimester, but its secretion becomes rapid during your first trimester. It is this particular one that is mostly responsible for the nausea you are feeling.

These hormones are responsible for the creation of a fetus friendly environment for proper growth and development. In the process, they cause the intestinal, stomach and surrounding muscles to slack. The end results are nausea and gastric problems.

As the muscles of the uterus grow in size to accommodate the baby, in the process, the uterus compresses the intestines more during the last month of your pregnancy. This is what results in the nauseating feeling you have got right now, or at some point.

How To Fight The Nausea

Hormonal processes are things you have absolutely no control over. But that doesn’t mean you can’t ease the after effects. At this particular stage of pregnancy, you need to be as comfortable as ever until your labor is due. Fortunately, there are ways of minimizing the effects of nausea just before labor.

1. Eat Small Meals

When having nausea, the urge to puke is always immeasurable. But when you eat, unfortunately, a little too much, more stress is put on the already stressed stomach. What you will be needed to do is eat small amounts at regular times throughout the day, and not all at once.

2. Take Easy To Digest Foods

When having severe nausea, do not take foods high in fiber. This is because they will take too long in the stomach. Alternatively, you can take such foods as brown rice, bananas, oatmeal, noodles and chicken breasts among others.

3. Do Not Lie Down After A Meal

During the nausea waves, all you want to do is lie down due to exhaustion until the wave of nausea subsides. However, when you have just had a meal, you should resist this, as the stomach will become unsettled and the gastric juices will backflow into your esophagus.

But if you must lie down, ensure your upper body is properly propped up. By doing this, the gastric juice will be preventing backflowing, hence no puking.

When Do You Need To Go To The Hospital?

You already know that feeling nauseated during your third trimester is a sign of impending labor. But it reaches a point where it doesn’t become an ordinary pregnancy norm. When you show these signs in conjunction with nausea, then you need to visit a hospital.

1. You Feel Dehydrated

If decreased amounts of urine discharge, splitting headache or a dry mouth accompany your nausea and vomiting, then you need to seek medical attention. All these are indicators of dehydration, which reduces how much nutrients the fetus gets.

You, therefore, need to stay hydrated at all times, and when the signs become too severe, visit your doctor.

2. You Develop A Severe Diarrhea

When diarrhea accompanies the vomiting, then it could be an indicator of something else besides a stomachache. These are symptoms of gastroenteritis. During this last month of your pregnancy, this condition is quite a worry. You, therefore, have to go for a checkup from your doctor.

Other Signs That Your Labor Is Imminent

Besides Nausea, there are other signs that show you need to come up with a Plan of Action as the baby will be coming sooner rather than later. Here are a few

1. SROM (Spontaneous Rupture Of Membranes)

As you might have seen in movies, this sign is mostly referred to as “breaking of water.” It happens when the fluid-filled sac (amniotic sac) surrounding the bay ruptures. The amniotic fluid then trickles and gushes out through the vagina (I told you, just as in the movies).

The fluid can leak on for days, with your body replenishing it regularly. And when it does, call your doc or midwife immediately.

2. Contractions

This is another common indicator of labor. The contractions feel like lower backache pains and may occur at intervals of 20 or 30 minutes. These are mostly early labor contractions, and you need not worry about them.

 But for contractions that last a minute and are spread apart between 3 and 5 minutes, you need to be prepared as you are in labor.

3. Mucus Discharge/Show

This is another common indicator of labor. The contractions feel like lower backache pains and may occur at intervals of 20 or 30 minutes. These are mostly early labor contractions, and you need not worry about them.

 But for contractions that last a minute and are spread apart between 3 and 5 minutes, you need to be prepared as you are in labor.

4. Diarrhea

Before birth, the hormone prostaglandin stimulates the bowels to frequently open. This is the body’s way of emptying the bowel so that more room is provided for your baby. The emptying can occur even during labor; hence you may want to do it prior.

Besides diarrhea, there might also be an urge to poo, as the baby’s head puts more pressure on the bowels during the downward movement into the birth canal. There are even cringeworthy midwife tales of women actually pooping when pushing (you will not see it though)


When you start experiencing Nausea before labor, you need not panic. You will just be needed to hang in there as it signals the impending labor. You need to come to terms with it and take some measures to minimize how bad you feel. It will not be very long before the ship sails, and you have the chance to meet your baby face to face.

Kristi Cathey

Hi everyone! My name is Kristi Cathey and I’m glad you found your way to my blog. I am a mother of 3 beautiful angels. This blog was created in order to share my personal experiences in baby care and general health care for pregnant women. If you'd like to get in touch with me, please contact me by sending me an email via Welcome to

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