Written by Editorial Team
Though most women complain of constipation during pregnancy, some women do suffer from diarrhea as well. Where constipation is largely a pregnancy-related condition, diarrhea during pregnancy is usually caused due to external reasons and is generally harmless. However, it can leave you tired and dehydrated and hence deserves attention.
Diarrhea and other digestive problems during pregnancy might have several causes, including a woman’s changing hormones, her nutrition, her medicines, her prenatal vitamins, and even stress. Diarrhea often resolves on its own, without any medical intervention.
In This Article
Diarrhea is the passage of loose bowel or stool as much as three or four times or even more. The diarrhea stools are loose, unformed, and sticky, and often associated with mucus. It might have a foul odor, yellow in color and might contain blood streaks. It is common during the pregnancy phase, and Diarrhea is one of the early signs of pregnancy.
Some of the non-pregnancy causes are:
Some of the frequent causes of diarrhea during pregnancy are listed:
The commonest cause of diarrhea during pregnancy is the dramatic dietary changes that women unintentionally make while they are pregnant. The abrupt change in what you eat can disturb your stomach and can potentially result in diarrhea.
During pregnancy not only does your abdomen expands, but a range of new changes occur in your body-food sensitivities are one such change. The weird thing is that the food items that made no prominent symptoms earlier (in your non-pregnant state) can now make you uncomfortable with flatulence, upset stomach, or loose stools.
During pregnancy, you will be advised prenatal vitamins by your doctor. They are beneficial to your health and to your baby’s wellness. Sometimes the vitamins taken may interfere with your digestive system and adversely affect your stomach.
Many hormonal changes occur during pregnancy and some of the hormones affect your digestive mechanism. Sometimes it is retarded or slowed down, so constipation is the immediate outcome and when the digestive system is accelerated, loose stools or unformed stools are the obvious results.
The intensity of diarrhea becomes more pronounced, as you approach your due date. It is a known fact that in the third or final trimester, the body prepares itself for the onset of labor and diarrhea is one such effort of the body.
But this does not imply that every woman will experience diarrhea and it is a compulsory symptom. Diarrhea is more common in the third trimester for idiopathic reasons and some rare liver diseases can also cause diarrhea.
During the first trimester of pregnancy, diarrhea can occur along with nausea, morning sickness, food cravings, aversions, and vomiting. Many times owing to food cravings, pregnant women end up eating out or having street food which may not be hygienic. This can cause diarrhea and even food poisoning in some cases.
Diarrhea is common in pregnancy but remembers constant diarrhea is a notorious cause of untimely labor or preterm labor. You will get dehydrated hence it is imperative to have lots of water and take ample rest. If it lasts for more than 3 days, it would be wise to seek your doctor’s advice and he will prescribe medications that are pregnancy safe.
Some women feel that taking medications during pregnancy can adversely affect the health of their developing baby.
If you are having three or more loose stools per day the first and foremost thing to do is to avoid panicking. Generally, the condition will recover in a day or two on its own.
If the diarrhea is due to the antenatal or prenatal medications you are taking, then you should consult your doctor for changing the medicines.
Diarrhea can also be caused by eating a lot of fast food, fried foods, spicy foods, etc. So refrain from consuming them frequently. Also avoid unhygienic, street foods and unfiltered water.
Make sure not to take anti-diarrhea drugs by simply watching their advertisements on television or simply because one of your dear friends has advised. Instead of helping you, they can worsen the condition.
Keep yourself well-hydrated if you are suffering from diarrhea. Loose stools eliminate a lot of fluid and water content from your body and this disturbs the body’s electrolytic balance. Dehydration can happen and this can be seriously fatal. To combat dehydration, drink at least 12 to 15 glasses of water every day.
Dietitians suggest the BRAT diet to patients suffering from diarrhea. The BRAT diet consists of bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast. For better results, brown rice and whole wheat bread should be used.
Eat a lot of vegetable soup, chicken soup, carrots, unsweetened cereals, potatoes, fresh yogurt, banana, etc. You should not take dried fruits, carbonated drinks, fried foods, spices, red meat, chocolates, candies, milk, etc.
It is determined by the cause. Diarrhea due to food poisonings, such as salmonella, toxoplasmosis, or listeriosis, may increase the risk of miscarriage.
Your pregnant body has several natural defenses that assist in protecting your baby. So, even if you’re vomiting and have diarrhea, a short-term stomach sickness is unlikely to damage your kid.
Prostaglandins, a class of hormones, are released when labor is imminent, and may induce diarrhea or loose stools.
With a rich experience in pregnancy and parenting, our team of experts create insightful, well-curated, and easy-to-read content for our to-be-parents and parents at all stages of parenting.Read more.
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