Diarrhea During Pregnancy

4 min read

Written by Pradeep


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 during pregnancy

Symptoms of diarrhea during pregnancy
Pregnancy related causes of diarrhea
Is diarrhea is more common in the third trimester?
Diarrhea in first trimester of pregnancy
How can diarrhea be treated in pregnancy?
What remedies can be done to treat diarrhea in pregnancy?
What diet changes can be made to treat diarrhea during pregnancy
Can diarrhea cause miscarriage?

What Are The Symptoms Of Diarrhea During Pregnancy?

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, sticky, often associated with mucus. It might have foul odor, yellow in color and might contain blood streaks. It is common during pregnancy phase, and Diarrhea is one of the early signs of pregnancy. Some of the non-pregnancy causes are:

  • Bacterial infection
  • Viral infection
  • Stomach flu
  • Food poisoning or botulism
  • Intestinal parasitic infestation
  • Some medications
  • IBS or irritable bowel syndrome
  • Celiac disease
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Crohn’s disease

Pregnancy Related Causes Of Diarrhea

Some of the frequent causes of diarrhea during pregnancy are listed under:

  • Diet: 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
  • Food sensitivities: During pregnancy not only does your abdomen expands, but a range of new changes occur in your body-food sensitivities is 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
  • Vitamins: 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
  • Hormonal alterations: 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 is the obvious result

Is Diarrhea Is More Common In The Third Trimester?

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 reason and some rare liver diseases can also cause diarrhea.

Diarrhea In  The First Trimester Of Pregnancy

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.

How Can Diarrhea Be Treated In Pregnancy?

Diarrhea is common to pregnancy but remember 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.
Diarrhea in pregnancy

What Remedies Can Be Done To Treat Diarrhea In Pregnancy?

Some women feel that taking medications during pregnancy can adversely affect the health of their developing baby.

  • Wait: If you are having three or more loose stools per day the first and the foremost thing to do is to avoid being panic. Generally the condition will recover in a day or two on its own
  • Medications: If the diarrhea is due to the antenatal or prenatal medications you are taking, then you should consult your doctor for changing the medicines
  • Foods: 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
  • No self medication: Make sure not to take anti-diarrhea drugs by simply watching their advertisements on television or simply because one of your dear friend has advised. Instead of helping you they can worsen the condition
  • Stay hydrated: 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

What Diet Changes Can Be Made To Treat Diarrhea During Pregnancy

Dietitians suggest BRAT diet to patients suffering from diarrhea. BRAT diet consists of banana, 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.

Can Diarrhea Cause Miscarriage?

Sometimes abortions are also associated with diarrhea, but this is temporary and recovers on its own within a day or two. Medicines in most cases are not required.


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