During pregnancy, stomach and intestinal problems are frequent. Although diarrhea is less common, you may hear a lot about morning sickness and constipation. Another digestive problem that pregnant women may have is diarrhea, despite the fact that it may not receive as much attention.
For some women, diarrhea is a precursor to pregnancy. True, hormonal changes that occur around the time of conception can affect the stomach and potentially induce diarrhea. However, early pregnancy symptoms like nausea, tiredness, and breast tenderness are far more prevalent.
In late pregnancy, diarrhea could be a symptom that labor is nearing. Before going into labor, some women experience heartburn, nausea, and vomiting. In fact, there are a variety of reasons why women experience diarrhea, and it doesn’t have to occur at the start or the end of pregnancy.
The causes of diarrhea during pregnancy are as varied as hormones, dietary changes, and stomach viruses. You could have diarrhea as a result of:
Body changes: Your body and hormone levels will change during pregnancy. These can have an impact on your digestive system and stomach, causing diarrhea, constipation, and nausea.
Diet: Being pregnant could motivate you to eat better. A rapid switch to fiber-rich, more nutrient-dense diets might occasionally cause a shift in bowel habits as well. If you suddenly go from burgers and fries to fruits and salads, give your body some time to acclimatize.
Prenatal vitamins are available in a wide range of brands. Some can result in looser stools, while others are more likely to cause constipation. Ask your doctor for a recommendation for a different brand if you suspect that your vitamin is the cause of your diarrhea.
Additionally, diarrhea can arise from conditions unrelated to pregnancy, such as:
- Food poisoning
- Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, or hyperthyroidism are examples of health problems
- Disease caused by a virus or bacterium
- Using prescription drugs like antibiotics
When you have diarrhea, your bowel movements are more frequent and looser in texture than they usually are. Observe the following:
- Abdominal pain
- Having the urge to quickly use the restroom
- A day with two or more watery or loose bowel movements (24 hours)
You can feel morning sickness or heartburn while you’re pregnant. You may also have to deal with the disagreeable annoyance of diarrhea. These remedies might be useful.
Hydrate Your Body
Watch What You Eat
Consume foods that are simple to digest and that won’t agitate or stimulate the digestive tract or stomach. Up until diarrhea stops, the BRAT diet (Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, and Toast) and the nutrients in other simple-to-digest foods (potatoes, chicken and vegetable soup, lean meats) can assist. Avoid foods that are fried, spicy, and heavy in fat.
Give It Time
Frequently, diarrhea goes away on its own. Wait a few days to see whether mild diarrhea goes away if you don’t have any other symptoms (fever, pain, or cramps). When caused by a stomach illness or a food allergy, diarrhea frequently goes away on its own.
Staying hydrated is crucial, especially during pregnancy. Drink plenty of fluids, especially water, because diarrhea causes your body to lose water. Other drinks, such as chicken or vegetable broth and electrolyte replacement products, are beneficial because you also lose electrolytes during diarrhea. Avoid dairy products, sweet beverages, coffee, tea, and energy drinks as these can exacerbate diarrhea.
Keep it neat
The colon’s bacteria can more easily spread to the urinary tract and result in an infection if you have loose stools (UTI). The spread of germs to other areas of your body and other people can be stopped by maintaining cleanliness. Always wipe from front to back after using the restroom and then change the paper before wiping once more. You should also wash your hands frequently and maintain a clean set of underwear.
Avoid using anti-diarrhea drugs.
To cure diarrhea, avoid using over-the-counter (OTC) drugs. Not all over-the-counter drugs are suitable for pregnant women. Based on the severity of your symptoms, your doctor will either recommend or prescribe medicine for you if it’s necessary.
Is it harmful?
Diarrhea can range from mild and short-lived to more serious. Dehydration, which can be dangerous during pregnancy, can result from water loss through your bowels. Drink plenty of water and other fluids to keep diarrhea from turning hazardous.
Recognize the symptoms and signs of dehydration:
- Mouth ache
- Feeling faint or lightheaded, or as though you might
- Having fewer urinations
- Urine that smells strongly
- Extremely dark yellow or orange urine
When to Contact a Doctor
Despite the fact that diarrhea is typically not a significant problem, it might signal an illness or cause dehydration. Inform the physician if:
- Having diarrhea for longer than a day or two
- You’re experiencing contractions.
- Your kid isn’t moving as much as it used to, according to you.
- Do you exhibit any symptoms of dehydration
- You also have other symptoms like fever or vomiting.
- You discover blood in the bathroom.
- You’re feeling discomfort in your lower abdomen.
- Instead of getting better, your diarrhea is getting worse.
Your doctor might order a blood test and send a stool sample to the lab if you have more severe diarrhea in order to determine whether you have an infection. You might need to take an antibiotic or another medication depending on the results.
In order to restore balance to your body if you are becoming dehydrated, the doctor may prescribe intravenous (IV) fluids.
Diarrhea and Miscarriage
You could be concerned if you get diarrhea that it could affect your pregnancy or that it’s an indication of a miscarriage. The common reason or symptom of a miscarriage is not diarrhea, though.
Although some women do experience diarrhea after losing a pregnancy, this does not necessarily indicate that a miscarriage is about to occur. Many pregnant women experience diarrhea yet have good pregnancies. You should speak with your doctor if you have any concerns about your pregnancy.
Diarrhea can affect pregnant women just like it can anyone else. There is typically no need to be concerned as long as it is only an isolated incident. Most likely, it will disappear on its own. Call your doctor, especially if the diarrhea is severe or persists for more than a day or two along with other symptoms. Always play it safe, monitor your physical changes, and make sure both your pregnancy and unborn child are healthy.