Diarrhoea In Pregnancy: Causes And Remedies
Its never nice to get a bad tummy, and diarrhoea can cause a lot of pain and make us feel very uncomfortable until the bug is out of our system.
If you experience diarrhoea in pregnancy, you might be worried that its a result of something youve eaten, but in many cases, women can experience diarrhea in pregnancy due to the hormonal changes happening in pregnancy. However, it can sometimes be a result of something more serious.
We spoke to Baby and Parenting Expert Rachel Fitzd, who has some advice for mums struggling with diarrhoea.
How To Treat Diarrhea In Pregnancy
If diarrhea occurring during early pregnancy isnt the result of an illness or health condition, theres really not much you can do other than ride it out until your body adjusts to the hormone shifts.
Try to avoid changing your diet drastically make gradual changes. Keep a diary of any potential food sensitivities and avoid those foods if they make diarrhea worse. Avoid taking prenatal vitamins on an empty stomach as well.
If youre experiencing diarrhea due to a health condition such as Crohns disease, speak to your health care specialist about ways to manage this situation.
Dont take over-the-counter medication to treat diarrhea for food poisoning or gastro without checking with your healthcare provider to make sure it is safe for use during pregnancy. Not all medications are considered safe for pregnant women.
Is Diarrhea A Sign Of Pregnancy
Many women have heard and believe that diarrhea is an early sign of pregnancy, and several Mommy Blogs out there reinforce this idea. Unfortunately, it just isnt the case.
Even though pregnant women may have diarrhea in their first trimesters, diarrhea is not a typical sign of pregnancy. If youre pregnant, you may experience diarrhea from time to time even up until the third trimester. However, you shouldnt assume a random bout of diarrhea means youre pregnant.
The easiest way to explain it is this: Diarrhea may be a pregnancy symptom, but its too common of an ailment to be considered a pregnancy sign.
Thats why there are no reputable websites or medical journals that list diarrhea among the common or even the less common signs of pregnancy
The following is a list of reasons someone may have diarrhea:
- Food allergies
And as long as that list is, its by no means exhaustive. If diarrhea rarely means youre pregnant, why do so many women think its a reliable sign of pregnancy?
As I mentioned above, the many internet sites that say it is dont help the situation. However, some women do experience a dramatic change in their bathroom habits during their first trimesters.
Additionally, once you find out youre pregnant, youll likely start taking prenatal vitamins and adjust your diet accordingly, both of which can also cause diarrhea. You may also develop new food sensitivities due to your changing pregnancy hormones. That, too, can wreak havoc on your GI tract.
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Pregnancy And Diarrhea: Causes And Prevention
22 March, 2019
Pregnancy and diarrhea is a really uncomfortable combination for any mother-to-be. In addition, and unfortunately for many pregnant women, its very common during pregnancy.
Pregnant women may suffer from diarrhea throughout the entire gestation period, without this meaning that something serious is happening if the stools arent accompanied by blood, abdominal pain, nor fever.
This awkward situation is very common, so much so that it could be considered a regular pregnancy symptom. The need to go to the bathroom increases in future mothers, and their stools are more watery, especially in the first and third trimester.
It should be noted that, during pregnancy, a womans body undergoes many changes. Therefore, these can also cause undesirable reactions.
In the first trimester, nausea and vomiting tend to manifest along with diarrhea. In addition, when the pregnant woman is close to her due date, diarrhea usually manifests due to the pressure of the baby on the mothers stomach. This causes less efficient digestion.
Is Diarrhea Really A Sign Of Early Pregnancy
If youve just googled is diarrhea a sign of early pregnancy and landed on this article, youre far from alone. All of us experience some degree of diarrhea in life, unfortunately. Its also relatively common, among people with uteruses, to wonder whether random health symptoms that pop up from time to time might mean youre pregnant.
Well, we consulted the poop and pregnancy pros to find out if diarrhea is in fact an early pregnancy symptom. Heres what they said.
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When To Call A Doctor
Although diarrhea is usually not a serious issue, it can be a sign of an infection or lead to dehydration. Notify the doctor if:
- Diarrhea lasts more than a day or two
- You are having contractions
- You aren’t feeling your baby move as much as you did before
- You have any signs of dehydration
- You have other symptoms, such as fever or vomiting
- You notice blood in the toilet
- You’re experiencing pain in your lower abdomen
- Your diarrhea is getting worse instead of better
Is Diarrhea A Sign Of Early Pregnancy
You might be surprised to know diarrhea can be a common sign of early pregnancy.
You could be trying for a baby, or perhaps youre nervous about being pregnant.
Either way, youre probably spending a lot of time looking for clues that suggest youve conceived.
Whenever you notice anything unusual or out of the ordinary, youll probably chalk it up immediately as a possible symptom of pregnancy.
Pregnancy symptoms can start as early as a few days after ovulation.
You can read more inPregnancy Symptoms Before Missed Period.
Its possible youll experience early signs and symptoms before a pregnancy test can confirm what youve been suspecting lately.
Some pregnant women experience common early signs of pregnancy, such as nausea, fatigue, sleepiness and sore breasts. Others wonder whether they have some tummy trouble when they experience diarrhea.
Read on for more information, and to find out whether diarrhea is a sign of early pregnancy.
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Home Remedies For Diarrhea
Since diarrhea is a sign of early pregnancy, it can go away on its own as your body gets used to hormonal changes. However, when it is too much and takes a bit long to clear on its own, try these home remedies for diarrhea in the first weeks of pregnancy.
Honey is soothing and loaded with antimicrobial properties. Drinking, a mixture of one glass of water and four tablespoons of honey every day will ease and finally stop diarrhea.
Aside from treating throat infections, ginger is very effective in treating diarrhea. Drink a cup of ginger tea with honey daily. This is known to alleviate abdominal cramping and pain as well as nausea in the first weeks of pregnancy.
Peppermint is another good remedy to help with stomach problems especially diarrhea. It is effective in decreasing the frequency of bowel movements. Add a spring of fresh mint into hot water, cover and drink once warm. Do this twice daily until the loose bowel movements stop.
This tea is good in soothing your gut to relieve diarrhea. It notably reduces the frequency of bowel movement and eases the pain.
Add chamomile tea into hot water, add lemon for taste and drink while warm. Consume this solution at least twice daily until diarrhea stops.
What To Do If My Pregnant Dog Has Diarrhea
If your pregnant dog experiences diarrhea, the best thing you can do is provide her with plenty of water to drink and make sure she is eating a high-fiber diet.
In most cases, however, it is safe for pregnant dogs to continue to eat a normal diet. You should avoid giving her any foods that are high in fat or sugar.
If your dogs diarrhea does not improve with home treatment, take her to the vet for further evaluation. There could be an underlying medical condition causing diarrhea, such as infection or parasites.
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Diarrhea In Pregnancy Second Trimester
Diarrhea is a well-known symptom which manifests through frequent, highly liquid, and foul smelling bowel movements often accompanied by gases, making it necessary for you to spend lots of time near the toilet throughout the manifestation of this health issue. Basically, when our digestive system is working well, it produces stool which is soft but firm, allowing us to pass it easily.
However, when something is wrong with our digestive system, we can be exposed to uncomfortable symptoms such as unformed or loose stool, foul smelling gases, and diarrhea. All these occurrences take place because our digestive system does not complete the processing of consumed food optimally, which can be the result of a number of underlying causes.
Unusual Poop Colors During Pregnancy
Interestingly, the color of your stools can also change during pregnancy. Normal stools are usually light to dark brown, but during pregnancy, your poop could turn green.
Again, dont be alarmed. A lot of times this is triggered by an increase in fiber intake, or more specifically, eating more vegetables and leafy greens. Good for you if youve increased your healthy food intake during pregnancy!
If youre taking prenatal vitamins or an iron supplement, both have also been known to change the color of poop from brown to green. You may even have green bowel movements if you take a prescribed antibiotic while pregnant.
Your stools will return to a normal color after you stop taking certain vitamins and medications.
But although green poop is normal and doesnt usually indicate a problem, talk with your doctor if you have any concerns. Sometimes, green poop is due to an infection, gallstones, food poisoning, and irritable bowel syndrome.
Very dark stools can also occur during pregnancy. Notify your doctor if you notice black or tarry poop. Again, although food dyes can turn stools dark, a dark color can also signal bleeding in your digestive tract.
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When Should I See My Doctor For Gastrointestinal Issues During Pregnancy
Even if you experience only mild symptoms of gastrointestinal issues, it is important to inform your doctor. He or she can recommend the best methods to manage those symptoms and can then monitor you throughout your pregnancy for worsening symptoms.
If your symptoms are severe, become severe, and are persistent or prolonged, call your doctor right away. You should call your doctor and seek immediate medical care if you experience:
- Vomiting blood
- Severe discomfort that interferes with daily activities
- Episodes of choking
- Pain or difficulty when swallowing
- Extreme fatigue
How To Treat Diarrhoea
It’s likely that diarrhoea will naturally clear up after a couple of days. To keep the discomfort and bathroom runs to a minimum during this time, give these tips a go:
- Hydrate We mentioned it earlier but it’s the most important thing you can do when diarrhoea hits. Drink plenty of water , fresh juice , and nutritious clear broth . This will rehydrate you and replace your missing electrolytes.
- Keep clear from offending foods Dried fruits, sugary juices and soft drinks, milk, fatty or spicy foods these will only exacerbate the situation. Stick to foods that will be gentler on your digestive tract, like bananas, rice, cooked carrots, natural yoghurt, toast and crackers.
- Say no to certain medications Diarrhoea medications that contain sodium are not recommended during pregnancy. If you’re not sure, check with your midwife or doctor to be safe.
Regardless of the severity of your diarrhoea, always call your doctor or midwife if:
- You suspect a virus or bug is the cause of your diarrhoea you may need antibiotics
- Your diarrhoea lasts longer than a couple of days
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How Can You Treat Diarrhea
Diarrhea should run its course in just a couple of days, but you can use medication to intervene if it is severe. Your options can include consistent rehydration, following a bland diet, and staying away from greasy foods. Some teas can also ease the symptoms of diarrhea and calm the stomach. Examples include chamomile and ginger tea.
Its important to consult your doctor before beginning the use of any remedies or over-the-counter medication.
A Sudden Change In Diet
Normally, as a young mother, you might be tempted to change your diet once you realize that you are expectant. While your intentions are reasonable to ensure your baby is healthy, your body might not cope well with the changes. If the change causes indigestion, then you might end up with diarrhea as well.
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How Diarrhea Happens During Pregnancy
Meredith Shur, MD, FACOG, is board-certified in obstetrics and gynecology, as well as a certified medical examiner.
Stomach and digestive issues are common during pregnancy. You may hear plenty about morning sickness and constipation, but less about diarrhea. Although it may not get as much attention, diarrhea is another gastrointestinal issue that pregnant women can face.
Some women consider diarrhea an early sign of pregnancy. It’s true that hormone changes around the time of conception can cause stomach issues and even lead to diarrhea. However, breast tenderness, fatigue, and nausea are much more common symptoms of early pregnancy.
Diarrhea during late pregnancy may be a sign that delivery is getting closer. Some women report diarrhea, heartburn, or nausea and vomiting right before they go into labor. Of course, women get diarrhea for many reasons, and it can develop at any time during pregnancynot just at the beginning or the end.
Verywell / Jessica Olah
Reasons Behind Diarrhea During Pregnancy
As it was mentioned above, consuming food that did not agree with you for whatever reason is the most common cause of diarrhea in pregnancy. Eating large quantities of highly processed foods – of the type more typically called junk food – may trigger this condition. Thus, stop consuming unhealthy foods and focus on restoring your health since bloating, vomiting and diarrhea can be dangerous for your baby, especially in the later months of your pregnancy, when it may even trigger labor.
Diarrhea may have been preceded by constipation in your case, where an obstruction was created in the bowels, leading to an excessive accumulation of feces. This can be treated medically. Finally, you should never wait once the diarrhea and/or vomiting have been bothering you for more than a day, since you may need medical attention. Stay hydrated but avoid flavored drinks and seek medical assistance as soon as possible.
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Managing Diarrhoea While Travelling And Pregnant
When we travel overseas we open our bodies up to a number of foreign influences and diarrhoea is a common response to these.
Some countries pose a higher risk of diarrhoea than others, such as developing countries in South America, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. The main reason people get diarrhoea in these countries is from eating food or drinking water that is contaminated.
If you travel while pregnant, take these simple measures to help avoid getting diarrhoea in high-risk countries:
- Don t drink or brush your teeth with tap water be careful of vegetables that have been washed in tap water as well, and ice as it is commonly made from tap water.
- Avoid eating food from street vendors.
- Avoid fruits that can t be peeled or that you didn t peel yourself.
*Please note that the published date may not be the same as the date that the content was created and that information above may have changed since.
What Causes Diarrhea In Early Pregnancy Before A Missed Period
It is normal to have diarrhea in the first weeks of pregnancy, first trimester and even some time in the third trimester for some women. Within the first 4 weeks of pregnancy after implantation, you may experience a lot of weird symptoms due to major changes in your hormones.
So, here are the causes of diarrhea sign of pregnancy after implantation or before a missed period.
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Diarrhea During Early Pregnancy
Food digestion starts in the mouth. As you chew your food, it mixes with saliva, is swallowed, and moves down the esophagus to reach the stomach.
When it reaches the stomach, acids are added and a full metabolic process occurs to ensure nutrients and water can be absorbed when the food moves into the intestine.
Through the intestinal walls, useful nutrients are filtered into the blood while waste products move on down the bowel until theyre finally excreted.
Diarrhea is when you pass loose stools. This is due to the transit of food in the intestinal tract happening much faster than normal.
When you experience diarrhea, it means the digestive tract isnt functioning properly and the food processing cycle is sped up so the absorption of nutrients and water doesnt happen properly.
Diarrhea can be caused by various digestive problems.
If you have underlying conditions, such as Crohns disease, irritable bowel syndrome or celiac disease, you will have baseline knowledge, and you can tell if an episode of diarrhea feels any different from what youve experienced before.
Food poisoning or viral infections such as gastroenteritis can also be the cause of loose bowel movements. Diarrhea with these illnesses tends to be accompanied by cramps and abdominal pain. When you get one of these conditions youre generally quite unwell you have a temperature, and arent able to carry on with life as usual for a couple of days.
Causes Of Gastrointestinal Issues During Pregnancy
Pregnancy can intensify underlying conditions, even if you werent aware of them before your egg got fertilised. There are a number of lifestyle and medical reasons behind gastrointestinal problems during pregnancy:
- Changes in hormones
- Thyroid disorders
If you have chronic GI problems, like IBS , acid reflux, or GERD , their symptoms will most likely intensify during pregnancy. So if you are planning a pregnancy, consult your doctor for advice.
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