Diarrhoea during pregnancy: Digestive difficulties, such as constipation and diarrhoea, may occur frequently during pregnancy. Blame it on shifting hormones, changes in diet, and added stress. The fact is, pregnant women deal with diarrhoea quite a lot, and if they aren’t cautious, it can cause problems. Find out what you can do to ease the discomfort when it strikes.
Reasons other than pregnancy include:
- stomach flu
- intestinal parasites
- food poisoning
Pregnancy-related causes for diarrhoea include:
- Diet changes: Many women make dramatic diet changes when they find out they are pregnant. This sudden shift in your food intake can upset your stomach and potentially cause diarrhoea.
- New food sensitivities: Food sensitivities may be one of the many changes you experience during pregnancy. Foods that never fazed you before becoming pregnant may now leave you with gas, an upset stomach, and diarrhoea.
- Prenatal vitamins: Taking prenatal vitamins is good for your health as well as the health of your growing baby. However, these vitamins may upset your stomach and cause diarrhoea.
- Hormone changes: Hormones may make your digestive system slow down, so constipation may be an issue. Hormones can also speed up the digestive system, which may make diarrhoea a problem.
Diarrhoea is more common in the third trimester: As you near your due date, you may find that diarrhoea becomes more common. That may be because your body is preparing itself for labor. Diarrhoea doesn’t necessarily mean that your labor is mere days away, so don’t be alarmed by the increased frequency. Some women will not even experience frequent diarrhoea in their third trimester, and some will. Each person’s experience will be different.
If you’re leery of medications while you’re pregnant, there’s some good news. You may not need to take any additional medications to treat your diarrhoea. In fact, most cases of diarrhoea clear up without treatment. However, if you need something else, a few treatments are available.
- Give it time: Most cases of diarrhoea will clear up in a few days. This is often the case if your diarrhoea is the result of food poisoning, a bug or virus, or bacteria. Keep hydrated.
- Consider your medication: If a medication you’re taking is causing the diarrhea, your body may be able to adjust to it, and the diarrhoea may stop. If not, talk with your doctor.
- See a doctor: Make an appointment to see your doctor if your diarrhoea doesn’t end after two or three days. Your doctor will conduct a physical examand may draw blood to determine what is causing the diarrhoea.
- Avoid problematic foods: Certain food groups can make diarrhoea worse. Steer clear of high-fat, fried foods, spicy foods, milk and dairy and high-fiber foods.
Do not take an over-the-counter antidiarrheal medication without consulting your doctor. Certain conditions may be worsened by these medicines. Additionally, they are not safe for everyone.
Stay hydrated: If you’re experiencing diarrhoea, it’s important to stay hydrated. Watery, loose bowel movements remove a lot of fluid from your body. Dehydration can happen quickly and be very serious, especially for pregnant women. Even when they aren’t experiencing digestive problems, pregnant woman require more water than everyone else.
Drink water to replace the fluids you’re losing. Drink juice and broth to help replace some of the electrolytes, vitamins, and minerals your body has lost.
Prolonged diarrhea can cause dehydration. If your diarrhea lasts more than two or three days, call your doctor. Severe dehydration causes pregnancy complications. Symptoms of dehydration include:
- dark yellow urine
- dry, sticky mouth
- decreased urine output
You can prevent dehydration during pregnancy by drinking at least 80 ounces of water every day.