Having Diarrhea During Pregnancy: Causes, Remedies, and Management

having diarrhea during pregnancy

having diarrhea during pregnancy,Although diarrhoea or loose stools are not a very common problem during pregnancy, pregnant women can also experience this problem. And ten people have diarrhoea for the same reasons; pregnant women can also have diarrhea.

Along with that, certain factors of pregnancy can also play a role in causing diarrhea. However, if you keep your body hydrated by drinking plenty of water, diarrhoea is usually not a serious problem.

Diarrhea refers to frequent—three times a day or more—poor stools. Stools may be slightly softer than normal stools or may be completely liquid. You may also experience bloating, nausea, and abdominal pain. The stomach may feel queasy. There may be frequent urges to go to the bathroom.

Causes of diarrhoea in pregnancy

All of the same causes of loose stools during pregnancy can also cause diarrhea during pregnancy. For example-

  • Food poisoning
  • Any additional digestive disease brought on by a virus or bacteria
  • Side effects of medication. E.g., antibiotics can cause diarrhea.
  • Traveler’s diarrhea can be caused by long journeys and irregular eating habits.
  • People who are ‘lactose intolerant’, i.e., those who have trouble digesting dairy foods, may develop diarrhea after consuming milk or milk products.
  • Drinking caffeine, i.e., tea-coffee drinks, can cause diarrhea or increase the problem of diarrhea.
  • Some other physical problems can be responsible for diarrhea. Eg: Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, IBS, or irritable bowel syndrome, hyperthyroidism

However, in addition to these factors, other specific factors may play a role in causing diarrhea during pregnancy that is related to pregnancy itself. For example-

 

  • Physical Changes: During pregnancy, your body undergoes various changes. Meanwhile, your growing uterus puts pressure on your abdomen. During pregnancy, the normal movement of food through the digestive tract can be obstructed, resulting in various problems, such as heartburn, nausea and vomiting, abdominal discomfort, constipation, or diarrhea.
  • Dietary changes: Become aware of what moms-to-be eat and do not eat after pregnancy. Many suddenly switch from an unhealthy diet to a nutritious, high-fiber diet. It may be difficult for your digestive system to adjust to such a sudden change, and you may experience diarrhea or constipation.
  • Vitamin and Mineral Tablets During Pregnancy: Various tablets are given to you to ensure that you get all the nutrients your body needs in the right amount during pregnancy. For example: folic acid, iron, and zinc. These tablets are very important for your child’s development. But they can create some side effects in the body.

Nausea, vomiting, and constipation are the most common side effects of pregnancy vitamin tablets. But in some cases, diarrhea can also occur along with this.

 

Home Remedies for Diarrhoea During Pregnancy

Sometimes mild diarrhea clears up on its own after a day or two. But like nausea or heartburn during pregnancy, loose stools can be just an uncomfortable symptom.

Home remedies for diarrhoea during pregnancy that you can follow:

1. Consuming enough water and liquid food

Diarrhea causes a large amount of water to be expelled from the body along with stool. Water is very important for the normal functioning of the body. So drink more water to replenish the lost water.

Various liquids (such as soup or juice) can also be consumed with water. But try to avoid tea, coffee, or milk and milk products. They can aggravate diarrhoea.

2. Eat easily digestible foods

Eating foods that are easily digested will not put any extra strain on your digestive system. These foods include:

  • Green Banana
  • White rice
  • Toast Biscuits
  • Boiled potatoes
  • Chicken or vegetable

soups—these are available in packet form in the market and can be easily prepared with just hot water.
If the stomach is upset, many people keep only white rice or barley rice on the food list. Instead, you can mix boiled or cooked raw vegetables with rice. Studies have shown that chickpeas are effective in reducing diarrhea and vomiting. 

Diarrhea or vomiting causes the body to lose potassium along with water and other salts. Ripe bananas contain a lot of potassium, which is also easy to digest. Therefore, you can eat ripe bananas to fill the deficiency of potassium.

Note that foods that are recommended to reduce loose stools in cases of diarrhea can cause constipation again if consumed in excess. So eat these foods in moderation and drink enough water. Also, keep the body active.

At the same time, certain foods should be carefully avoided. For example-

3. Food is saline


It is generally advised to take one packet of urea diluted in half a litre of water after every bowel movement. Even if you don’t have a packet of food saline at home, you can prepare food saline at home.

Apart from this, chira water, rice starch, or canned water can also be consumed. You can add a little salt to the rice flour. If you feel nauseous, try taking a few small sips of saline.

4. Maintain cleanliness

If you have loose stools, germs from your digestive tract can easily pass into your urinary tract and cause an infection. So it is very important to ensure cleanliness if you have a slimy toilet. Wash thoroughly from front to back with water after every toilet. Wash your hands with soap or handwash before leaving the bathroom.

Medicines for diarrhoea in pregnancy

No medication is usually used for diarrhea during pregnancy. Treatment is to prevent dehydration with food saline, water, and liquid food.

In very severe cases, a drug called ‘Loperamide’ can be used, but in a very small amount. Research does not yet know much about the safety of this medicine during pregnancy. Therefore, it is better not to use the medicine during pregnancy without a doctor’s advice.

When to consult a doctor

Diarrhea is usually mild and resolves on its own within a short period. However, if the following symptoms appear, you should immediately go to the hospital or consult a doctor:

  • If diarrhea lasts more than two days,
  • 6 or more bowel movements in 24 hours
  • The abdominal pull feels like the pull of labor.
  • The movement of the fetus decreases.
  • If the temperature is 102.2 degrees Fahrenheit or higher,
  • Symptoms of dehydration occur.
  • Repeated vomiting
  • If there is red blood in the stool or black sticky stool like tar
  • If there is pus in the toilet,
  • If there is severe pain in the lower abdomen or toilet
  • Instead of getting better, the diarrhoea worsened.

Signs of dehydration

In some cases, diarrhea can be severe, resulting in the loss of large amounts of water from the body with the stool. Dehydration is the worst complication of diarrhea.

Dehydration can cause various abnormalities in the body, especially blood salt levels, which are dangerous for you. Therefore, it is very important to replenish the lack of water in the body by consuming more water and liquid food in cases of diarrhoea.

 

Symptoms that may occur when dehydration occurs:

  • Frequent thirst
  • Dry mouth
  • Passing less urine than usual
  • Dark-coloured urine
  • Tiredness
  • Turn head
  • If the skin is pinched and released after a while, it does not return immediately or takes longer than usual.
  • Dizziness or feeling that the eyelids have entered


Contact your doctor immediately if these symptoms occur.

 

Some common misconceptions about diarrhea in pregnancy

Diarrhea is a symptom of pregnancy

Hormonal changes in the body during early pregnancy can cause some stomach problems, including loose stools. But diarrhoea is never a definite sign of pregnancy.

One of the first symptoms you may notice when pregnant is a missed period. Apart from this, you may notice some symptoms such as breast pain, dizziness, and nausea. Then, pregnancy can be confirmed with a pregnancy test.

Diarrhea increases the chances of miscarriage

Pregnant women often worry that diarrhea may hurt the unborn child or cause miscarriage. It may feel like labor pains when there is abdominal pain and loose stools.

However, your reproductive system and digestive tract are two completely different body systems. Diarrhea during pregnancy usually does not have any negative effects on the pregnancy if the dehydration and infection are properly treated.

Diarrhea in late pregnancy is a sign of labor

Prostaglandin is an important chemical in our body that also aids in childbirth. Its levels increase in the body towards the end of pregnancy. This can lead to loose stools. This usually happens a day or two before delivery, but may not happen to everyone.

Therefore, diarrhoea towards the end of pregnancy can be considered as the time of delivery pproaching. However, there are some stronger signs of labour that will help you prepare for labour more precisely. For example: abdominal tension or labour pains; water breaking; blood-tinged discharge.

 

Having Diarrhea During Pregnancy

Experiencing diarrhea during pregnancy can be unsettling, but it’s a common occurrence. While often due to hormonal changes or dietary adjustments, it’s crucial to monitor symptoms and seek medical advice if persistent or severe. Maintaining hydration, consuming a balanced diet, and discussing concerns with healthcare providers can aid in managing this discomfort for a healthier pregnancy journey.

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