Diarrhea may bring uncomfortable feelings during pregnancy. Here’s how to deal with loose bowel movements as an expectant mom.
Pregnancy brings about many changes. As your body responds to sudden hormonal changes, you may find yourself experiencing overwhelming emotional and physical responses–some of these are digestive problems.
While constipation is one of the most common complaints of pregnant women, diarrhea can become a concern, too. This usually happens during the third trimester.
Though it occurs less frequently than constipation, loose bowel movements can be uncomfortable and exhausting, especially if you’re nearing the end of your pregnancy; the last thing you want to do is head to the bathroom every few minutes. Plus, the danger of dehydration can be worrisome, especially because it can affect your entire pregnancy.
Note your bowel movements each day. Are you experiencing more than three loose bowel movements daily? Then you may have diarrhea. During pregnancy, diarrhea can occur as a response to dietary changes, food allergies/sensitivities, prenatal vitamins, and certain hormonal changes.
However, this digestive problem may be caused by other factors and is not always a response to pregnancy changes. It can be caused by a virus, bacteria, parasites, food poisoning, stomach flu, or certain medications.
Existing medical problems could also be to blame, like irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and celiac disease.
Diarrhea during pregnancy 2nd trimester
Most miscarriages occur in the first semester, before the 12th week of your pregnancy. However, it may also happen during the second trimester for some moms who have lost their young ones.
Meanwhile, some people think that diarrhea can be harmful to the baby and that it might cause miscarriage. Although it does not necessarily cause miscarriage, diarrhea can have adverse effects during pregnancy.
A typical loose stool can be normal. However, if you have diarrhea for more than 3 days and a fever of 38 degrees Celsius, call a doctor quickly.
In addition, avoid any anti-diarrhea medications which you can buy over the counter. These medications might also affect your baby.
Moreover, your gastrointestinal tract is a very different organ from your reproductive system, even if they feel the same pain such as abdominal cramping.
Diarrhea during pregnancy 3rd trimester
It is very common for pregnant mothers to have diarrhea during their 3rd trimester of pregnancy. Most likely, when your due date is approaching nearer, you might have it.
Also, it could be a sign that your labor is also coming near. It also may occur right before your labor, or a couple of weeks before your delivery. If ever it occurs a couple of weeks before your schedule, you should not expect a premature birth.
Furthermore, if you experience diarrhea during your 3rd trimester of pregnancy, it does not necessarily mean your baby might come out anytime. It might be a false alarm.
This is just one of the ways some women’s bodies settle for the labor that might start going anytime around. You should also seek for doctor or healthcare provider’s help for any other signs of labor.
Causes of diarrhea during pregnancy
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Diarrhea during pregnancy might have causes as diverse as hormones, changes in your daily diet, or can be a stomach virus.
You can experience dreadful loose stool if you have the following causes of diarrhea during pregnancy:
- Body changes: During your pregnancy, you may experience occurrences of shifts in the hormones and in your body. Your developing uterus overwhelms your digestive tract, which can result in changes in your bowel movements. It may also lead to nausea, vomiting, constipation, or diarrhea.
- Food Diet: Pregnancy, especially for first-timer moms-to-be, may inspire you to be healthy and to eat healthier. Sometimes, this change into more nutritious, fiber-rich foods can result in bowel movements, too. Give your body a quite little time to adapt if you come from fast food diet to fruit and salads in a blink of an eye. Consummation of lots of foods such as berries or grapes can cause you to have diarrhea.
- Prenatal Vitamins: There are numerous brands of prenatal vitamins to avail. Some of these vitamins are more likely to cause constipation, and some can lead to looser stools. If you notice you are having diarrhea because of your vitamin, ask your doctor or healthcare provider for a suggestion of another brand.
Diarrhea may also happen because of something unrelated to pregnancy, like the following:
- Food poisoning
- Health problems such as Chron’s disease, celiac disease, or hyperthyroidism
- Illness from a virus or bacteria
- taking medication such as antibiotics
If you have one of these causes, better to consult with your doctor immediately.
Treatment for diarrhea during pregnancy
It’s natural to be wary of taking medication when pregnant, so to treat diarrhea you can try these alternatives:
1. Wait it out. Just give it a few days. Most bouts with diarrhea resolve on their own without treatment.
2. Rethink present medication. Find out if your diarrhea is a result of any new addition to your health regimen, like prenatal vitamins.
3. Think about your diet. Are there foods that could be causing your loose bowel movements? Try steering clear of them for now. Examples of diarrhea-inducing foods are oily, spicy, high-fat, high-fiber foods as well as milk and dairy.
4. Consult your doctor. If your condition doesn’t improve after three days, pay your doctor a visit to know for sure what’s causing it. Before taking any anti-diarrheal medication, make sure to get the approval of your doctor.
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Diarrhea during pregnancy 2nd trimester home remedies
Any person with diarrhea can prevent dehydration by drinking a lot more water. Also, it is essential to drink beverages containing electrolytes like the following:
- broths and clear soup
- sports drink (if applicable for pregnant)
- fruit juices
- caffeine free sodas
In addition, for pregnant women with severe dehydration and diarrhea during their pregnancy, a healthcare provider might recommend an oral rehydration solution.
Many experts also suggest a bland diet in restoring electrolytes lost because of diarrhea during your pregnancy. The following are examples of bland diet foods which can be also home remedies for your diarrhea in 2nd trimester.
- plain potatoes
- saltine cracker
Meanwhile, if there are foods to eat, there is always food to prevent your diarrhea from getting worse. The following foods to avoid when having diarrhea during pregnancy are the following:
- dairy products
- anything high in fat
- high in sugar
- drinks containing high caffeine
Above all, stay hydrated! Prolonged diarrhea greatly reduces the fluid in your body. Dehydration can cause serious problems, especially for pregnant women, because they require more fluids to stay hydrated.
Effects of dehydration include dry mouth, dark urine, increased thirst, low urine output, dizziness, and headaches. At least 80 ounces of water (or 10 glasses) a day is a recommendation to maintain normal fluid intake.
But in hot climates, it’s advised to increase consumption to up to 12 glasses daily. You can also drink more juice, and have soup to up your fluid intake.
Additional information by Nathanielle Torre
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