Diarrhea During Pregnancy
Pregnancy involves not only many changes in body and emotion, but also some health issues.
Digestive difficulties like diarrhea and constipation are very common during pregnancy.
This maybe because of the changes in diet, shifting hormones, and stress. Experiencing diarrhea during pregnancy can add stress due to the discomforts.
Diarrhea is characterized by frequent liquid or loose bowel movements within a 24-hour period. If you’re experiencing watery bowel movements, the best thing to do is to keep hydrated.
It’s because this condition may cause losing substantial amount of fluids and when not addressed properly and immediately can be deadly.
That’s why diarrhea during pregnancy should be taken seriously and treated the soonest possible time.
Causes of diarrhea during pregnancy
Diarrhea normally happens to pregnant women. Pregnancy and diarrhea is closely related to each other due to some apparent reasons:
- Diet changes – As soon you get pregnant, most likely your diet will dramatically change. Shifting your food intake may upset your stomach that can lead to diarrhea.
- Food sensitivity – Another reason why diarrhea happens during pregnancy is when a pregnant woman become sensitive to new foods or particular foods. There are instances in which the food you usually eat before may upset your stomach as you get pregnant.
- Hormonal changes – The digestive process may slow down during pregnancy due to hormonal changes. The hormonal changes are very common to all pregnant women, thus diarrhea usually occurs.
Diarrhea typically happens during the third trimester and as the due date is approaching. The condition is a sign that your body is preparing for labor, but you should not be alarmed, yet make sure to keep hydrated. The experience of one person varies with the other.
How to treat diarrhea during pregnancy?
In most cases, diarrhea clears up itself without taking medications. Pregnant women experiencing diarrhea may not be advised to take medications. Rather, there are natural methods that can help stop diarrhea during pregnancy.
- Increase fluid intake particularly water, but stop drinking milk, sugary drinks, or fruit juice that can worsen the condition. Staying hydrated is a major concern because dehydration is harmful to you and your child. Likewise, drinking plenty of water can eliminate the wastes in your intestines that trigger diarrhea. It can also replace the vitamins, minerals, and electrolytes lost.
- You can take BRAT diet or eating bland food diet that includes bananas, rice, apples, and toast. You can also add food that are easy to digest like cooked vegetables (carrot), ground turkey, starchy foods (potatoes), and yogurt. If the BRAT diet doesn’t help, you should consult your doctor.
- Parasites and bacteria can also cause diarrhea during pregnancy and you may need to take antibiotics. But, make sure to consult your doctor first before taking antibiotics.
When to seek help?
Prolonged diarrhea is dangerous particularly for a pregnant woman as it can cause severe dehydration. That’s why it’s necessary to seek immediate treatment to avoid complications and when you notice the following symptoms:
- Sticky, dry mouth
- Dark yellow urine
- decreased output of urine
Diarrhea during pregnancy should be given immediate intervention to avoid complications that can be risky to both the mother and the baby.