This might be a subject you’re uncomfortable talking about if you’re pregnant, but it’s necessary. Constipation can actually be a big problem during pregnancy, but diarrhoea is very common as well. In general, stomach issues are to be expected during pregnancy, although it can be hard to deal with along with everything else you’ve got going on, especially the pressure of being a new mother. Diarrhoea can be hard to handle if you’ve got to keep running to the bathroom all the time, along with morning sickness and a host of other problems. Generally, if you’ve got three or more loose bowel movements in a day, you’ve probably got what doctors would diagnose as diarrhoea. So why does it happen and how do you handle it all?
How it happens
- Diarrhoea is seen by many women as an early sign that they’re expecting. Although it’s not that common a symptom, it can happen, because of all the hormonal changes that are likely to be taking place when you get pregnant.
- It’s quite common in your third trimester especially. Because of the chemical prostaglandin, your uterus contracts and therefore you might have diarrhoea. Also you can expect it right before labour along with a bunch of other things like heartburn and vomiting.
- What is often more likely is that it’s just the result of a bunch of other things. A lot of women make drastic changes to diet when they learn they’re pregnant, so you could get it as a result of that. Many also take prenatal vitamins which might cause diarrhoea as a side effect. It could also be that foods that didn’t bug you before you were pregnant are now causing your digestive system some discomfort, so as a result you’re dealing with diarrhoea. It could also be stress that’s causing it.
- You might be dealing with diarrhoea for reasons unrelated to, or not fully related to, pregnancy. If you’ve been dealing with a bowel disorder (like Crohn’s or other Inflammatory Bowel Diseases, or Irritable Bowel Syndrome, etc) then it might be aggravated or spiked. You could also have diarrhoea caused by bacteria or a virus, or parasites. It could also be a bad case of food poisoning or stomach flu. So these are in many ways not really related to pregnancy, but it’s difficult to deal with when you’ve already got such a big thing going on.
Dealing with it
Whether it’s a side effect of pregnancy or not, it’s not pleasant to keep rushing to the bathroom, especially if it’s a problem that is persisting. So how do you handle it?
- If you haven’t already and are getting impatient, just give it a few more days. Usually, bugs or problems like that just clear up on their own.
- Obviously you might have to reevaluate your medication. Whether that’s the vitamins or something else you’ve been taking, a new medication, you’ll have to maybe check that it doesn’t have side effects that can keep causing you discomfort.
- Try to avoid foods which might be causing problems, or which might be trigger foods for you. For example, an excess of dairy products, too much sugar and caffeine, and juices and carbonated drinks or sodas. Don’t go for very spicy foods, or high-fat foods or too much-fried stuff. Also maybe stay away from very high-fibre foods. Instead, try to eat things that will be easier on the stomach. Crackers and toast, for instance, or applesauce, soups, and bananas. You can also try vegetables like sweet potato, green beans, and carrots.
- If things get serious and nothing else is really working, book an appointment with your doctor asap. They might prescribe some kind of anti-bacterial medication if necessary. Also, you should see the doctor if you feel like it’s a problem you’re too embarrassed to deal with on your own openly (even though it’s totally natural!) and they can help you figure out what’s causing it and eliminate the likely culprits.
Women’s bodies go through so many changes when pregnant to accomodate a baby. This is just one of the many changes that might occur, and it’s all a process of learning and adjustment.