Quite a few expectant mothers occasionally have diarrhea during pregnancy. Here you can find out what causes it can be, which home remedies help against diarrhea during pregnancy and when diarrhea can be dangerous for pregnant women.
As a pregnant woman you are confronted with all kinds of physical changes and not infrequently ailments. The most common complaints are digestive problems. Over 40% of women suffer from constipation. But diarrhea can also occur during pregnancy – but it is not one of the typical pregnancy symptoms .
Here you can find out what diarrhea during pregnancy means, what causes it can have and what works best against diarrhea during pregnancy.
When do we talk about diarrhea during pregnancy?
Diarrhea during pregnancy can unsettle many women. After all, the opposite, namely constipation during pregnancy, is one of the most common complaints.
The culprit here is the hormone progesterone, whose job it is to keep the pregnancy going. Annoying side effect: It also slows down bowel movements. The result is hard stools, which can make going to the toilet an ordeal.
When the stool suddenly becomes soft or even runny, many women worry. Occasional loose stools are not a sign of diarrhea during pregnancy. Doctors only speak of this when pregnant women have very soft or even thin stool more than three times a day .
In a healthy, normal pregnancy, minor digestive problems can occur from time to time. Constipation, diarrhea and flatulence can alternate and are not a cause for concern at first.
Caution is only advised if the diarrhea persists for several days during pregnancy and additional symptoms occur.
Causes of Diarrhea During Pregnancy
The causes of diarrhea during pregnancy are often quite harmless. If the stool is now and then soft or watery, there is no reason to panic. Below you can read about the most common reasons for diarrhea during pregnancy.
Diarrhea in pregnancy from diet
The most common cause of diarrhea during pregnancy is a change in diet . Many expectant mothers change their diet because they now want to eat particularly healthy.
Suddenly more fiber-rich foods and more fruit and vegetables land on your plate than before. For the intestine this is unfamiliar at first, it can react with diarrhea. But most of the time, digestion regulates itself quite quickly.
Diarrhea from food intolerances or allergies
Food intolerances or allergies can also be behind the digestive problems. Most of them existed before pregnancy. Also irritable bowel can cause recurrent diarrhea.
In these cases, it is important to remove the food that causes it from the menu. Nevertheless, try to ensure a balanced diet during pregnancy so that your body and ultimately your baby is optimally supplied with nutrients and minerals.
Magnesium diarrhea during pregnancy
Many women use nutritional supplements during pregnancy. In the case of magnesium, this is often prescribed by the treating gynecologist. Namely when the uterus is very active and contractions occur in an early week of pregnancy.
Important to know: Most of the time, however, these are just harmless labor pains that do not affect the cervix. However, you should always have your gynecologist clarify any premature labor activity.
Although it is difficult to overdose the mineral because the excess magnesium is excreted by the body, diarrhea can occur. It is therefore important that you always consult with your doctor before taking any dietary supplement. He will advise you on the type and correct dosage.
Diarrhea during pregnancy due to infections
Unfortunately, women are not immune to pathogens such as viruses and bacteria during pregnancy. We can also be plagued by norovirus, food poisoning or other gastrointestinal infections.
If severe stomach cramps, vomiting and circulatory problems occur in addition to diarrhea during pregnancy, the causes are most likely pathological and it is advisable to consult a doctor.
Very rare: diarrhea during pregnancy due to listeriosis
The bugbear for many pregnant women is listeriosis , a bacterial infection that can be very dangerous for the unborn child. The panic about the infection is in most cases unfounded, because listeriosis is a really very rare disease . Only around 350 people in 100M get it every year.
Listeriosis is caused by certain bacteria called listeria. These occur in the ground, for example, and can colonize raw meat, unwashed vegetables or raw milk products. This is one of the reasons why pregnant women are advised to avoid certain foods and to ensure good kitchen hygiene.
While the infection can be very dangerous for the baby, it is often quite harmless for the mom-to-be. Flu-like symptoms can occur, and diarrhea is also possible.
Important to know: The incubation period, i.e. the time until the first symptoms appear, can be between 3 and 70 days. Diarrhea that occurs shortly, i.e. a few hours, after eating supposedly infected food, usually has other reasons. So you shouldn’t drive yourself too crazy and ask your doctor or midwife for advice when in doubt.
Diarrhea during pregnancy: when to see a doctor?
Most often, diarrhea during pregnancy is harmless. However, if it lasts longer than three days and you lose a lot of fluid due to the very watery stool, you should consult a doctor.
You should also see a doctor if you have additional symptoms such as vomiting, cramps, circulatory problems or fever or if you discover blood in your stool. At the weekend you can visit an outpatient clinic or a hospital.
Doctors will investigate the cause and ensure that you and your baby are well looked after. For example, care is taken to ensure that your fluid and mineral balance is not disturbed by diarrhea.
In severe cases, for example if the cause of the diarrhea during pregnancy is a bacterial or viral infection, you may also be hospitalized for a few days and your body will be supplied with fluids and minerals with the help of an infusion. The vital functions of mom and child can be monitored in the best possible way until the infection is over.
Diarrhea during pregnancy: what helps?
Diarrhea is more than uncomfortable. So it’s no wonder that mothers-to-be (not only) ask themselves what can quickly help. While non-pregnant women often resort to drugs that slow down gastrointestinal activity and thus act quickly against diarrhea, pregnant women should be more cautious about taking anti-diarrheal drugs.
Medication for diarrhea pregnancy
Basically: The use of medication during pregnancy should always be weighed and prescribed by a doctor. You should not proactively use common anti-diarrheal remedies, as these can harbor potential risks for your baby.
Electrolyte solutions are one of the harmless remedies that can be used to treat diarrhea during pregnancy . They are available over-the-counter in pharmacies and contain a mix of sugar, salt and, if necessary, other minerals.
With severe diarrhea, the body can lose these important nutrients, with the solution you can virtually replenish them. But here, too, the following applies: Severe diarrhea should always be clarified by the doctor before you resort to self-medication.
Diarrhea during pregnancy: home remedies help
Regardless of whether you are pregnant or not: If you have diarrhea, drinking a lot is essential. It is also important to take physical rest if you feel exhausted and exhausted.
If diarrhea only occurs occasionally during pregnancy and / or serious causes are excluded, you can also use home remedies for diarrhea. Common home remedies that are also allowed and help during pregnancy are:
- Black tea (no more than 3 cups a day because of the caffeine)
- Grated apple
- Mashed banana
- Boiled carrots
In order to relieve your intestines, we recommendeating light foods in addition to home remedies in the coming days. This means that you should avoid foods that are difficult to digest or irritating, such as fatty foods, spicy foods, acidic beverages, or bloating vegetables. You should also skip food that is very high in fiber for a few days, as this can overwhelm the still irritated bowel.
End of pregnancy: diarrhea before giving birth?
A special case is diarrhea that occurs at the end of pregnancy, around the ET. A sudden emptying of the bowel can be a sign of the upcoming birth. The body wants to get rid of unnecessary ballast in order to make room and to be able to concentrate fully on the birth.
Don’t be surprised if you go into labor after the diarrhea around the ET. Bowel movements and diarrhea belong to the natural means of promoting birth. That is one of the reasons why an enema is often done in pregnant women who are about to give birth.
Is diarrhea a sign of pregnancy?
Women who think they are pregnant often pay close attention to their bodies. Anything that feels just slightly different, including diarrhea, can be interpreted as a sign of pregnancy. But diarrhea is not one of the typical signs of pregnancy.
Digestive problems can certainly occur at the beginning of pregnancy, but these can also have many other causes and do not have to be related to the beginning pregnancy.
Important note: The information in this article is for information only. If you are unsure, have urgent questions or have complaints, you should contact your doctor.
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