Diarrhea is characterized by three – four loose and watery bowel movements during a day. Diarrhea is not a normal symptom of pregnancy but some women may experience it during the first trimester due to hormonal changes in the body. A woman’s body undergoes many changes during pregnancy. Increase in the level of progesterone may be responsible for an upset stomach. Diarrhea during pregnancy may also often be accompanied by nausea and vomiting. During pregnancy, women change their diet so that they eat nutritious food. Due to sudden changes in the diet, one can suffer from diarrhea. If you have diarrhea and are also experiencing some of the below mentioned symptoms of pregnancy, then you need to get yourself examined. You might be unaware that a baby is on its way! The most common symptoms of pregnancy include:
- Missed menstrual cycle
- Nausea and vomiting
- Tenderness and swelling in breasts
- Light spotting
- Food Cravings
- Frequent Urine Sensations
- Cramps in the lower back
- Mood Swings
Some women get diarrhea during their pregnancy. If it is accompanied by fever, vomiting and blood in the stool, you must contact your medical practitioner and get a thorough examination. Diarrhea during pregnancy can be caused due to the following factors:
- Increase in hormones in the body – As discussed above.
- Change in eating habits – Women tend to eat more but can’t digest it easily due to morning sickness and uneasiness.
- Increase in milk consumption – Many women increase their intake of milk but again the stomach is unable to digest such a huge amount of lactose.
- Parasitic Infections – You can also get diarrhea by eating contaminated food which paves the way for parasites to enter your body. It is recommended that you eat food only from reliable restaurants. You might have many food cravings but you need to take care that you eat only hygienic and freshly cooked food.
- Viral and Bacterial Infections – Diarrhea can also be caused by viral and bacterial infections.
- Irregular Exercise – Women who exercise abruptly before their pregnancy are more prone to diarrhea because the intestinal function undergoes changes due to irregular and sudden exercise.
- Green Diarrhea – At times women pass a green stool, which is referred to as green diarrhea. This may not be a reason to worry if you have eaten something green but it might be alarming if it is caused due to some other intestinal infection. It’s just not a good idea to take any chances. You must consult your gynecologist to know what needs to be done.
During late pregnancy, if you experience diarrhea for a prolonged period, about 3 days, then you must inform your medical practitioner. This might be indicative of a premature labor!
You can avoid diarrhea during pregnancy by following these few guidelines:
- Avoid fried, oily and spicy foods
- Drink plenty of fluids so that you don’t get dehydrated
- If you have food cravings, eat food only from places that are hygienic and reliable
If diarrhea persists for more than two days, do consult your medical practitioner for advice.