Pregnancy & Childbirth

Diarrhea in pregnancy – encyclopedia for medicine & health

Diarrhea during pregnancy

Pregnancy means a big change and challenge for the female body. Sometimes some ailments make themselves felt, which include diarrhea. However, diarrhea during pregnancy is usually nothing to worry about. Various measures ensure that the symptoms are alleviated.

What does diarrhea mean during pregnancy?

The organism reacts to various stimuli with diarrhea . Among physicians, the phenomenon is increasingly referred to as diarrhea. Diarrhea is when you have a bowel movement at least three times a day.

This has changed in consistency and can be soft, mushy or runny. Diarrhea during pregnancy is normal. Many women also suffer from flatulence . A distinction is made between acute and chronic diarrhea. If the symptoms last at least four weeks, a doctor should be contacted.

Acute diarrhea, for example, becomes more noticeable after an infection. However, diarrhea during pregnancy is usually moderate. If it is severe, an infection is likely. Affected women should definitely pay attention to their fluid intake. Otherwise there are serious consequences.

causes

Diarrhea is not a classic symptom of pregnancy. The intestine is less irritated by the hormonal change and reacts with increased bowel movements. The pregnancy hormones are more likely to lead to constipation . Diet is often the cause of the symptoms. Pregnancy is often the trigger for a healthier diet with lots of fiber.

Because the intestines are not used to the new meals, diarrhea can occur under certain circumstances. After some time, however, the body gets used to the healthy diet and the digestive system regulates itself again. Increased bowel movements should not be a reason to give up the habits gained in favor of the child.

As the pregnancy progresses, the uterus puts more pressure on the digestive system, which can lead to diarrhea and constipation. In addition, sometimes diarrhea is a sign of the imminent birth.

As in all other life circumstances, food intolerance , allergies , viral or bacterial infections, stress or poor diet also lead to diarrhea in pregnant women. Travellers’ diarrhea may occur when traveling.

Fluid loss: when does it become dangerous?

If diarrhea during pregnancy is treated appropriately, it is not dangerous. The situation is different if the fluid loss is not compensated. In the case of severe diarrhea in particular, minerals are also lost in this way in addition to water, and the body becomes dehydrated .

potassium deficiency can develop, which threatens the health of both mother and child. In the case of severe diarrhea, a doctor should be consulted after three days at the latest. Overall, it is important to pay more attention to fluid intake even if diarrhea occurs once.

7 tips for diarrhea during pregnancy

Diarrhea during pregnancy is easy to treat. Medication is not always necessary. Nevertheless, diarrhea should be clarified by a doctor in some cases. A visit to the doctor is inevitable when the pregnant woman feels weak and exhausted.

Caution is also required if the symptoms do not subside or other symptoms such as fever , pain , cramps , circulatory problems and blood occur. Because a bacterial disease can endanger the unborn child, diarrhea must be examined even if an infection is suspected. Under certain circumstances, diarrhea can infect the vaginal environment with bacteria.

Bacterial vaginosis results in preterm labor and premature birth . Therefore, treatment of the complaints is necessary. Self-treatment of diarrhea is therefore initially only recommended for weaker symptoms. If in doubt, always consult a doctor.

Overall, the same applies to diarrhea during pregnancy as to non-pregnant women:

  • 1. Tea: Fennel tea calms flatulence and has a calming effect. Chamomile tea relieves irritation of the stomach and intestines. Black tea contains tannins. These have clogging properties.
  • 2. Grated apple: Grated apples and a mashed banana also help against diarrhea because they have a constipating effect. In addition, bananas are good suppliers of potassium and counteract a deficiency due to the loss of fluids.
  • 3. Meat, eggs, milk: Animal products should be largely avoided. They often contain a lot of fat and promote flatulence.
  • 4. No gassy veggies: Cabbage and legumes cause gas in many people. In order to reduce the discomfort, it is better to avoid all flatulent foods.
  • 5. Easily digestible: The menu should ideally consist of easily digestible foods. These include, for example, light bread and noodle soup.
  • 6. Water: Diarrhea causes severe dehydration. This should be filled with water and herbal teas.
  • 7. Salt: With the increased diarrhea, a lot of salt is washed out of the body. Vegetable broth and pretzel sticks will help make up for the loss.

If nothing else helps: medication for diarrhea

Diarrhea can be uncomfortable, especially if it lasts a long time or is severe. Sometimes natural remedies don’t help. Then it is advisable to resort to medication. However, pregnant women should only take medication after consulting their doctor. Independent handling of tablets can harm the unborn child.

For example, charcoal tablets, apple pectin and kaolin are considered harmless during pregnancy. But the same applies here: No intake without medical approval. Pharmaceutical drugs against diarrhea calm the muscles of the digestive system and thereby alleviate the symptoms.

During pregnancy, however, a doctor must weigh such measures. Overall, diarrhea is treatable. Sufficient fluid intake is particularly important for mother and child.

Lisa Newlon
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Hello! I am Lisa Newlon, and I am a medical writer and researcher with over 10 years of experience in the healthcare industry. I have a Master’s degree in Medicine, and my deep understanding of medical terminology, practices, and procedures has made me a trusted source of information in the medical world.