Pregnancy is truly a magical experience, despite most of the first symptoms do not imply that. Painful acne all over the body, more frequent bathroom breaks (more urination), mood swings, farts, low energy and sore breasts are some of the worst signs of pregnancy, but none compares to the levels of awkwardness, embarrassment and discomfort of diarrhea. Diarrhea is defined as watery stool or stool with a looser consistency than usual stool and it is often associated with more frequent need to go to the bathroom than usually. Along with constipation, these two pregnancy symptoms are the worst.
What Causes Diarrhea During Pregnancy?
This short-term condition can be caused by several different factors: from hormonal changes to diet changes. Let’s take a look at some of the possible causes of diarrhea during pregnancy.
1. Hormonal Changes – Your hormones will start a riot as soon as you conceive. You will start experiencing all sorts of body changes and many of your body parts will be under a hormonal attack. The attack on the gastrointestinal system results in increased bloating, farting, constipation and, of course, diarrhea. Although all pregnant women get hormonal changes, not every woman will experience diarrhea.
2. Prenatal Vitamins – Every expecting mother is recommended by the doctor to take prenatal vitamins and many do take. Although they can boost both your and your baby’s health, prenatal vitamins can also cause diarrhea. The iron found in these vitamins is known for causing constipation, while the combination of other vitamins can cause you diarrhea. If this is the case for you, ask your doctor to prescribe you a substitute for your vitamins.
3. Lactose Intolerance – Another common cause of diarrhea is the most significant dietary change in every woman’s pregnancy diet, which is an increased consumption of milk in order to provide better nutrition for their baby. This can lead to lactose intolerance and consequently, diarrhea. To check if this is what causes your diarrhea, avoid drinking milk for a few days. During these days, it is important to get calcium from some other sources, such as sesame, soybeans, broccoli, kale, etc.
4. Diet Changes – Many women make dietary changes as soon as they start trying to get pregnant, while others as soon as they find they’re pregnant. The diet changes for pregnancy are usually radical, which is why diarrhea is a common consequence. Not that these diet changes are not good for you; on the contrary, your body has probably never been so good fed, with increased intake of fiber, vitamins and minerals via fruits, vegetables and nuts. The reason why you have diarrhea is because your body is not used to it, which won’t take more than 3 weeks.
How to Deal With It?
Since ignoring your diarrhea during pregnancy can lead you to feeling weak and dehydration, it is of utmost importance to get rid of it as soon as possible. Diarrhea may not be as serious as cardiovascular diseases (for example), but when accompanied by mucus, abdomen pain, blood in the stools or fever, you could find yourself dehydrated and dealing with all sorts of problems. So the first tip I’ll give you is to drink lots of fluids (mostly water) and stay hydrated all the time. Of course diarrhea is not a life-threatening condition, but when it comes to the little one in your stomach, you should take everything serious.
Another way to stop your diarrhea is to avoid foods that are very likely to cause problems. Spicy, fried, high-fat and dairy/milk products are on the top of the list. Red meat, caffeine-based drinks and sugary foods (including chocolates and cookies) are also very likely to upset your stomach. Try to avoid these foods at all costs. The last way to deal with diarrhea during pregnancy is the one you probably practice any other time you’re dealing with this condition: eating bananas, rice, toast and apple sauce. If it lasts longer than a week, it would be wise of you to visit your doctor and get help.