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Diarrhea is one problem that expecting mothers face during early pregnancy, and in some cases, during the entire nine-month gestational period. It’s another discomfort that for women, who are already experiencing a variety of symptoms related to pregnancy, need to worry about on a daily basis.
What is diarrhea?
The literal translation of diarrhea is “flowing through.” In order to define a condition to be diarrhea, the individual should be experiencing two to three loose bowel movements in a span of 24hours. For pregnant and even non-pregnant individuals, the first priority should be to keep hydrated at all times. Loose bowels during pregnancy are not only detrimental to a mother but to her fetus, too!
If diarrhea in early pregnancy becomes a problem, an expecting mother should never take this lightly. Pregnant women should always stay alert for symptoms. Watch out for unusual signs and symptoms that are developing over time. It is highly encouraged that mothers consult their doctors immediately if diarrhea persists.
What are the causes of diarrhea?
For some mothers who encounter diarrhea during early pregnancy, their sudden change of diet as means to accommodate the need of their fetus may be the cause of diarrhea. When you make major changes in the food that you eat, how you eat and prepare the food, and the times you eat, results in a different response from the stomach. In the first few days after changing diet, you may experience stomachache or diarrhea.
Another reason why diarrhea is prevalent among expecting mothers is that of food sensitivity issues. There are women who develop hypersensitivity to certain food items during the 9-month pregnancy period. Even the food items that you were fine eating before your pregnancy may start becoming an irritant to your stomach resulting in diarrhea.
Hormonal changes are also culprit in the annoying diarrhea that women face during pregnancy. Some of the pregnancy hormones are known to disrupt or slow down the process of digestion during pregnancy. The slow rate of movement in the digestive may lead to diarrhea. All women go through the same type of hormonal changes during pregnancy, but only a small portion of those will suffer through diarrhea in early pregnancy 4 weeks.
Diarrhea in first month of pregnancy can be very worrisome to first-time mothers. If you are indeed suffering from diarrhea, just make sure to follow the necessary safe treatment plans to resolve the issues quickly.
Diarrhea during labor is not uncommon. But be sue to manage this condition quickly, as mismanagement or ignoring how to treat it can result in preterm labor. The loss of fluids due to dehydration will stimulate the uterus to contract and expel your fetus before its term.
In some instances, an underlying medical condition such as liver disease can bring about diarrhea as one of its many symptoms. The frequency of bowel movement will be helpful in determining the cause of diarrhea and the plan of action to resolve the issue immediately.
Lastly, bacterial and viral infestations are also identified as primary causes of diarrhea in pregnant women.
Is it normal that expecting mothers experience diarrhea?
Almost all women will experience diarrhea t one point during the 9-month gestational period. There are some that experience early pregnancy and diarrhea problems, whilst there are also those who only go through them a few hours before delivering of the newborn.
Diarrhea is generally not life-threatening, so there should be no cause for alarm among pregnant women. However, if the diarrhea persists for more than a day, it is highly recommended that you seek counsel for proper diagnosis and treatment of the diarrhea.
For pregnant women with a preexisting medical condition such as in the case of irritable bowel syndrome, it is ideal to take the necessary treatment procedures to alleviate the symptoms immediately. However, if your diarrhea is something that happens out of the blue, you will need to consult a doctor for proper diagnoses and management.
What are the things that you can do to prevent diarrhea during pregnancy?
There are many recommendations and suggestions on how to stop diarrhea fast as well as prevent diarrhea from happening in the first place. Here are some pointers that you need to remember:
A natural way to get rid of diarrhea is to avoid foods that can exacerbate accompanying symptoms. Some common tips given are to limit your intake of fatty and spicy food items. Try to reduce your consumption of dried fruits, too! If possible, avoid milk and other food items that contain dairy.
Other common tips included replace these food items with the BRAT diet while suffering from diarrhea. The BRAT consists of bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast. These food items are not only nutritious but it is gentle enough to be tolerated by the digestive tract during diarrheic episodes.
However, it is always essential that you consult your physician and follow their guidance in terms of your health and that of your baby.
Before taking any medication, be sure to read the label and once again it is advised that you consult your doctor.
If your diarrhea persists for a few more days, or has increased in frequency, the cause may be more serious. If you suspect a bug or a virus to be the cause of your diarrhea, you will need a different course of treatment. Antibiotics will be prescribed so make sure to seek counsel from your doctor.
Drink a lot of water — it is the first thing you should do while suffering from diarrhea and yet a lot of women forget this management step altogether. As diarrhea flushes out high volumes of water from the system, one of the primary things that you need to do is make sure you replace the fluids continuously.
If you have been suffering from diarrhea for two straight days, health professionals urge you to see your doctor right away. If your diarrhea comes along the symptoms listed below, you need to see your doctor immediately:
- a significant decrease in urine output
- severe case of vomiting
- presence of mucus and/or blood in the stool
- stomach cramps or pains
- increased heart rate
Home remedies for Expecting Mothers with Diarrhea
Home and natural remedies can assist in settling an upset stomach. Many recommend ginger-infused tea to help alleviate diarrhea.
Following these home remedies and treatment strategies could help you manage diarrhea, but you must ensure that you protect your fetus from the dangers of dehydration and electrolyte loss.
Always be sure to check with your physician to ensure that you are not doing more harm than good, and making the right decisions to keep both mother and baby healthy.