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Diarrhea During Pregnancy: Causes and Treatment

During pregnancy diarrhea, or loose and watery stool, is common. While many women are faced with this symptom closer to the end of the pregnancy, others suffer from it throughout the gestational period.

Causes of Diarrhea in Pregnancy
Diarrhea in pregnancy is not related to changes in pregnancy hormones like constipation. Typically, loose stool is associated with changes made when a woman finds out she is pregnant. Is she eating healthier foods and drinking more water? These can both be associated with diarrhea. Another common cause of diarrhea in pregnancy is a prenatal vitamin. Changing from one brand to a another may help to curb the changes in bowel movements.

Important Facts About Diarrhea in Pregnancy
It is important to stay hydrated during pregnancy and diarrhea can quickly cause dehydration and an imbalance in electrolytes. When dehydration occurs, the body can kick into what feels like labor, which is why many hospital visits for labor symptoms early in the pregnancy are treated with IV fluids. If diarrhea seems out of control and mom is feeling a loss of energy and cramping, it is time to talk to a doctor.

Treatments for Diarrhea in Pregnancy
Certain foods like prunes, dried fruits, high fiber grains and fried foods can all lead to diarrhea. It is best to stay away from these during your 40 weeks of gestation. Sticking with a modified BRAT diet is often a good choice. BRAT stands for bananas, rice, applesauce and toast, all foods that are easy on the digestive system. In order to consume all the vitamins and nutrients needed while pregnant, it is important to add starches like potatoes and carrots to the BRAT diet. Vegetable soups, lean meats and yogurt are also good.

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