During pregnancy, pregnant women usually complain about one of two bathroom issues. Either they are extremely constipated or they have diarrhea. While constipation is usually caused by the bodily changes during pregnancy, diarrhea is more often a result of diet changes that many women adopt for gestation. Like most women, you’ve probably added more fruits and veggies to your diet since you found out you were pregnant. Also, you started taking prenatal vitamins for the first time in your life. These changes can cause stool to become more liquefied than usual. Diarrhea in itself is not harmless when it comes on for a few days at a time, but the side effects associated with it can be dangerous.

Dehydration should be your biggest concern when you have diarrhea. A lot of liquid will be lost every time you have it, so make sure you are increasing the amount of water you’re drinking every day. Since dehydration can cause serious and lifelong birth defects, contact your doctor right away if you cannot stay hydrated enough to be healthy during pregnancy because of diarrhea.

If your doctor determines that the cause of your diarrhea during pregnancy is in fact the dietary changes you took on, try keeping a food diary to determine which meals are causing problems. If dairy seems to be the culprit, cut down and find other ways to get the same nutrients. You should also try increasing your consumption of starchy foods and consider starting a regimen of probiotics through yogurt or capsules.

Also, contact your doctor immediately for urgent care if there is any blood or mucus in your diarrhea. Such symptoms are a sign of a more serious problem that should be treated right away to prevent any long-term harm to you and your baby. 

Yes, the pregnancy and childbirth processes are beautiful from a distance, but pregnant women know how unappealing it can really get on the front lines. Diarrhea is just another one of those annoying and embarrassing side effects that will be over as soon as the baby makes his or her way into the real world.

Source:  Vazquez, Juan C. Constipation, Haemorrhoids, and Heartburn in Pregnancy. US National Institure of Health’s National Library of Medicine. 2008 Feburary 20.