How diarrhea affects pregnancy?

(June 15, 2010)

Diarrhea In Pregnancy

Many women are known to suffer from constipation during pregnancy; however there are some women who also suffer from diarrhea. Diarrhea is basically watery or loose frequent bowel movements. This may occur on account of lactose intolerance, sensitivity to certain foods during pregnancy and even hormonal changes. Some women may suffer from diarrhea because of the excessive intake of water during pregnancy, changes in the food brands, new exercise routine and even pre natal vitamins. A specialized diet prescribed for women during pregnancy by their doctor may also result in diarrhea for the first couple of days till their body adjusts to the new foods. Diarrhea during pregnancy is not a cause for concern as it usually does last for more than a couple of days. However if the diarrhea persists then it is advisable to contact a medical practitioner as continuous loss of fluids during pregnancy may lead to dehydration  which in turn may result in premature labor.

In order to prevent or minimize diarrhea during pregnancy is to avoid foods that tend to trigger or aggravate diarrhea such as fatty or spicy foods, milk if your lactose intolerant, dried fruits etc. Instead foods like potatoes, crackers, cereals etc which are high in starch content should be consumed along with vegetables like carrots, rice etc. Yogurt is also a good diet option during pregnancy. Some of the common side effects associated with diarrhea are vomiting, nausea, dehydration, abdominal cramping, excessive thirst, reduction in tears, dizziness and even fever and chills. Diarrhea is not known to affect the baby in pregnant women as most of the bacteria and viruses associated with diarrhea remain in the digestive tract and away from the baby. However, dehydration resulting from severe diarrhea may pose a threat to the baby. Hence women suffering from diarrhea during pregnancy should consume plenty of fluids especially clean drinking water to keep their body well hydrated.

Some common causes of diarrhea during pregnancy are bacterial infections caused by eating foods or water that are contaminated, parasites that enter the body via contaminated food. In some cases even blood pressure medications, antibiotics and antacids are known to cause diarrhea in pregnant women. Some other causes of diarrhea during pregnancy include stomach flu, stress, food allergy and even food poisoning. It is advised that pregnant women who have persistent diarrhea or who have bloody diarrhea should visit their doctor immediately to prevent the problem from escalating and causing long term damage  to both the mother and the child.

Submitted by P T on June 15, 2010 at 12:40

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