Causes And Remedies For Diarrhea During Pregnancy

Diarrhea is a common symptom of pregnancy, but it can also be a sign that something more serious is happening. Learn what you need to know about diarrhea during pregnancy and how to handle it with this blog post!

Diarrhea is surprisingly common in pregnant women due to one of two culprits: a virus or bacterial infection. Those who have diarrhea for more than 2 days should seek medical care, as it could lead to dehydration and other health issues. Diarrhea accompanied by fever, vomiting, bleeding from the rectum/vagina might need immediate attention

Signs and Symptoms Of Diarrhea During Pregnancy

You may have diarrhea if you experience loose, watery stools three or more times a day. Along with the runs, other common symptoms include nausea and vomiting.

Loose bowel movements and frequent trips to the bathroom are telltale signs of an ailment called diarrhea which can be caused by many different factors – from infections like food poisoning to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Crohn’s disease, or ulcerative colitis. Other signs that suggest chronic debilitating conditions where bacteria is released into your colon such as diverticulosis could also cause this problem but these tend not to crop up suddenly; instead, they build over time so it’s important for people who suspect any kind of gastrointestinal disorder should see their doctor promptly. The most common symptoms of diarrhea are:

  • Abdominal cramps
  • Abdominal pain
  • Bloating
  • Nausea
  • Constant urge to have a bowel movement
  • Vomiting
  • Weakness
  • Loss of appetite

Causes Of Diarrhea In Pregnancy

Pregnancy brings a lot of changes, and one such change is the proliferation of hormones. These hormonal fluctuations can also affect things like your digestive tract.

Diarrhea during pregnancy may be caused by the following factors.

  • Diarrhea can result from elevated prostaglandin levels. Slow digestion is caused by certain hormones, which results in diarrhea over time.
  • After finding out they are pregnant, some women change their diet drastically. Suddenly changing one’s diet can cause the digestive system to become sensitized, resulting in diarrhea. During the first trimester of pregnancy, this is more common.
  • If you eat too much junk food due to cravings related to pregnancy, you may experience diarrhea.
  • When a woman is pregnant, she often worries about the baby’s health. Pregnancy-related diarrhea might be triggered by stress.
  • Occasionally, pregnant women need to stay in bed due to medical reasons. Weak digestion may worsen as a result of sedentary lifestyles, ultimately resulting in diarrhea.
  • Due to prenatal vitamins, some women may experience diarrhea. Changing the brand of your vitamins may help.
  • The first trimester of pregnancy is when heartburn and acidity are most common. An antacid may help you if you ask a doctor for one. Taking these antacids can cause diarrhea in some women due to the magnesium content.
  • GI tract sensitivity may be caused by certain foods. During pregnancy, these items may cause nausea, even if they have been well-tolerated before getting pregnant.
  • Several weeks before delivery, diarrhea may occur. It does not necessarily imply that labor is about to begin if you experience diarrhea during the third trimester. Also, before getting alarmed, check for other signs that labor might be approaching.
Diarrhea may result from any of the following causes other than pregnancy:
  • The food poisoning epidemic
  • Bacterial or viral infections
  • Parasites in the gastrointestinal tract
  • Diarrhea caused by travel
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Symptoms of IBS
  • Celiac disease
  • Ulcerative Colitis

Diarrhea Remedies During Pregnancy

It generally takes a couple of days for diarrhea to resolve without medication. Below are some tips that might help you deal with diarrhea.

  1. Hydration: To replenish electrolytes and lost fluids, including sodium, potassium, and minerals, drink sufficient water, broth, or oral rehydration solutions.
  2. Diet: Be sure to consume the appropriate amount of fiber to aid digestion with a balanced diet. Learn which foods can worsen diarrhea and avoid them. In foreign countries, stay away from street food and tap water.
  3. Exercises: Incorporate some exercises into your routine. Your obstetrician can advise you on your workout intensity. All organ systems, including the bowels, benefit from exercising.
  4. Medicines: A doctor may prescribe some medications for diarrhea that don’t resolve on their own. If your overall health is good, your doctor will prescribe the most effective dose and medicine for you.

You should contact your healthcare provider if diarrhea persists or gets worse. Diarrhea is caused by many things, but the doctor will help you determine what is causing it. Doctors will prescribe safe pregnancy-safe antibiotics if the infection is due to bacteria.

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What Is The Best Time To Call A Doctor?

Symptoms such as these along with diarrhea should be reported to your healthcare provider right away.

  • Stomach pains are extremely painful
  • rectum pain
  • Cramps in the lower abdomen
  • Blood in the vomit
  • Stool with puss
  • Dehydration symptoms (dry skin, thirst,  fatigue, less frequent urination, dizziness,  and dark urine)
  • Stool containing blood
  • Fever
  • Weight loss that occurs suddenly
  • Leaking of fluid from the vagina
  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Decreased fetal movement


What is the likelihood of miscarriage caused by diarrhea during pregnancy?

There is no guarantee that diarrhea will lead to a miscarriage. It is possible to contract diarrhea from food poisoning, including salmonellosis, toxoplasmosis, or listeriosis. An increased risk of miscarriage is associated with these pathogens. Contact your healthcare provider as soon as possible if you suspect food poisoning caused your miscarriage. For more information, you can read our article on miscarriage: What Is Miscarriage?: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment.

In early pregnancy, is diarrhea a bad sign?

This is the most common time for women to experience diarrhea. The body takes some time to adjust to the hormonal changes, so diarrhea is common for some women in the first trimester. In early pregnancy, diarrhea is not necessarily a bad sign, but you must inform your doctor if it persists.

What are the risks involved with taking diarrhea tablets while pregnant?

When adults have diarrhea for a short period of time, loperamide is their preferred option. Taking loperamide during pregnancy had no adverse effects on the baby according to a study of about 750 pregnant women. To confirm its safety for pregnant women, further research is needed. If you are prescribed a drug and dosage, it will be prescribed by your healthcare provider after weighing the risks and benefits.

The Bottom Line

Pregnancy-related diarrhea can result from pregnant-related changes or could occur for other reasons. If you experience diarrhea, you can easily manage it at home by drinking up and making dietary changes, but you should still consult your doctor for advice.


[1]. Constipation and diarrhea in pregnancy: PubMed

[2]. Problems of the Digestive System: ACOG

[3]. Gastrointestinal Issues During Pregnancy: Life Span