If you’re pregnant and suffering from loose motions, you’re not alone! In fact, this common pregnancy symptom may affect up to 50% of pregnant women in the first three months. Loose motions during pregnancy are often due to hormonal changes caused by the pregnancy hormone, human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). Although they can be alarming, don’t panic! Here are some things you can do to get your digestive tract back on track and feeling like yourself again.
Drink lots of fluids
Loose stools are common during pregnancy, often due to higher levels of progesterone. Drinking lots of fluids can help alleviate the problem. Stay hydrated by drinking at least a gallon of fluids a day. Keep in mind that coffee and caffeinated drinks will also cause loose stools, so it’s recommended that you avoid those as well. If your symptoms continue for more than two weeks, consult your doctor about what treatment is best for you. There are over-the-counter medications which may be helpful such as Pepto-Bismol or Kaopectate. Probiotics can also help if you have trouble maintaining an appropriate balance of good bacteria in your digestive tract. Your doctor might recommend switching to formula if breastfeeding doesn’t seem like a good option right now, or if you had morning sickness and vomiting with previous pregnancies, but it seems different this time around.
Eat small, frequent meals
Eating small, frequent meals will help prevent loose motions. Your diet should include fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein sources like poultry or fish and plenty of fluids. Avoid high-sugar foods (e.g., candy) because these can lead to gas formation. Dairy products are also a good source of calcium that helps build strong bones for your growing baby so feel free to enjoy low-fat dairy products in moderation. And if those pregnancy cravings get the best of you? Indulge in one serving of the craving every day but don’t overdo it! Too much salt is bad for you and your baby so try to eat as many healthy snacks between servings as possible. If eating is just not an option, chew on some gum or suck on hard candy with no sugar to calm nausea and stimulate saliva production which may make stomach contents less acidic. Lastly, take prenatal vitamins with folic acid which aids in digestion and absorption of iron into your blood stream. *If loose motions persist after following this advice*, consult your doctor before taking any other medications without their approval first because certain drugs are unsafe during pregnancy
Avoid high-fiber foods
Unfortunately, loose motion is a common ailment during pregnancy. It’s important that women keep their fiber intake low because high-fiber foods may increase the frequency of loose stools. A woman should avoid vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, spinach, beans and brussel sprouts. Whole grains are also a food to avoid while they can cause an increase in loose stools. Women should also try not to consume fruit juices or drink more than two caffeinated beverages per day because they can also increase the frequency of loose stools. An additional point of note is that women should be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day because dehydration can lead to an increased frequency of loose stools as well.
Try over-the-counter anti-diarrheal medications
Loose motions are a common symptom of pregnancy. If your loose motions don’t ease up over time, try over-the-counter anti-diarrheal medications like loperamide (Imodium AD) or diphenoxylate with atropine sulfate (Lomotil). Be sure not to take any medication without consulting your healthcare provider first. Loperamide can be purchased as a generic drug over the counter in the US. It is available by prescription in Europe and Japan. In Australia, it is sold as Immodium A-D and in India, it is sold under the brand name Lomotil.
It may seem contradictory for this symptom to occur during pregnancy because most people think that loose motions happen after eating too much greasy food or spicy food. However, loose stools can also happen during pregnancy due to hormonal changes that loosen muscles in the digestive tract and increase fluid volume throughout your body. Pregnant women often report having these symptoms because they have higher levels of progesterone which causes an increased risk of diarrhea while they are expecting their baby!
Don’t fret if you’re experiencing loose stools while expecting – there’s hope!
There are a few things that can help with loose motions during pregnancy:
– Get lots of rest. You will be more tired than usual, so try to sleep as much as you can.
– Avoid caffeinated drinks or foods high in caffeine (like chocolate). Caffeine is known for causing diarrhea, and the risk is increased during pregnancy. Avoiding these types of foods or drinks may help with your loose motions.
– Eat a healthy diet rich in fiber. This will help regulate your digestive system, which may also alleviate some of the symptoms. Adding more fiber to your diet can also make it easier to pass stools because it adds bulk, texture and weight to them. It can also help make your stool softer, making it less likely that they’ll cause an upset stomach. Foods high in fiber include beans, lentils, fresh fruit and vegetables like broccoli and cabbage. But if you still find yourself dealing with loose motions while trying to get better nutrition, talk to your doctor about how best to relieve the problem!