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When it comes to talking about bowel movements during pregnancy – and we do talk about them a lot - constipation seems to come up more than diarrhoea.
But did you know that, during early pregnancy, diarrhoea can be a very common symptom? From sudden changes in your diet, to hormones – diarrhoea can hit you for a number of reasons.
Medically, diarrhoea is defined as having three or more “loose” or “watery” bowel movements in a 24-hour period. If this describes your situation, your main concern should be your hydration levels.
While constipation, a more common pregnancy symptom, can be caused by changes in your hormones, diarrhoea is more likely to be caused by an external influence. These can include:
On discovering that you are pregnant, you might alter your diet to include more nutritional foods, liquids and supplements. These changes can initially upset your stomach and cause diarrhoea.
Diarrhoea might even be caused by a pre-natal vitamin that you have started taking. Let your midwife or doctor know if you think this is the case and they may be able to recommend a different brand that is gentler on your stomach and bowel movements.
A roaming stomach bug or a bout of food poisoning can also be responsible for regular runs to the bathroom.
It’s likely that diarrhoea will naturally clear up after a couple of days. To keep the discomfort and bathroom runs to a minimum during this time, give these tips a go:
Regardless of the severity of your diarrhoea, always call your doctor or midwife if:
When we travel overseas we open our bodies up to a number of foreign influences and diarrhoea is a common response to these.
Some countries pose a higher risk of diarrhoea than others, such as developing countries in South America, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. The main reason people get diarrhoea in these countries is from eating food or drinking water that is contaminated.
If you travel while pregnant, take these simple measures to help avoid getting diarrhoea in high-risk countries: