What causes diarrhea in the 13th week of pregnancy

Diarrhea in pregnancy

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Diarrhea in pregnancy is usually the result of a change in diet or physical changes. Usually it is then only light and often alternates with constipation. In the case of severe diarrhea, however, an infection is more likely. Here you can read everything you need to know about possible causes of diarrhea during pregnancy and what to look out for.

Diarrhea in Pregnancy - Acute or Chronic?

Basically, a doctor speaks of diarrhea if you have bowel movements more than three times a day. The consistency varies between soft, mushy or thin diarrhea.

Pregnancy is a time when some women have mild diarrhea, usually alternating with constipation and gas. But acute, severe diarrhea as a result of an infection is also possible. If the symptoms persist for more than four weeks, doctors speak of chronic diarrhea.

Possible causes of diarrhea in pregnancy

Diarrhea is not one of the "typical" symptoms of expectant mothers - the pregnancy hormones tend to cause constipation. Rather, the slight diarrhea is often the result of a change in diet: During pregnancy, many women resort to healthier foods, such as those with a lot of fiber. The bowel sometimes reacts to this with diarrhea. Pregnant women usually only need a little patience until their digestion has adapted to the new situation. For the healthy development of your child, you should still give preference to healthy foods.

As the pregnancy progresses, the growing uterus presses more and more on the intestines and impairs bowel movements. Constipation, but also diarrhea, can result.

If the due date is just around the corner, diarrhea also announces to pregnant women that things are about to begin - the child is coming!

Other causes of diarrhea during pregnancy are usually the same as outside of pregnancy. Diarrhea can therefore be caused, for example, by food allergies or intolerances, infections with viruses, bacteria or parasites, food poisoning, stress or incorrect diet and lifestyle. However, diarrhea during pregnancy can also be traveler's diarrhea. In addition, irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease can be responsible for diarrhea - even if you are not pregnant.

Diarrhea in pregnancy: when to be careful?

Severe diarrhea during pregnancy for more than three days can sometimes be dangerous. Due to the strong loss of fluid, the body dries out - it becomes dehydrated. Vital minerals are also lost along with the fluid. For example, a potassium deficiency (hypokalaemia) can occur. This can be critical for both mother and child.

In the event of prolonged and / or severe diarrhea during pregnancy, a doctor's visit is advisable. The same applies if you feel very dull and exhausted and feel no improvement or if the diarrhea is associated with pain, cramps, circulatory problems, fever, a general feeling of illness and / or even blood in your stool.

Medical treatment is also necessary if diarrhea in pregnancy is caused by an infection. A feared bacterial infectious disease in pregnancy is listeriosis. If it is passed on to the unborn child, premature or stillbirth can occur.

Any diarrhea during pregnancy can also lead to a bacterial infection of the vaginal environment through smear infection (bacterial vaginosis). This can trigger premature labor, rupture of the amniotic sac and premature delivery and must therefore also be treated.

Diarrhea During Pregnancy: What To Do By Yourself

In principle, the same general tips apply to harmless diarrhea during pregnancy as to diarrhea outside of pregnancy. To prevent serious fluid and salt loss, you should drink enough. For example, still mineral water, clear broth and tea (see below) are suitable. Peace and warmth are also helpful. Also try to avoid malnutrition.

The following dietary measures will help with recovery:

  • Avoid milk, coffee beans, and acidic drinks like fruit juices.
  • Fennel tea has a final gas and calming effect.
  • Chamomile tea has a soothing effect on the lining of the stomach and intestines.
  • The tannins in black tea have a constipating effect.
  • Eat easily digestible foods such as noodle soup, toasted bread or rusks.
  • Avoid eggs, meat, butter, high-fat foods, and bloating vegetables (cabbage vegetables, legumes).
  • Carrot vegetables, grated raw apple, and mashed banana have a constipating effect. Bananas also provide potassium.

Medication for diarrhea in pregnancy

The doctor can prescribe an electrolyte replacement solution to counteract the increased loss of fluids caused by diarrhea during pregnancy. Furthermore, natural medicines such as charcoal tablets, apple pectin and kaolin (clay / china clay) are considered to be relatively harmless in the case of diarrhea during pregnancy. Nevertheless, discuss the intake with a doctor first.

The effect of pharmaceutical drugs against diarrhea, the so-called antidiarrheal drugs, is based on the immobilization of the gastrointestinal muscles. Special care should be taken with these agents during pregnancy. Your doctor should carefully weigh the risks and benefits. Therefore, take medicines for Diarrhea in pregnancy only after consultation with a doctor!

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