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Let’s be real: Everybody poops (except maybe Rihanna). But when you’re pregnant, doing your business isn’t always business as usual. So don’t be shook if you’re jogging to the john more often.
Your hard-working pregnant bod is going through a lot right now, and for some women that means more and messier bowel movements (cool cool cool).
Never fear, though — we’ve got you covered. You’ll want to hydrate like an athlete and even take note of color changes (gross but true).
Scroll on to discover what preggo diarrhea may be trying to tell you and to peep some helpful remedies.
If you experience three or more watery No. 2s in a day, it’s considered diarrhea.
There could be a handful of pregnancy-related reasons why some women experience the dreaded D:
Sudden diet changes
When you find out you’re carrying a mini-you, you may make some positive changes to your diet, which can sometimes lead to diarrhea or an upset stomach.
New sensitivities to old faves
Maybe you never leave the house without that emergency bag of Cool Ranch Doritos, but the new, pregnant you may be too sensitive to enjoy them right now (rats!).
While all pregnant women go through hormonal changes, only some experience diarrhea early in pregnancy. In fact, diarrhea can be an early pregnancy symptom for some women.
What happens is, hormones decide to slow down your digestive process, which can lead to diarrhea, gas, or constipation (yay).
The release of a hormone called prostaglandin causes contractions in your uterus. This is the same pesky hormone that causes diarrhea in some women during their period.
These are not only excellent (read: essential) for the health of baby and momma, they also give you glossy hair and Wolverine-like nails. But that doesn’t mean they’re flawless — they may upset your belly and cause diarrhea.
You’ve got a lot on your plate. With fluctuating hormones and added pressure on your body, you may have stress to thank for diarrhea.
There’s a chance your diarrhea isn’t related to your pregnancy. You may want to rule out these other possibilities with your doctor:
Each pregnancy is unique: Some women experience diarrhea, and some don’t.
It may happen early in your pregnancy, while your body is adjusting to all the hormonal changes. But it’s more common closer to the finish line — in your third trimester (weeks 28 through 40). This is probably because your bod is getting ready for the big day.
Believe it or not, it’s not unusual to get the runs right before going into labor. But no need to fret. If your bod kicks diarrhea up a few notches around this time, it doesn’t mean your baby is coming any sooner.
OK, it’s not the cutest color palette to think about, but these colors can clue you in to what’s going on in your gut.
The brown color we’re used to is a lovely mix of bacterial waste and dead red blood cells (gorgeous).
Stomach bile is usually yellow, but the bacteria in your gut override it and give everything that brown hue. That’s not the bacteria’s only job — they also help you soak up important nutrients from your meals.
So, when your business isn’t brown, it may mean it didn’t have enough time to digest in your gut. When you see colors other than brown in the bowl, it probably means your food rushed through your system, not giving bacteria enough time to do their thing.
If you’re seeing green, it’s probably because you’ve been grazing on greens.
A green diet is the most common cause of green poo. Spinach, broccoli, kale, and even blueberries can all add a splash of color to your business.
This is because vegetables and even dark green powder supplements have a ton of chlorophyll (a chemical that lets plants get energy from the sun), which can give your poop a green glow.
But this isn’t a reason to quit eating your veggies — don’t put yourself in kale jail!
This rule also applies to artificially colored foods. Anything smothered in green, blue, black, or even purple food coloring may give your poop a St. Patrick’s Day makeover.
Other possible reasons for the green:
- antibiotics or other meds
- overuse of laxatives
- bacteria, parasites, or viruses
- anal fissures (tiny tears in your anal tissue)
- digestive conditions like Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis, and celiac disease
Gluten proteins like those in bread and cereal could be the culprit for the mellow yellow. But it could also mean there’s extra fat in your poop, which could be due to celiac disease.
Back in black
A gothic aesthetic could come from something as simple as black licorice, Pepto-Bismol, or even iron supplements. On the flip side, it could also indicate stomach bleeding. Your doctor can solve this puzzle.
If there’s bleeding going on in your gut, it may pop up in your poop. Again, anal fissures or certain medications could be the culprit, but so can food or drinks with real or fake shades of red (just like green).
Red diarrhea can also be a side effect of E. coli — an infection you can get from swigging raw milk, noshing on undercooked beef, or eating food infected with animal feces (yikes, yikes, yikes).
Occasionally, extra bowel movements can aggravate polyps, which are growths on the colon that are sometimes a sign of colorectal cancer.
Hemorrhoids are also common during pregnancy and can be another reason for blood in your poo.
Remember: Visiting your doctor is the only way to know why you’re rocking any shade other than brown.
Most diarrhea bouts clear up in a few days. Stay hydrated and give it a little time.
Ditch the quick fix
Over-the-counter antidiarrheal meds are not for everyone and may even make things worse. Talk with your doctor before tossing them in your shopping cart.
Is it my meds?
If your medication is the culprit, it’s possible your body will adapt to it and things will calm down. But if diarrhea persists, it’s time to have a word with your doctor.
Cancel problematic foods
You may live for a latte, but some food groups only encourage the runs.
Avoid these guys:
- dairy products
- fried foods
- high fiber foods
- high fat foods
- spicy foods
Pro tip: Keeping a food journal can help you remember which foods open the floodgates.
These chill menu options are known for being nice and easy on your gut:
- sweet potatoes
You’ll want to replace some of the vitamins, minerals, and electrolytes your bod has wiped out. You can do this easily with juice (to raise you potassium levels) and broth (to help your bod restock on sodium). Not a bad deal.
You’re not only eating for two but also hydrating for two. Pregnant women need even more water than everyone else, whether or not they have diarrhea.
Diarrhea wipes out a ton of fluid from your body, causing dehydration. Dehydration can happen hella fast and can be very serious if you’re preggo.
You can avoid dehydration during your pregnancy by downing at least 10 cups of water daily.