Constipation is very common during pregnancy and is often the outcome of pregnancy, caused by hormonal changes or due to pressure of the enlarged uterus on the rectum. However, loose motions in pregnancy are almost always due to some external cause and should therefore never be taken lightly. The biggest problem of loose motions during pregnancy is that it can lead to dehydration and malabsorption of food, both of which can affect the developing fetus adversely.
Severe diarrhea in the first trimester has been known to cause spontaneous abortions; whereas, in the last trimester, it can trigger preterm labor pains. The scary part is that it is not advisable to randomly use any antibiotic to treat a gastrointestinal infection that could be responsible for producing loose motions during pregnancy because this drug may cause side-effects or may affect the unborn child’s health.
It is better to avoid getting infected in the first place; and if you do land up with an infection, you should try to tackle the problem naturally as far as possible. Loose motions can be caused during pregnancy by bacteria, viruses, or parasites, which usually gain entry into the body due to the consumption of contaminated water or food. Hence, drinking purified water, eating well-cooked food, and washing one’s hands before and after every meal is recommended.
Knowing the cause of diarrhea during pregnancy is very important. Therefore, if you are pregnant and suffer from diarrhea, you should get investigated thoroughly to find out what is giving rise to the loose motions. Routine stool examination, ultrasonography of the abdomen, and blood tests are useful in detecting common infections. If some other underlying pathology is suspected, more specific diagnostic tests may be required. Simple home remedies should be tried out first for a day or two before consulting a doctor and starting off with medicines.
You should drink an oral rehydration solution at regular intervals to prevent dehydration and electrolyte imbalances. Eating amla (Indian gooseberry), apples, pomegranate seeds, and a mixture of banana in curds can help to control the loose motions naturally. Foods made of maida such as white bread can help to bind the stools. A high fiber diet should be avoided for a few days when you are suffering from loose motions. Non-vegetarian food should also be completely restricted till the gastrointestinal tract feels normal again.