How to Stop Diarrhea When Pregnant

Diarrhea, or loose, watery stools, is a problem that sometimes happens during pregnancy; however, Baby Center notes that constipation is usually more of a problem. There are a number of reasons you could have diarrhea. Food intolerance, food poisoning, fecal impaction, side effects of medication or impending labor can all cause diarrhea. Regardless of the cause, you are likely to want to stop the diarrhea as soon as possible. However, for a pregnant woman, taking anti-diarrhea medications isn't safe, so other methods to stop the diarrhea must be used.

Pregnant woman speaking with a doctor. Credit: byryo/iStock/Getty Images

Step 1

Increase your water intake and stop drinking fruit juice, sugary drinks or milk, which can make diarrhea worse. Diarrhea may cause dehydration, which can be harmful to you and your baby. Staying well hydrated also helps to flush out any impurities in your intestines that may be causing diarrhea.

Step 2

Eat a bland food diet comprised of bananas, rice, apples and toast. This is also known as the BRAT diet. Also add easy-to-digest lean protein like ground turkey, cooked vegetables like carrots, yogurt with live cultures and starchy foods like potatoes, notes What to Expect. You should follow this diet until the diarrhea stops. If it doesn't stop within two days, a trip to the doctor is warranted.

Step 3

Think about things you have changed in the past few days. If you started taking any new medications, that may be the cause. Food borne illness or a stomach virus may also cause diarrhea, so think about the things you have eaten and figure out if you have been exposed to any illnesses. If you have been constipated and suddenly develop diarrhea, but still feel bloated, you may be suffering from fecal impaction. If this is the case, a trip to the doctor is in order. If medication is the cause of your constipation, talk to your doctor to determine if you can stop taking the medication or if you can change to a different medication. If food-borne illness or fecal impaction is the cause, stay hydrated and follow the BRAT diet and the diarrhea should run its course.

Tips

Contact your doctor if you have more than three bouts of diarrhea per day, if your diarrhea lasts for more than a day, if you have bloody mucus in your diarrhea or if your diarrhea seems explosive. Also, if you start to have contractions or feel that you are dehydrated -- excessive thirst, tacky skin and scant or dark urine are signs of dehydration -- contact your doctor.

Is This an Emergency?

If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
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