For some women, pregnancy slows down bowel movement to the point of frequent constipation. For others, it speeds things up so you find yourself suddenly experiencing frequent, looser stools.
In and of itself, a little bit of diarrhea now and then is nothing to get anxious about and will cause no harm to baby. However, if after a couple of days your stools are still very frequent (more than three times a day) and watery, bloody or mucousy, check with your healthcare professional to rule out the possibility of food poisoning or any pregnancy complications. Severe constipation accompanied by abdominal pain, or severe diarrhea that lasts more than 24 hours is definitely a red flag – pregnant or otherwise. Also do note that diarrhea is often a pre-cursor of the labour process, so be especially vigilant during your last trimester, and nearer to your due date.
To help your body produce firmer stools, cut back on bowel-stimulating foods like dried fruits, and up your intake of “bulk” foods like bananas. Always drink lots of water to compensate for the extra water lost, to avoid dehydration.
If you’re not sure whether a symptom is serious, you feel out of sorts, or you’re just plain uneasy, trust your instincts and pay a visit to the nearest doctor or your gynae. If nothing’s wrong, you’ll be reassured. And if there is, well, at least you’ll get the treatment that you need early on.