5 Ways To Manage Diarrhoea In Pregnancy


Diarrhoea can be a real discomfort, and when you’re pregnant, it can add an extra layer of worry. This guide explores 5 effective ways to manage diarrhoea and get you feeling better, faster.



Why do pregnant women experience diarrhoea?  

Pregnant women experience diarrhoea due to hormonal changes that affect digestion, or from common causes like food sensitivities and infections.




Signs of diarrhoea 

The main sign of diarrhoea is loose or watery stools more than three times a day. 

Other common signs include:

Abdominal cramps or pain


Urgent need to use the bathroom

Nausea or vomiting

If you are experiencing these symptoms, it is important to stay hydrated and see a doctor if the diarrhoea is severe or lasts for more than a few days.



Causes of diarrhoea during pregnancy 

Diarrhoea can have many causes, but the most common ones are:

Viruses: Rotavirus is the most common cause of viral diarrhoea in children, while norovirus is the most common cause in adults. Other viruses that can cause diarrhoea include adenovirus, astrovirus, and sapovirus.


Bacteria: Common bacterial causes of diarrhoea include E. coli, Salmonella, Shigella, and Campylobacter. These bacteria can be spread through contaminated food or water, or contact with an infected person.


Parasites: Giardia lamblia is a common parasite that can cause diarrhoea. It is spread through contaminated water or food or contact with an infected person.


Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD): Chronic inflammatory conditions like Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis involve persistent inflammation in the digestive tract, leading to recurrent diarrhoea, rectal bleeding, and abdominal pain.


Malabsorption syndromes: Conditions like celiac disease, where the body attacks gluten, or cystic fibrosis, which affects pancreatic enzyme production, can impair nutrient absorption, resulting in chronic diarrhoea, weight loss, and malnutrition.


Stress and anxiety: The gut-brain connection is real. Emotional stress and anxiety can trigger diarrhoea in some individuals, highlighting the mind-body link in health.


Hormonal changes: Women may experience diarrhea during menstruation or pregnancy due to hormonal fluctuations.


Food intolerance: This is when your body has trouble digesting certain foods, such as lactose (the sugar in milk) or fructose (a sugar found in fruits and honey).


Food poisoning: This is caused by eating food that has been contaminated with bacteria, toxins, or viruses.


Medications: Some medications, such as antibiotics, can cause diarrhoea as a side effect.


Medical conditions: Certain medical conditions, such as Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and irritable bowel syndrome, can also cause diarrhea.


Surgery: Abdominal surgery can sometimes lead to temporary diarrhoea.


Artificial sweeteners: Some artificial sweeteners, such as sorbitol and mannitol, can cause diarrhea if consumed in large quantities.



5 ways to manage diarrhoea in pregnancy 

Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of fluids, like water, clear broths, or oral rehydration solutions, to prevent dehydration.


Eat bland foods: Choose easily digestible foods like bananas, rice, toast, and crackers. Avoid greasy, spicy, or fatty foods.


Consider probiotics: Probiotics may help restore the balance of good bacteria in your gut. Talk to your doctor about safe options during pregnancy.


Get enough rest: Allow your body time to heal and recover.


Avoid certain medications: Over-the-counter anti-diarrheal medications may not be safe during pregnancy. Consult your doctor before taking any medication.


While most cases of diarrhoea during pregnancy resolve naturally, it’s crucial to stay hydrated and manage symptoms. Drinking plenty of fluids, eating bland foods, considering probiotics, and avoiding certain triggers can help. Remember, if diarrhoea persists for more than 2-3 days or becomes severe, consult your doctor to prevent dehydration and ensure the well-being of both you and your baby.



Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I eat bread to stop diarrhoea?

Yes, you can eat white bread or toast to help stop diarrhoea. It is part of the BRAT diet (Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, and Toast) which is a bland diet that is easy to digest and can help firm up your stools.


Why do I feel weak when I have diarrhoea?

Dehydration from lost fluids and electrolytes is the main reason you feel weak during diarrhoea.


Can I take medications for diarrhoea during pregnancy?

You should not take any medications for diarrhoea during pregnancy without first speaking to your doctor. While some medications, like loperamide (Imodium), are generally considered safe during pregnancy, it is important to get your doctor’s advice to ensure the medication is appropriate for you and your specific situation.



Join over 200,000 Nigerian preggos in Nigeria's largest online antenatal class, PreggClass. Not all your antenatal concerns and questions will be answered in the hospital. With only N10,000, you gain 24/7 access to medical professionals, practical classes, live sessions, labour, delivery and motherhood classes. For more information, contact us on WhatsApp.