Should I be pooping a lot during pregnancy? Will I go from one extreme to the other in relation to bowel movements? How do I deal with this?
During pregnancy, your body goes through many changes. Your digestive and excretory systems are no different. So to address this question, we will look at these changes and how they affect your bowel movements. Also, we’ll look at what you can do to address these issues.
This information would help in maintaining a healthy and (dare I say?) comfortable pregnancy.
Anticipating Bowel Changes
During pregnancy, the rise in progesterone levels causes your kidneys to filter blood more quickly and efficiently. In other words, they start working in overtime. On the other hand, this hormone change also causes your intestines to digest and pass food more slowly.
This, on top of the uterus resting more on the colon, gets in the way of the bowels passing waste. This can cause changes in the frequency of bowel movements. Sometimes this results in constipation or diarrhea.
Thus, you should anticipate these changes and prepare accordingly by making adjustments to your diet. Increasing your intake of water helps this matter as well.
What to do when not pooping a lot during pregnancy
The most important thing to remember when you’re not pooping a lot during pregnancy is to refrain from taking stool softeners or laxatives. You would need to consult with your doctor first before taking any medication. Another detail to keep in mind is that if your prenatal vitamin contains iron, then that might affect your bowel movements.
The first step toward prevention of constipation is to adjust your diet accordingly by including more sources of fiber, such as:
- Leafy, green vegetables
- Fruits and berries
- Whole grain breads and cereals
And of course, drinking water regularly helps. Constipation is actually avoidable during pregnancy.
The Opposite Issue: More Often than Usual
If you are experiencing the opposite situation, then you would need to know the difference between pooping a lot during pregnancy and diarrhea.
As mentioned, the number of bowel movements per day might increase due to hormonal changes. However there are other factors that play a role like the following:
- Change in diet to include more vegetables and fruits
- Increase water intake
- Preexisting digestive conditions like Celiac, IBS, and Crohn’s disease
Nonetheless, if you experience diarrhea, then you might need to consult your doctor if it lasts more than a day or two. This can be a sign of a virus or another type of infection like food poisoning. Also, staying hydrated is imperative for both you and your baby.
What does green poop pregnant mean?
Along with other bowel changes, you’ll notice green poop pregnant. This is quite common. If you take a prenatal supplement with iron, you will poop green. Likewise, if you eat more foods like broccoli, spinach, and Brussel sprouts, then the fecal color will change.
Also, if you get sick and have to take an antibiotic, a side effect might be green poop. This only lasts until medication is completely gone from your system.
Again, chronic digestive conditions like ulcerative colitis, celiac, and IBS will result in green feces due to a flare-up. At this point, you might need to consult your obstetrician or GI doctor to look at options for treatment that are safe for the baby.
[ Read : How to Maintain Your Health during Pregnancy ]
Will This Harm the Baby?
In the case of constipation, if you take a laxative that is not suitable for use during pregnancy, the answer might be “yes.” Such can be the situation with any medication. So you should talk to your doctor before taking anything.
If the situation involves short-term illness, like a virus or infection, you would also need to take extra caution. A chronic condition would also require close monitoring by a physician.
Basically, if you are following doctor’s orders and incorporating healthy foods and drinking plenty of water, then both you and your baby will reap the benefits. Thus, it’s a win-win situation for the both of you.
An important take-away is to maintain a balanced diet throughout your pregnancy to avoid any bowel issues. They can be prevented.
Moreover, if you are taking your prenatal vitamins and incorporating more vegetables than before, then expect changes in color. However, these changes are a normal reaction.
With careful regard to pre-pregnancy digestive issues, a doctor will closely monitor. This is most effective if you communicate openly about any symptoms or changes.
So remember the following to avoid bowel issues:
- Drink plenty of water
- Choose healthy foods
- Exercise regularly but cautiously
- Call the doctor at the first sign of trouble, like a stomach virus or infection
Do you have a story to share or some questions on this topic? We would love to hear from you.