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Diarrhea when pregnant

Feel free to skip this definition, because diarrhea is probably one of those things you pretty much know when you have it. For those lucky few who are unfamiliar with diarrhea, it is defined as loose, watery, and frequent bowel movements. While diarrhea can certainly be a nuisance, during pregnancy it can be a sign that your digestive system is working smoothly, so you should not be overly concerned by it unless your stools are bloody, contain mucus, or are entirely liquid.

What causes it?

Although diarrhea could be a result of factors like food poisoning or the flu, generally during pregnancy it is a result of your changing lifestyle. Eating higher-quality foods rich in fiber, lack of drinking water, or the ingredients in your pre-natal vitamin may be the culprit behind diarrhea. Although over half of all expectant moms will experience diarrhea at some point during their pregnancy, its occurrence is far less common than the other end of the bowel movement spectrum, constipation.


The BRAT diet of bananas, rice, applesauce and toast has been recommended to help treat diarrhea due to their being easy on the digestive system, but isn’t commonly used now, and is lacking in some nutritional areas. Vegetables, lean meats and yogurt are other foods that could help with your diarrhea. You may want to avoid fatty and fried foods, and soda, as these could exacerbate your diarrhea. If you are losing weight, have a fever, or if the diarrhea persists for more than 2-3 days, it’s best to call your healthcare provider. You should also let him or her know if you are vomiting, or having trouble drinking fluids and keeping food down.

Reviewed by Dr. Jamie Lo
Read more
  • Elizabeth Wolfenden. “BRAT Diet for Pregnancy.” Livestrong. Livestrong, 7/8/2015. Web.
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