Diarrhoea during pregnancy: what are the solutions?

Diarrhée pendant la grossesse : quelles sont les solutions ?

Digestive disorders are a common complaint during pregnancy. It's an intestinal inconvenience that, fortunately, is mostly benign. But this is not always the case: how is diarrhea treated? What causes it? We explain it all in this article.

Why does diarrhea occur during pregnancy?

The pregnancy is a time of life when many symptoms appear. Often benign, it is possible that certain effects on the body are not directly linked to pregnancy. There are many possible causes of diarrhea.

Pregnancy symptoms

When you're pregnant, your body tends to secrete much more progesterone. This hormone slows down intestinal transit. This can sometimes lead to constipation. When people are constipated, they tend to supplement their mineral intake, which can also lead to diarrhoea. If you also tend to be stressed during pregnancy, it's possible that your anxiety is generating diarrhoea.

Some women adopt a much more balanced diet when they're pregnant, to make sure they meet the baby's needs. If you adopt a much higher-fiber diet, your intestinal transit changes, and colic can occur as a result.

In late pregnancy, frequent bowel movements can also be a sign of the onset of labor.

Iron supplementation

Many pregnant women are prescribed iron supplements. Iron supplementation helps treat anaemia, but can sometimes lead to watery stools or constipation.

Other causes

But as we explained earlier, diarrhea can have a wide variety of causes:

  • Food poisoning : for pregnant women, it's particularly important to be careful about the choice and preservation of food. Particular vigilance is advised, as certain bacteria such as listeria or salmonella can actually be dangerous for the foetus;
  • Gastroenteritis : even when pregnant, it's possible to get gastroenteritis, especially if you're in contact with people who have the disease, or during an epidemic;
  • Functional colopathy, also known as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), can also be discovered by chance during pregnancy (even if unrelated).

What are the symptoms of diarrhoea in pregnant women?

Diarrhea manifests itself in a number of ways during pregnancy:

  • Liquid or loose stools, in fairly large quantities;
  • High frequency (more than 3 bowel movements per day);
  • Abdominal cramps and bloating;
  • Des nausea ;
  • Vomiting;
  • fever.

The various symptoms and the patient's medical condition will helpidentify the cause of the diarrhea, which may be viral, infectious, bacterial or functional.

What are the risks of diarrhea?

Although diarrhea is usually benign, it does present risks.


The first risk is dehydration. This is the most important and dangerous complication of an episode of acute diarrhea.

Weight loss and chronic fatigue

Dehydration also entails other risks, such as constant fatigue, which can lead to dizziness, for example, or weight loss.

How to stop diarrhoea during pregnancy?

The first thing to do if you experience diarrhoea is to contact your GP. It's best to contact a general practitioner rather than your midwife or gynecologist, as it's very likely that the colic is not pregnancy-related at all.

Your doctor will be able to determine the cause and, if necessary, refer you to another specialist. In all cases, we advise against self-medication: certain medications are contraindicated during pregnancy.

While you're waiting for your appointment with your health care professional, you can simply adopt simple gestures by changing certain aspects of your diet: you can, for example, give preference to rice, pasta, potatoes, wheat - all foods that will help reduce abundant diarrhoea. It is advisable to reduce certain foods, such as raw vegetables, dairy products, coffee and tea.

Diarrhea at the end of pregnancy: is it a sign of premature labor?

Diarrhea is not a sign of miscarriage or premature labor. Some women experience these symptoms at the onset of labor, in which case it's best to refer to your due date to find out when labor is expected to begin.

When should I consult a doctor about pregnancy diarrhoea?

When diarrhea is accompanied by other symptoms such as fever over 38.5 degrees or bleeding, it's advisable to consult a doctor to establish the cause and rule out bacterial infection, food poisoning or other parasite infection. In addition, if symptoms last more than 2 days or worsen, it's important to seek medical advice.

If you're pregnant and already have signs of premature delivery with an altered cervix, it's important to make sure that frequent bowel movements aren't accompanied by uterine contractions that are mistaken for intestinal cramps.

Pregnancy diarrhoea FAQs

Is it normal to have diarrhea in early pregnancy?

Diarrhea in early pregnancy can occur in women who change their eating habits to suit their baby's needs.

Can diarrhea be a sign of miscarriage?

Diarrhea is not a symptom of miscarriage. However, it can lead to digestive spasms, which can stimulate the uterus and cause contractions. In the event of persistent diarrhea, it is advisable to consult your referring practitioner.

Is diarrhea dangerous for pregnant women?

In most cases, diarrhea is harmless and nothing to worry about. Natural prevention is enough to avoid the risks. However, if the diarrhoea persists, we advise you to consult a specialist as soon as possible.

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The information contained in the articles on www-elia-lingerie.com is general information only. Although reviewed by health professionals, this information is not error-free, does not constitute health advice or consultation, and is not intended to provide a diagnosis or suggest a course of treatment. Under no circumstances may this information be used as a substitute for medical advice or consultation with a healthcare professional. If you have any questions, please consult your doctor.