Loose motions are a common occurrence during the period of pregnancy. Diarrhoea or loose motion is watery or loose stools passed more than 3 to 4 times in a day. It may be associated with nausea and vomiting, stomach ache, fever or headache.
Moderate intensity of both constipation and diarrhoea are experienced during pregnancy as a result of hormonal changes and the growing baby. Loose motion during pregnancy is common in the first and third trimesters. Loose motions in the third trimester indicate that the body is getting ready for forthcoming labour. However, it is not to be considered as a sign of onset of labour.
Most times, causes of loose motion during pregnancy are the same as those occurring in non-pregnant women or men.
Incidences of loose motions increase during pregnancy, especially in the first trimester due to the various dietary changes made by the expectant mother. These include the following:
Loose motions may also occur in pregnant women suffering from autoimmune disorders like ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease and irritable bowel syndrome. Pregnant women are more prone to suffer from loose motions, while they are travelling (traveller’s diarrhoea) from contaminated food and water and lack of hygiene.
Precautionary measures to prevent loose motion while travellinginclude:
Loose motion in 9th month of pregnancy or in the third trimester arises due to the biological changes that occur in the body when preparing for labour. Thus, these cannot be prevented and are normal.
Mild to moderate degree of loose motions normally do not have any adverse effects on the baby. However, if there is dehydration can lead to preterm labour.
Research has shown that active autoimmune diseases (Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis and irritable bowel syndrome) during pregnancy have led to delivery of premature babies or low birth weight babies and in rare cases even foetal death.
Disclaimer: The information in the article is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your doctor.