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Can diarrhea and pregnancy cause miscarriage in pregnant mothers?

Updated on:14 September 2021, 10:32am IST
If you’re someone who believes that diarrhea and constipation can cause harm to your baby, this is what you need to know.
Geetika Sachdev
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healthy eating during pregnancy
Watch what you eat when you're pregnant. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
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Pregnancy is no child’s play, don’t we already know that? Although there are certain common challenges that expectant mothers face, others vary from person to person. But it’s pretty natural that whatever you may go through, the very first thought that comes to mind is, “Will it affect my child?”.  Well, call it maternal instinct or concern, but this is bound to happen. 

Of course, there are tiny hiccups that are a part of pregnancy, but what if diarrhea and constipation happen? Is it something to be scared about? Do miscarriages happen due to this? This is a valid concern, because the cramps that are associated with diarrhea are similar when it comes to miscarriage. Some mothers panic at the thought of straining during a bowel movement, because what if it harms the foetus? 

“It is a concern that is fair. That’s because both your uterus and bowels use the same muscles, but the bodily systems are not the same. So, your body knows what’s going on,” explains Dr Rashmi Tarachandani, a renowned general physician. 

Do your bathroom habits affect pregnancy?

To be very honest, it is the other way around. Your hormones are at play during pregnancy, and they could affect your bowel movements in a big way. Your body could also use fluids differently, which is why it’s quite common for expectant mothers to suffer from diarrhea and constipation. In most cases, these conditions get better on their own. But if diarrhea continues for a few days, it could mean you have an infection. 

“Make sure you see a doctor if your diarrhea persists for more than three days, and if you have fever along with it. You could also face severe abdominal or rectum pain. If there’s blood in your stool, it could also be a cause for concern. These symptoms could affect your pregnancy, but not lead to a miscarriage,” adds Dr Tarachandani, sharing that some women also go through severe signs of dehydration

diarrhea and constipation
Diarrhea and constipation are more common in the early stages of pregnancy. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Here’s what you can do

In case you are struggling with diarrhea, have lots of water and drink plenty of fluids. “Steer clear of milk or fruit juices because you might feel worse. Also, when you are pregnant, taking over-the-counter medicines is never a good idea. Speak to your doctor, before making a decision,” says Dr Tarachandani. 

In the case of constipation, try to drink an adequate amount of fluids, and eat a wholesome diet that is rich in fibre. Also, make sure to include some movement in your daily routine. Do not take medication on your own at all; your doctor might suggest a laxative, in case the problem persists. 

Geetika Sachdev Geetika Sachdev

An independent writer and journalist, Geetika loves sharp and fresh humour, just like her coffee! If not writing, you'll find her cafe-hopping and raiding the best book stores in town.