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Many women experience diarrhoea during pregnancy. There can be many reasons for this, but it generally does little harm to your baby. Do you feel fine otherwise? No reason to panic! In this blog we will tell you about the causes of diarrhoea during pregnancy and what to look out for. You're bound to have lots of questions. Is it dangerous for my baby? Should I call a doctor if I have diarrhoea? How do I get rid of my diarrhea? Read on and let us relieve you...

How does diarrhoea develop during pregnancy?

If you suffer from (acute) diarrhoea, it can have several causes. Usually a virus or food infection is the culprit. Often you will have other symptoms besides diarrhoea, such as dizziness and cramps in the abdomen. If that is the case, contact your doctor immediately (Family physician). It could also be that your little one is pushing on your intestines. The more he grows, the more pressure he puts on your organs, so also on your bowels. It can change your digestion which can cause diarrhoea. Tension and stress can also cause diarrhoea (Pregnancy Portal). Try to relax sufficiently. Take enough rest and plan a moment for yourself on a regular basis. A nice bath does wonders!  

What should I do in case of diarrhoea?

If you feel fine otherwise, there is no reason to worry. The most important thing is that you drink enough. There is a high risk of dehydration with diarrhoea, so make sure you drink at least two to three litres of water a day. It is also important that you continue to eat well enough. Tip: eat a lot of fibre. Fibres absorb a lot of moisture so your stool will regain the right substance. Fruits, nuts, vegetables and whole grain products such as rye bread and whole grain pasta are full of fiber (Nutrition Centre). 

Should you experience other symptoms, it is advisable to contact your doctor or midwife. Symptoms may include fever, dehydration symptoms such as dark urine, blood or mucus in your stool, or diarrhoea that lasts longer than three to four days (Pregnancy Portal). Never use medication against diarrhoea without consulting your doctor. This can be harmful for your little one. ORS (oral rehydration fluid) can be used to prevent dehydration. This is a mixture of salts and glucose and is safe for you and your baby (Lareb). 

Can you prevent diarrhoea?

Unfortunately not, diarrhea is a part of life. However, you can reduce the chance of it happening. Pay attention to hygiene to prevent infections and viruses. And probably needless to say, avoid eating raw meat, raw fish or unpasteurized cheese at all times. These products contain the listeria bacteria which can cause an infection that can lead to a miscarriage or premature birth. The packaging of cheese can tell you whether it has been pasteurised or not. Does it say 'au lait cru'? Leave it on the shelf. Cheeses that say 'au lait pasteuris√©' or 'pasteurised' can be put on the shelves (Health Net). 

So relax, eat well and drink lots of water, and hopefully you'll be able to outrun the diarrhoea. And if not, follow our advice even better. Listen to your body and if you really don't trust it or want to be on the safe side, call the doctor!

Sources:

Health Net. (2014, August 12). What is raw milk cheese? Consulted from https://www.gezondheidsnet.nl/zwanger/wat-is-rauwmelkse-kaas

Lareb. (s.d.). Medicines for (acute) diarrhoea during pregnancy. Consulted from https://www.lareb.nl/tis-knowledge-screen?id=20

Home Doctor. (2016, May 3). I have a food infection. Consulted from https://www.thuisarts.nl/voedselinfectie/ik-heb-voedselinfectie#:%7E:text=Een%20voedselinfectie%20begint%20meestal%20met,veroorzaken%20hoofdpijn%2C%20spierpijn%20en%20koorts

Nutrition Center. (s.d.). Diarrhea. Consulted from https://www.voedingscentrum.nl/encyclopedie/diarree.aspx

Pregnancy Portal. (2020, June 19). Diarrhoea during pregnancy: what now? Consulted from https://www.zwangerenportaal.nl/zwanger/kwaaltjes-en-klachten/diarree-tijdens-de-zwangerschap-wat-nu