Pregnancy Information Center

Information, Symptoms, Treatments and Resources


Diarrhea During Pregnancy: Your Symptoms Manual


What Diarrhea During Pregnancy Is

Diarrhea is loose, soft, watery and frequent stool for which you'll probably need to go to the bathroom often. Diarrhea can happen at any time during your pregnancy.

Why Diarrhea During Pregnancy Happens

Diarrhea is usually caused by a bacterial or viral infection or food poisoning. Pregnancy may also worsen some bowel conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and Chron's disease. Hormones present during pregnancy, such as relaxin, may have an influence on bowel function, too. 

How to Relieve Diarrhea During Pregnancy 

  • Drink lots of water. Try to get about 12 to 14 glasses per day. This will replace the fluid you lose and make sure that your blood pressure remains normal. 
  • Try eating some dry toast or rice. 
  • You may need to test your stool for infection and get treatment, so check with your healthcare provider. 


What the Risks to Your Baby Are from Diarrhea During Pregnancy

If left untreated, diarrhea causes dehydration and loss of calories. This can put your baby at risk, so if you have diarrhea for an extended amount of time, or a lot of diarrhea, you may need to go to the hospital for replacement of fluids via an intravenous (IV) line.

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