In the early stages of pregnancy, diarrhoea is common. This can happen due to a sudden change in diet. Many pregnant women start to eat more healthily, consuming increased amounts of fruit, vegetables and wholegrain foods. The intestines may not be used to that at first and can react with loose bowel movements.
Stress and hormonal changes can also go hand-in-hand with diarrhoea.
Pregnant women also have a slightly weakened immune system, which can lead to infections. This can also be a cause of diarrhoea.
If you attribute diarrhoea to a change in what you're eating, give your stomach a few days to get used to the new diet. However, if you feel exhausted and unwell, consult a doctor about your symptoms.
Probiotics can also be of help. They support the growth of a healthy intestinal flora, which in turn has a regulating effect on the immune system.
Constipation in pregnancy can have various causes. As the baby grows in the womb the uterus expands, which can often put pressure on the rectum. This can lead to constipation.
Hormonal changes result in food passing more slowly through the gastrointestinal tract, which can be a further cause of constipation.
Pregnant women also suffer from water retention. Water is drawn away from the intestines, leaving the partially digested waste material drier. This is also a cause of constipation in pregnancy.
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