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Loose Stools

What is the opposite of constipation? Loose stools are little talked about, but quite common part of pregnancy. Pregnant women everywhere will complain about how constipated they are, but they rarely mention when they are having loose stools, either out of relief, or embarrassment.

Why do some women have loose stools? In most pregnancies, women will experience times of both constipation and diarrhea. Loose stools are obviously easier to tolerate, considering the condition doesn’t cause pain and hemorrhoids or lead to hours sitting on the toilet trying to get relief.

Loose stools in pregnancy can symbolize different things at different times. During early pregnancy, it can be a sign you are pregnant, as your uterus starts to grow and pushes out the waste. It can also be caused by your prenatal vitamin, just as constipation can be caused by the prenatal vitamin. All pregnancies and women are different.

Loose stools after the 37th week of pregnancy can signify the onset of labor. As your baby shifts and begins to drop, taking pressure off of your intestines and colon, you may begin experiencing diarrhea. It doesn’t mean labor will start that day, but it is a good sign that labor will start soon!

Some people even complain of smelly stools while pregnant. This can be caused by hormone changes and the food you eat, but it might also be caused by a virus. If you have smelly stools you should talk to your doctor. Likewise, while some women will have diarrhea throughout their entire pregnancies, if you are bothered by it, bring it up to your care provider and see if they have any options for you.

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57 Comments on "Loose Stools"

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2 years 11 months ago

I had this same issue, turns out I’m “pregnancy induced lactose intolerant.” Cut out the dairy ladies

Myoma Kapya
3 years 1 month ago

I am trying to conceive and I have been experiencing tummy cramps and running stomach then yesterday my periods started but the flow is not heavy as usual and I had very bad cramps. I was also nauseous . Could I be pregnant? I want to go and see a doctor.

1st time pregnancy
3 years 1 month ago

I am around 9 weeks and have this ongoing off and on since I found out I was pregnant. The first round was at about 4 weeks and I put it down to my prenatal vitamin so I stopped taking it and switched to something else. I’m now experiencing annoying diarrhoea and uncomfortable stomach cramping at awkward hours of the day or night. It is horrible. I’m relieved to find I am not the only sufferer!

4 years 1 month ago

I am 33weeks n am having serious watery stool it has been happening to me for some months now it comes and go and my matron just advised me to take flagyl drug am so confused I hope the baby is not trying to come out please helpme

4 years 1 month ago

i am normally begins loose motions 3 or 4 days prior to my period.. i want a baby. went i get loose motion i loose my hope every month. is it possible to be pregnent even though i am experiencing loose motion???? have some one experienced these kind of situation???

7 years 7 months ago

I am 36 weeks pregnant with my second child
I am only measuring 31 cm
I fainted at work today and also noticed that my bowels were loose and green in color
Should I be worried?

7 years 7 months ago

Is blood normal in these stools??

7 years 7 months ago

I am two months pregnant of my first pregnancy, i have been stooling for 4days is it normal? what should i do?

7 years 10 months ago

To Lisa – You are on Levaquin? What did your OB say about that? Benefits outweigh the risks?

7 years 10 months ago
Hi ladies I’m about 9 weeks pregnant with my second child. About a week ago I woke at 2am with horrible runs then all that day I had the urge/feeling I should be sitting on the toilet all day. The night before it all started after dinner, the gurgling noise and rumbling. I thought I may have had a bug or food poison. The runs lasted all that first day and ever since it’s been the very very loose stools very frequent. I’m too scared to leave the house and have been feeling a bit depressed about it. Since I… Read more »
7 years 10 months ago

hi all, i’m the same post before this…turns out i had a bacterial infection in my digestive tract called aeromonas-hydrophilla caviae. i am on a 10 day course of levaquin (a class c med and frightening) but hoping that does the trick. also my dr said there is a difference between having loose stools and diarrhea. diarrhea is going 3 or more times a day and that is when you should see a doctor.

7 years 10 months ago
hi all, im 14 weeks and i’ve had loose stools since week 4. multiple times a day and wakes me up at night too. my gyn referred me to my pcp to get a stool sample. they both agree this is not a normal symptom which freaks me out but after reading everyones comments, it seems possible to be a symptom of pregnancy. they want to check for c-diff and other possibilities..all of which can not be treated while you are pregnant. if they dont find anything then they will send me to a gi specialist. they are taking this… Read more »
7 years 10 months ago

I’m in my fourth pregnancy and have has loose stools with all. Just be careful as pregant women tend to get dehydrated faster and easier than non-pregnant women. My 2 year-old had the stomach bug and mommy got it as well. Needless to say I was in the ER with IV less than 10 hours once I started!

8 years 3 days ago

HEY i m 9th month pregnant .. and having black stool with loose motions .. is it normal ??

8 years 25 days ago

I’m SO glad I read this article!!! I was beginning to panic, now I can relax knowing it’s all normal.

8 years 2 months ago
OK, so this is normal?! First of all, Im almost 27 and I just took a test a day ago, because I was 3 days late from my period, and I have been very regular. (even off of BC) When it said yes I almost fainted, so we took another that ALSO said YES! we have not been trying and although I had gotten off birth control about 3-4 months ago, we have been practicing lots of contraceptive measures, SOOO not sure I guess God thought it may be the right time. However, for about the last week I have… Read more »
8 years 2 months ago

I am 22 weeks and suffered awful constipation since week 14 or so. My doc gave me a new prenatal and now I am going all the time. I was really scared that I had some sort of bug or something because the shift was so dramatic. Glad to hear it happens to others as well.

8 years 3 months ago

Thank you, thank you to all! I am 8 weeks, 2 days pregnant and have had loose stools for the last week with lots of bloating, gas, and stomach gurgling! I am a fastidiously healthy eater and normally about as “regular” as can be in the stool department. So I was really worried something was wrong when new symptoms showed up because I couldn’t find them listed anywhere as normal signs & symptoms of 1st trimester. I have my first U/S on Friday, and now I think I can rest easy until then. Thanks!

8 years 4 months ago

Im 29 weeks. Ive had some loose stools i know i cant be going into labor. Also i keep burping and it tastes acidic. I think it might be associated with the loose stools. Im going to see what the “what to expect when your expecting” book says. I have been craving alot more fruits & nuts lately so maybe thats the cause for this. However, It is horrible and very uncomfortable.

8 years 5 months ago

Thank God! I’m 5 weeks pregnant and I thought that there was something wrong with me! I have 2 friends at work that just had babies and the complained about the constripation but I have had loose stool for the past 1week or so. Thanks!

Mum of 3 to be
8 years 6 months ago

I am 36 weeks pregnant with my third. I remember getting loose stools a couple of weeks before both my other babies were born.
I have been on bed rest for 4 weeks now as baby was very low, I was leaking fluid and had to rest due to very bad varicose veins etc.
I have had loose stools now for the last week and noticed today that it was very smelly. I am getting shooting pains down below and baby has hiccups all the time.
Its amazing how different all pregnancies can be.

8 years 8 months ago

I am in my 9th week of pregnancy and have had loose stools for the past 2 weeks. I had harder ones previously which caused hemmoroids, bleeding ect and I was scared to go to do ‘number twos’ !So IMO having loose stools has been much better!!

8 years 10 months ago

I am in my 30th week of pregnancy and have been having loose stools from last 2 weeks. I was very concerned until I came to this site. I am a lot relieved to see this as such a common symptom during pregnancy. I am now reconsidering taking any medications such as imodium to get rid of this issue.

9 years 8 days ago

Hey ladies. I have the loose stools from the start of my pregnancy. I’m week 11 now and take probiotics just to be sure there’s no crazy bacteria in the gut. A little improvement it seems. If you want to take them as well, e sure you take the ones pregnancy safe. I take UDO. Excellent!!

9 years 16 days ago

I dont kno if I am pregnant???Thou for the 3weeks I have been havin pains in my stomach.2weeks ago I was in a car accident and I have back and leg pains.I thou because of the accident that brought more pain.This mornin I went to use the restroom and found blood in my urine.The pain has got worst.There was not alot of blood until I wiped. I also started to have loose stool.I’m not sure what to do????

9 years 1 month ago

Hi ladies i have been having slight cramps and lower backache and a sudden increase in appetite. i have mood swings and very lazy to do things i just feel like sitting and doing nothing most of the time and this is the second day when i eat i get an angry stomach and loose stools. but what suprises me is that i feel like something is moving or playing in my womb and i hsve only a month with my boyfriend. does anybody have an idea what could this be and could i be pregs

9 years 3 months ago

Hi ladies

I have had loose stools with urgency through my entire pregnancy. I do however also suffer from irritable bowel syndrome. I don’t leave the house except to see a doctor. Amazingly though my little baby is doing really well and they haven’t hindered her growth in the slightest. I am 32 weeks pregnant and while 8 months of going to the toilet 6-10 times a day has been exhausting, it will be all worth it in the end. Hang in there everyone 🙂

9 years 3 months ago

I have diarrhea combined with constipation. It always happens before my period but this time I am late. I have the cramping with loose stools and thought for sure my period was on it’s way. I’m late though and see here that people experience that in pregnancy as well, so I’d better take a test!

9 years 6 months ago

Am 12 weeks pregnant its my first and been having loose stools for the last 2 months. I was worried , did stool test found nothing wrong but was not convinced i visited this website and was relieved to find that am not alone and thats its normal maybe now can rest easy.

9 years 6 months ago

I am 11 wks pregnant. I have experienced both loose stool and hemorrhoids! Trust me, you would much rather have loose stool than hemorrhoids. I was in agony with the ‘rhoids!’
With the loose stools you atleast aren’t constipated! A few tips for hemorrhoids is to keep wipes in your purse that is specialized for the ‘back door.’ Also, try bathing in some baking soda or epson salt. Good luck ladies!

9 years 6 months ago

I don’t know if I am pregnant but, I have been having loose stools for the past three days. My period came Oct. 16 and when it went away we started having sex everyday to conceive. I have vomiting or the urge to vomit some cramping (which I thought was due to implantation) and the loose stools. After reading this article it sounds as if I am preggars….What do you think???

9 years 6 months ago
well may i just say.. thats a huge load off my mind! im 18weeks pregnant, and have been having a loose stool every morning practically the same time on the dot! throughout my pregnancy ive had hardly any symptoms.. having suffered a miscarriage at 4 and a half months in the past.. i naturally worried the same will happen again. my boobs are tender and growing almost by the day!.. i have hardly any sign of a bump either.. but the main worry was the loose stools. i spoke to my midwife, and she suggested i speak to a nurse… Read more »
9 years 8 months ago

just take immodium. it’s safe for the baby.

9 years 8 months ago

I am also suffering from loose stools. 27 weeks pregnant. Same thing as Jenn… Week 20 it became really bad- but I never had constipation or went more than a day without at least 2. I think that the books should incorporate loose stools as something that is common in pregnancy because like everyone else on here- I feel like something is wrong with me and my baby when I look it up and I cannot find anything about it except that I’m having preterm labor (which I am not!!)…

9 years 9 months ago

i was really happy to see this article. for the longest while, i have been complaining about the loose stool. but i was blaming the iron pills really.

9 years 9 months ago

Whew! I am so happy I found this website. This is my second pregnancy, I’m 11 weeks and have had loose stools for the last two weeks straight. I can’t hold anything down and I was getting very worried because this did not happen during my 1st pregnancy. While I’m glad to hear this is normal, it is totally embarassing to continualyy be going to the bathroom, especially at work! I hope this ends soon!

9 years 10 months ago

This article confuses me. For me, I’ve never had diarrhea WITHOUT constipation even before pregnancy. It usually takes me several attempts to go, and I do spend quite a bit of time waiting for relief. It’s a different kind of discomfort from hard stools but it’s still painful and takes forever to get moving. Apparently I’m abnormal if it’s supposed to come out easily.

9 years 10 months ago
I am approximately 4 months pregnant and feeling very emothional and scared! I’ve taken 6 HPT’s and they’ve all come back positive…My husband and I are ecstatic!!..I went to the Dr’s( and ended up seeing a nurse practioner as my regular physician is on holidays) today for bloodwork and he sent me to get an ultrasound (as he felt it was very early on to have all tests come back positive…wanted to rule out ectopic pregnancy as well as get a better idea of timing..) the ultrasound showed NOTHING…I’m freaking out…I ended up taking yet again, another test when I… Read more »
9 years 11 months ago

I am 22 weeks pregnant with my second child and have been suffering from loose stools and very uncomfortable cramping for the past three days. My first child was delivered at 24 weeks and although now well had a very traumatic start. I am really worried that this could be a sign of early labour.

9 years 11 months ago

I am 6 weeks and I’ve had loose stool for over two weeks. Does this mean it’s going to last? It’s rather embarrassing to be running to the bathroom all the time especially when out in public. My dr. said it’s normal, but how can you decifer from “normal” and bacterial? I wish my dr would just do a stool sample to make sure.

9 years 11 months ago

Thank you..I thought it wasnt normal but yay it is…Went from 2mnths constip to all of a sudden loose 3x a day…3mnths preggies now.

10 years 4 days ago

I am 10 weeks today and I have experienced both constipation and loose stools. If its not one, its another! Along with all my other symptoms, I have to say that the pain and hemeroids from the consipation was WAY worse! I don’t like having to constantly plan where the nearest bathroom is, but I’d rather do that than be in that much pain again. That and with the nausea I’m already looking for bathrooms, so I figure I’d rather expierience the more comfortable of the two…..

10 years 6 days ago

Im only 4 weeks pregnant and iv been having loose stools for 4-5 days now. Iv seen the doctor and he said its common, although he did say that i can have it examined to check its not a bug. But i am releived to read here i am not alone and seems a normal symptom

10 years 14 days ago
I am 15 weeks, and have had loose stools now for 2 weeks straight. I was concerned as well, feeling this couldn’t be right. Especially after having constipation during the end of my first trimester. Thankfully, this is mentioned in “What to expect when your expecting”, which put my mind at ease as soon as I read it. They say you are one of the lucky ones if you are not constipated, and that a healthy diet is probably to blame for most loose stools. I know I have def made a conscience effort to eat healthy as soon as… Read more »
10 years 16 days ago

I experienced loose stools throughout my entire first pregnancy and am not sure if I am expecting again, but they’re back. Maybe I’m coming down with something, may not…but I can safely say its normal to have them and I’m glad I didn’t have the opposite the first go-around.

10 years 19 days ago

I am so relieved to find this site! I am nine weeks pregnant and also thought something was wrong with this second pregnancy. As it wasn’t listed in any of the reading I did during the first pregnancy. This should be listed. I feel two bricks being lifted off my shoulders as I type this. We only told our parents this weekend as we were thinking this pregnancy wouldn’t be successful. (I understand there is still room for that but not with this issue as a concern.)

10 years 2 months ago

Wow! I read shay’s entry from above, and the same thing happened to me in my seventh week. I woke up and it felt like Everything was gone. Like I wasn’t even pregnant anymore, I started trippin calling my doctor, and then I had the same gurgling stomach… rest assured though a few hours later the quesiness was back, and hangs with me like my best friend ever since. I don’t really like my new best friend… I’m just gonna have more fiber intake I think Hopefully that will make it better without making it worse.

10 years 2 months ago

I am 23 weeks and for the first 4 months straight I was badly constipated and now I got the loose stool problem. I know its not a contest to see whats worse but constipation is by far worse and having loose stools with the after effects of constipation (hemmeroids) is still not as bad as being constipated.

10 years 2 months ago
I am 39 weeks pregnant and have had loose stools for the last 2 months. I checked with the Dr. and he said it’s normal and at least I’m not constipated – which is true since I experienced that in my 1st tri and it was horrible and way more uncomfortable. This on the other hand is embarassing and I’m worried about what else is going to happen during delivery. I agree 100% with the other post that “loose stools” is not listed as common during pregnancy anywhere!!! I have been so worried that something is wrong with me or… Read more »
10 years 3 months ago

I have just read about loose stools and i’m glad to know that they are part of pregnancy for some women.I thought there was something wrong with me and had contacted my doctor.When they it did not stop, I tried to see what could be causing them in my diet.Now I know better.

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