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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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9 years 10 months ago

I’m 24 weeks and 6 days and have had loose stool on and off through my whole pregnancy, today it’s started again and I was starting to worry that something is wrong, I’m not early or late I’m right in the middle, is it normal to have them through your whole pregnancy??

9 years 10 months ago

can i get pregnant if i have a iiregular period but on nov 10,2008 my period came and i hadn’t came back on it yet so if i have unprotetcted sex will i get pregnant?

9 years 10 months ago

I am 28 weeks and 5 days along. I have had loose stools almost a whole week. I have made sure my diet is simple and have recorded everything i have ate. Argh. This better not be pre labor. I am also having braxton hicks. Would i be making a fool of myself if i called my midwife concerned? I dont feel all too different but this is my second one and dont want to be under concerned.

9 years 11 months ago

Well, I am 27 weeks and for 2 weeks now have had loose stools. I am beginning to think something is wrong…its not early on and I’m not ready to deliver, so what the heck?

10 years 2 months ago
I’m just glad to know that I’m not alone, and that there’s not something wrong with me. I woke up this morning (7 weeks, 5 days) with no morning sickness, only the slightest bit of nausea, my breasts felt fine, no headache… it was like waking up from a bad dream… but I was terrified that something had happened to my baby… Until I ate, and immediately had the worst gurgling in my stomach… So, then, I was even more scared… Because I’d been told that pregnant woment get constipated. I think that every pregnancy book should say “some women… Read more »
10 years 3 months ago

I found it helpful to be reminded that other women have it harder (it’s not a contest!). I’ve been cranky and annoyed by having loose stools, but it’s true, pain and hemorrhoids would be much worse. Also, I have a friend with HG, so I tend to feel grateful for having it so easy compared to her. Nothing compares to constant nausea and vomiting for 9 months.

10 years 5 months ago
I came across this article during my 9th week of pregnancy, the last 3 weeks of which have been riddled with loose stools and frequent trips to the bathroom. I find the implications strange and somewhat offensive that those of us that struggle with loose stools during pregnancy somehow have it “easier” than those women who are continually constipated. It is not even noon yet and I have had 6 loose stools today already (starting with the one at 3:30am that woke me up), painful bloating and gas, and an overwhelming unease about leaving my house for fear of when… Read more »
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