Medical expert of the article
Change in stool color during pregnancy
All iLive content is medically reviewed or fact checked to ensure as much factual accuracy as possible.
We have strict sourcing guidelines and only link to reputable media sites, academic research institutions and, whenever possible, medically peer reviewed studies. Note that the numbers in parentheses (, , etc.) are clickable links to these studies.
If you feel that any of our content is inaccurate, out-of-date, or otherwise questionable, please select it and press Ctrl + Enter.
Noticing the changes in color of feces during pregnancy, women begin to worry and are even seriously afraid, thinking that this is a symptom of a dangerous illness. From this article you will learn why the pregnant women change the shade of feces, whether there is a threat to health and when it's time to sound an alarm.
Pregnancy starts the process of restructuring the work of the body, which begins preparation for bearing a child. Because of the revolutionary changes in the pregnant woman, the shade and consistency of feces can change.
The causes of discolouration of feces during pregnancy
The foods that feed the woman also strongly affect the nature of the feces. When a woman brings in a menu of many leafy green vegetables, green feces appear during pregnancy. A significant amount of the menu of dark berries (currants, blueberries), meat offal with blood will give the chair a darker shade.
Medications can also change the color of the stool. The reception of activated carbon, which helps with intoxication due to poor-quality food, disorders of the functions of the gastrointestinal tract, poisoning, causes a change in the color of the stool to black. With pregnancy, you need to carefully choose drugs, because the reaction of the body can be unpredictable, even for familiar drugs. For example, activated charcoal displays not only toxins, but also useful substances, which can badly affect the development of pregnancy. Dark feces during pregnancy can occur as a result of taking special vitamins for expectant kids and lactating women: they contain an increased dosage of iron. The microelement is responsible for maintaining the normal level of hemoglobin in the blood, and during the period of bearing the baby the need for a woman's body in the gland is doubled. Falling into the body together with vitamins, iron does not completely enter the blood, as the body can not absorb more than 2 milligrams per day. Excess micronutrient is utilized and then excreted from the body with feces, so its color becomes dark.
Orange feces during pregnancy is determined by food and certain drugs. If the menu is rich in vegetables and fruits of yellow and orange flowers - mango, apricots, pumpkin, carrots, - the chair becomes orange. Additives with beta-kerotin and preparations based on rifampicin give the same effect.
The so-called "sheep feces" during pregnancy, when the feces are very dense and stand out in round small fragments, speaks of a spastic form of constipation. This is associated with hypertension of the intestine and slowing of peristalsis.
When is time to worry?
There are also more menacing causes of such changes, when special treatment is required to change the color of feces during pregnancy. The chair changes character due to liver dysfunction, infections, bleeding in the digestive tract, colitis. Let us dwell on this in more detail. Diseases of the liver (hepatosis, hepatitis, cirrhosis, fibrosis) change the color of stools to green. Dysbacteriosis causes digestive disturbances, and inside the intestine the processes of fermentation and decay are rapidly developing, eventually giving the chair a green color. The pathogenesis of the course of infectious diseases of the digestive tract is similar to the processes that accompany dysbacteriosis. They are accompanied by high fever, acute pain in the abdomen, loose stools, nausea and vomiting. For inflammation of the intestine - colitis - also characterized by green feces. A complex form of the disease can even cause a discharge of pus and blood that go out with the stool. This disease can cause serious harm and even lead to death of the pregnant woman and her child.
Light feces during pregnancy appears as for quite innocuous reasons (a menu rich in dairy products or products of plant origin), so it can be a manifestation of pathology. Such infections as hepatitis or pancreatitis, disrupt the liver and pancreas. Because of this bile is produced too little and the stool becomes light. Another white feces during pregnancy can signal a dysfunction of the digestive system and violation of the processes of intestinal cleansing. A very light yellow feces may indicate a disruption in the function of bile separation, which is due to the presence of stones and tumor formations.
Red feces during pregnancy occur if a woman ate or drank a lot of red foods. It can be tomatoes, beets, fruit compotes. But if a woman discovers bright red streaks in feces or on toilet paper, this can be a sign of rectal and anal injuries. Feces with blood during pregnancy can signal an infection, inflammation of the intestine or appear due to parasites. Then, in addition, there is diarrhea, abdominal cramps and nausea. Polyps of the large intestine usually do not manifest themselves otherwise: only feces with blood can tell about their existence.
In some cases, with hormonal imbalance or because of hypodynamia (for example, restriction of physical activity due to the threat of losing pregnancy), pregnant women have constipation. When the intestines are not emptied for a long time, its contents are diluted with mucus, which is produced due to irritation of the intestinal mucosa. After the stool comes back to normal, mucus production stops. Inflammation of the intestines can also cause mucus in the stool. So there are colitis, enteritis, proctitis and other diseases.
When the liver is not able to cope fully with its role in the processing of hemoglobin, iron compounds turn out to be in the duodenum and the feces turn black. Black feces can appear as a result of internal bleeding. An ulcer of the stomach or duodenum, cancerous tumors to the digestive system cause a constant slight bleeding. A bloody discharge, falling into the digestive tract, stain feces.
The reliability of the prognosis of the disease depends entirely on the correctness of the diagnosis. To clarify the diagnosis it is necessary to make a blood and feces analysis and a gastroscopy for the detection of damaged tissues. By results, conservative or surgical treatment is prescribed. The patient in any case will need to adhere to a strict diet and comply with bed rest.
Analysis of feces during pregnancy
Analysis of feces during pregnancy - part of the mandatory examination when registering. When diagnosing color changes in feces during pregnancy, it is important to understand that any deviations from normal previous indices can in no case be ignored. The cause of the disorder will help to identify differential diagnosis and additional instrumental methods.
Instrumental diagnosis of feces is usually conducted in three directions:
- General stool analysis is the basis for the final evaluation of the digestive system. The results of the analysis reveal signs of inflammation of the intestine and reveal some kinds of protozoa that provoke these problems.
- Research on latent blood determines polyps, ulcers and neoplasms of the gastrointestinal tract.
- The microbial composition of feces determines the causative agents of intestinal infections and dysbacteriosis.
Preparations for the treatment of discoloration of feces during pregnancy
If discoloration of the feces is detected, the treating physician prescribes therapy based on the results of the tests. During the treatment period, the feces are examined at least twice more. Usually antibacterial drugs are prescribed, which remove toxic substances from the body:
- Smecta - a preparation in the form of a powder. This medicine is prescribed for pregnant women, in whom black feces are accompanied by constipation. The drug perfectly removes irritation and regenerates the walls of the intestine and stomach, absorbs harmful substances, creates a barrier, thereby protecting the gastrointestinal tract from the effects of aggressive factors. Smecta is harmless and safe for pregnant women: the drug does not enter the blood and works only inside the gastrointestinal tract. The course of treatment and dosage is prescribed individually. Smecta can help in the first weeks of pregnancy. From the second trimester because of the increase in the uterus, the pressure on the intestine increases. Therefore, in late pregnancy, the drug is most likely to be undesirable. The average dosage of the drug for pregnant women is three packs a day. Between receptions smekty and other medicines or food you need to take a break for at least two hours.
- Activated carbon is a natural sorbent. Usually prescribed for pregnant women with black and liquid feces. The mechanism of action of activated carbon is that it absorbs poisons, toxins, products of disintegration of vital activity and removes them from the body. Coal gently acts in the intestines and is excreted in a natural way in eight to ten hours. In addition, the drug helps pregnant women get rid of heartburn. It must be remembered that coal is contraindicated in case of constipation. You can not try to remove symptoms of intoxication or infection: in serious cases, adequate treatment is necessary. You can take activated charcoal once, because a continuous intake removes microelements and vitamins from the body. For the same reason, it can weaken the effect of other drugs. If the future mother takes vitamins, you need to give them the opportunity to digest, because activated charcoal can be drunk only after several hours.
- Regidron is a preparation in the form of a powder, designed to restore the acid-base balance. The drug is effective in the early toxicosis of pregnant women, when the body loses electrolytes due to vomiting or diarrhea, and food and fluid is not absorbed. Therefore, weight loss and metabolic disorders occur. Regiodron has no contraindications for admission during child bearing. When a pregnant woman has black feces with mucous secretions, usually also appoint Regidron. If Regidron does not solve the problem, then the expectant mother is treated in the hospital, where she is administered medication with the help of droppers.
- Imodium has a wonderful antidiarrhoeal effect. It is actual for the future mother, whose chair has acquired a liquid consistency of green, black or unusually light color. Imodium acts gently, quickly and only inside the intestine. It is withdrawn after 12 hours in a natural way. Imodium is assigned together with Smektoy when the future mother finds mucus in her stool. The manufacturer claims that the drug tests did not reveal any negative effects on the baby in the womb. Imodium does not cause changes in the structure of genes and does not contain toxic substances. However, the manufacturer warns that at a later date, Imodium can only be taken with the approval of a doctor.
Physiotherapy is used as an alternative to medications that can be harmful to the fetus. Physiotherapy should help the pregnant woman and at the same time not harm her baby. During the period of gestation, acupuncture, some types of electrophoresis and electro relaxation can be used. Most other physiotherapeutic methods are contraindicated, since they can cause uterine contractions, increase the sensitivity of the body and adversely affect the baby. Since the permitted physiotherapeutic methods of treatment may not significantly affect the color change in feces during pregnancy, they are used in individual cases.
The use of homeopathic drugs virtually eliminates side effects. In addition, the concentration of the active substance in them is low, so they are safe for pregnant women. Homeopathy will help reverse unwanted changes in color or stool consistency.
Opium 12 is effective for constipation, which is associated with a forced sedentary lifestyle, which provoked sluggishness of the intestine.
With constipation, toxins poison the body. If constipation lasts a long time, a pregnant woman is at risk due to complications with Bacillus coli infection. Several doses of homeopathic medicines Nux vomica, Opium, Alumina will help restore the intestines, provided certain dietary rules are followed.
Colibonia D6 is shown with "sheep" feces. The drug will also help with hemorrhoids and swelling of the lower extremities.
NuxvomikadD12 cope with toxemia, a feeling of heaviness in the stomach and constipation.
Robinia psevdokaktsiya D6 and Vismutumsubnictricum D12 are shown pregnant with heartburn.
Sepia D12 will help cope with morning sickness with toxicosis.
Ipecacuan D12 is intended for pregnant women, of whom nausea is persistent, and especially vomiting night and night.
Colchicum D12 helps to overcome nausea when hypersensitivity to a variety of flavors, chills and pains in the stomach.
Diarrhea in pregnancy is fraught with serious complications. If you do not quickly cope with the problem, it can provoke a miscarriage. In this case, homeopathic preparations Aloe, Podophyllum or Mercurius will help.
In addition to medicines, the mother is always prescribed a diet and plenty of drink to remove toxins.
The menu must include porridges without sugar and salt, cooked on water, and sour-milk products with a low fat content. Absolutely limited to fried, fatty and smoked products.
Especially categorically it is for pregnant women who have found feces with blood. Such a diet to reduce the workload of the gastrointestinal tract.
Herbal infusions based on chamomile or St. John's wort, black and green tea also have medicinal properties.
When changing the color of feces to help pregnant women can come recipes that were used by our grandmothers.
For example, with frequent constipation with mucus, you can brew senna grass or bark of buckthorn (1 teaspoon pour a glass of boiling water) and drink the decoction before going to bed.
If during the day to drink infusion of leaves of oak or walnut partitions (1 tablespoon per 2 cups of water), this will help to overcome diarrhea with mucus.
If you cook an infusion, taking one teaspoon of dry herbs calendula, chamomile, yarrow and filling them with one glass of water, you can help the body cope with bloating, diarrhea, fermentation in the intestines.
With dysbiosis help infusion of a golden mustache. It is necessary to pour 2 or 3 leaves 15-20 cm long with one liter of hot water and drink 100 ml two or three times a day.
With the problems of color changes in feces in pregnant women will help to cope with safe and affordable recipes of alternative medicine. Recipes do not require much effort, but can gently and effectively alleviate the condition of a future mother.
For example, if you add dried apples or cherries to the tea when brewing tea, you can facilitate natural cleansing of the intestine. To prevent constipation, you can use flax seeds. It is necessary to pour one teaspoon of flaxseed seeds with 20 ml of boiling water and to insist for 4 hours. Without straining, drink all the infusion for the night.
With mild intoxication or chronic bowel diseases accompanied by diarrhea, alternative medicine gives very simple recipes. As a sorbent, it is possible to prepare a solution with potato starch. To do this, 1 teaspoon of starch should be diluted in 125 ml of cold water. The solution should be drunk 1 or 2 times a day.
Decoction of the pear or its boiled pieces will help if the stool is liquid and green or dark in color.
The mucous decoctions of oat flakes or barley are also popular. 50 g of flakes (or grains) are poured with 0.5 liters of cold water, allowed to stand for 4 hours, then boil until thickened over low heat, stirring constantly. Take 1 -2 tablespoons 5 - 6 times a day.
A pregnant woman who has paid attention to changes in the stool, must necessarily inform the doctor, from whom she is under observation. Most likely, the reason for this is completely harmless. But there is a risk that this is a symptom of a dangerous illness. By results of analyzes the doctor can make the correct conclusion. As you learned, a change in the color of the feces can speak about developing pathologies, and about changing the diet, so determining the state of health of the future mother.