Whether you’re pregnant for the first or fifth time, your body can act pretty funky during those nine months.
At times it can be hard to decide whether what is happening to your body is normal or whether there is something slightly wrong.
In that case, it’s always a good idea to check things out with your doctor or midwife – you’re certainly not going to be asking them anything they haven’t been asked before, or showing them anything they haven’t seen before.
Aside from the usual side effects and symptoms of pregnancy, such as sore breasts, tiredness, and the like, what other things can occur during pregnancy?
One thing which many women notice, and become a little freaked out about, is a change in the color of their poop.
Yes, we’re really going there.
Pregnancy doesn’t just affect one part of your body, it affects everything.
Hormones are powerful things, and whether they are making you feel teary and agitated, or causing you to want to eat everything in sight, they can also affect the way your body functions, and of course, what comes out of it too!
So, is a change in the color of your poop normal? Or, is it something you should be concerned about?
Firstly, let’s state one thing which we need to get out of the way – if you notice blood in your poop, you need to get this checked out with your doctor. It might be nothing, but it’s always best to be sure, right?
That little lecture aside, let’s get onto the rather charming color of what can happen to your poop during pregnancy.
Pregnancy And Poop
It is possible for your poop to vary in color even if you’re not pregnant, but it’s likely to be something you notice much more because you’re super-on guard about everything during pregnancy, especially at first.
It’s not unusual for the color to change to a green (green poop is pretty common), yellow, or even a dark color, and all of this is normal, provided you don’t have other associated symptoms, such as stomach pain, bleeding, vomiting, or anything else which is gastric or stomach related.
There are actually many things which can affect the color or even the consistency of your poop, including what you have eaten.
To give you an idea here, eating a lot of dairy foods, e.g. yogurt or milky drinks, can actually make your poop a lighter color.
Did you eat a lot of dairy the day before? If so, that could be why your poop looks lighter in color.
Pregnancy Poop Colors
During pregnancy, it’s not uncommon for women to experience changes in the color of their stool. While some color variations can be normal and harmless, others may indicate underlying health conditions. Understanding the different colors of poop during pregnancy and their potential causes can help alleviate concerns and ensure a healthy pregnancy.
Green poop during pregnancy can be caused by various factors, including increased consumption of leafy greens, food coloring, or iron supplements. Leafy greens like spinach and kale can give the stool a greenish tint due to their high chlorophyll content. Iron supplements, often prescribed during pregnancy, can also cause the stool to appear green. In most cases, green stool is considered normal and not a cause for concern.
Dark-colored or black stool during pregnancy may be a result of dietary changes or iron supplementation. Consuming foods like blackberries, blueberries, or dark chocolate can darken the stool. Iron supplements can also contribute to darker stool color. However, if the stool is black and tarry, it could indicate bleeding in the upper digestive tract, and it is important to consult a healthcare provider.
White or Clay-colored Poop
Stool that appears pale or clay-colored during pregnancy may be a sign of a bile duct obstruction or liver problem. In conditions such as cholestasis of pregnancy or hepatitis, the flow of bile from the liver to the intestines may be impaired, resulting in pale stool. It is crucial to seek medical attention if you notice persistent pale or clay-colored stool.
Red stool during pregnancy can be alarming, but it is often a result of harmless factors such as consuming red-colored foods or drinks, like beets or cranberry juice. However, if the red color persists and is not related to dietary choices, it could indicate bleeding in the lower digestive tract or hemorrhoids. It is important to consult a healthcare provider if you experience persistent red stool.
Occasionally, pregnant women may have yellow-colored stool. This can be due to increased fat content in the stool, possibly caused by malabsorption or changes in the digestive process. If accompanied by symptoms like diarrhea, weight loss, or abdominal pain, it is advisable to consult a healthcare provider for further evaluation.
Mucus in Poop
Seeing mucus in the stool during pregnancy can be concerning. Mucus is produced by the intestines and helps with the passage of stool. However, an excessive amount of mucus or mucus accompanied by other symptoms like diarrhea, cramping, or blood in the stool may indicate an underlying condition such as an infection or inflammation. Seeking medical advice is recommended in such cases.
It’s important to note that individual variations in diet, supplements, and overall health can influence stool color during pregnancy. While most changes are benign, persistent or concerning changes should always be discussed with a healthcare provider to ensure proper evaluation and management.
During pregnancy, the most common color to notice in terms of your poop is for it to go darker. This can make you nervous when you first see it, but there’s a lot of reassurance coming your way.
Why is my Poop Dark?
There are many reasons for this:
- Have you eaten any foods which were dark in color, blue or green? This is why. If you’ve chowed down on licorice or blueberries, you’re likely to notice a change.
- Have you eaten any food which contained food colorings? Again, another common side effect.
- Are you on iron supplements? Many women are prescribed iron for anemia during pregnancy and a common side effect of this is a darkening of the stool. It may even look black.
- Are you taking any vitamin supplements? Again, this is a common side effect of these types of vitamin tablets.
These are totally harmless reasons for your poop to change color and go a dark shade.
What Health Problems Could Cause Poop Color Changes?
There are a few health issues which can cause your poop to change color, and these are particularly prevalent during pregnancy.
For instance, you’re at a much higher risk of developing hemorrhoids or constipation when you’re pregnant, and these can cause small tears in the anal skin.
When you get further into your pregnancy, it’s normal for the blood vessels in the rectum to swell up and these can sometimes bleed when you go to the toilet. This can make your poop look darker.
All of this isn’t anything serious to worry about unless you notice that you’re bleeding a lot, or that it is becoming difficult or painful to poop.
In that case, a quick visit to your doctor is all you need.
Don’t be embarrassed, it’s all very common.
How to Avoid Poop Problems in Pregnancy
You can’t do anything about a slight change in the color when you’ve eaten something which is dark, light or high in dairy content, and this should be a one day or two day thing which passes.
This has probably happened to you a few times in the past and you’ve not even noticed because you were never on the look out for any problems!
To help keep everything flowing (apologies) as it should do during pregnancy, follow these easy tips:
- Eat a diet which is high in fiber, and include fruit and vegetables – This will lower your risk of constipation, make everything more comfortable, and will also make it less likely that you will develop hemorrhoids.
- Make sure you drink a good amount of water every day – Of course, you probably do this anyway because we all know it’s good for health, but during pregnancy it is even more important. There is no set amount to drink per se, although around 8-12 glasses every day can help to soften stools and make the color a bit more towards what is considered normal!
- Avoid taking certain medications – We are talking about such things as Ibuprofen, Paracetamol, Naproxen, etc. These can darken poop, and when you take them too much during pregnancy, it’s not really advised anyway.
- Make sure you do regular, light exercise – This will keep everything moving as it should, as well as keeping you within a healthy weight range
Hopefully you’ll now be feeling much more reassured about the changing color of your poop during that wonderful time we call pregnancy.