Like many early pregnancy signs, green stool color is commonly reported. Pregnancy affects your entire body and makes your system go crazy. Green poop is only one of the symptoms of these effects, in my experience.
While several reasons exist for green color poop, it is primarily the result of green food intake. In addition, pregnancy hormones increase the pace of digestion, causing diarrhea or green poop. If none of these are the causes behind the green stool, then extremely dark-colored poop may occur, for which you must contact your doctor.
Is Green Poop a Sign of Pregnancy?
Green poop? A sign of early pregnancy? Not every pregnant woman needs to experience this. It may be caused by other factors and occur mainly due to dietary habits. Moreover, green stools are frequent later on in pregnancy rather than being an early symptom.
You can’t rely entirely on green poop to determine pregnancy until you experience other symptoms like a missed period or morning sickness. Green stools are likely due to your leafy diet that is rich in fiber.
On the other hand, green poop may also occur if you have eaten food with green food coloring. It directly changes your poop color to green. Excessive green bile in the poop also changes the poop color to green. This occurs when the bile doesn’t have time to break down food and makes the poop green due to its own green tones.
If you are trying to get pregnant and taking prenatal vitamins, you can also expect a different poop color. Taking iron supplements makes your poop dark as well. If anything, the green poop color will go away after a couple of days or a couple of weeks if your dietary habits are fine. So, it isn’t a perfect indicator of pregnancy.
Green Poop Without Signs of Pregnancy?
Green poop during pregnancy is a noticeable symptom. While the digestive system is mostly hit during pregnancy, as diarrhea and frequent bowel movements cleanse your body of any toxins. In such times, green poop should not come as a surprise.
Women are also given iron supplements during pregnancy, which also cause bright green poop. Iron supplements make the poop color darker, if not greener. So, green poop is not that big a concern if it is due to normal causes. If you don’t know yet if you are pregnant, you must keep a close eye on your bowel movements and their color and texture.
Causes of Green Poop
Multiple factors can cause your poop to be green. Some of these reasons are already discussed. Some other causes, whether you are pregnant or not, that make your poop green are:
Bile released from the liver helps break down food. It is green and yellowish, and its excess in the stomach gives the poop a distinct color. If the bile passes quickly through your intestines instead of at a normal pace, your poop turns green.
Bile also remains in your feces when you are taking laxatives for foods with laxative qualities.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
This problem directly hits your large intestine. Green poop in this condition is a relatively mild symptom compared to other symptoms of this disorder. It gives you abdominal pain, gas, and even diarrhea, which can further damage your condition through dehydration.
The muscles in your large intestines contract, putting a barrier in front of normal bowel movements. This is not only a painful condition but also very uncomfortable during pregnancy. You can take medication, but still, after that, you must expect green poop.
Pregnant women often complain of constipation. To counter this issue, they use laxatives for healthy bowel movements. As a result, laxatives give your green poop. Why? Bile is behind it. Laxatives make the bowels move quickly through the body and don’t allow them to act properly in digestion.
The bowels maintain the green color of the bile and appear greenish. Laxatives don’t allow time for bile to function in digestion; therefore, its green color stays in the poop.
Foods with laxative effects can also make your poop green during pregnancy. Other than leafy green vegetables and fruits, coffee, jalapenos, and chili pepper can do that trick in pregnancy.
Green Leafy Vegetables
Green or even purple foods that have high fiber content are responsible for changing the color of one’s poop. While eating green foods with high fiber is beneficial for keeping your tummy healthy during pregnancy, it gives your poop a green color.
In addition to green vegetables, fruits such as green apples also make your poop turn green.
Of course, you can never rule out a bacterial attack on your stomach. During pregnancy, women become extremely vulnerable to bacteria and viruses for which they can hardly take any medication. So when such attackers hit you, your green poop will be a telltale sign of bacterial presence.
Two of the most common toxins that change your poop color are Salmonella and norovirus, both of which can enter your digestive system through food or water contamination. As your body’s natural defenses combat these infections, you are bound to face the side effects such as diarrhea, cramping, and change in poop color along with temperature.
Even though your body expels these culprits through either faster feces elimination or vomiting, you, as a pregnant woman, must take care of your body’s hydration levels and keep an eye on the other painful symptoms. In case they linger, you need appropriate medical attention A-S-A-P!
Does Unusual Poop During Pregnancy Cause Any Harm?
Unusual poop is harmful during pregnancy only if you are not having a healthy diet and are reluctant to get some help for your tummy. If you are facing excessive diarrhea, you can become dehydrated due to loss of body fluids. Similarly, constipation can keep your body contents locked inside and give you discomfort.
In addition, constipation makes feces elimination painful and even bloody in severe cases. This can also lead to a loss of appetite, weakness, and other problems with your body’s immunity. So to remain fit during pregnancy, you need to keep your bowel movements healthy.
Green poop can be a result of harmful infections, but you can always try to eliminate them with medication and enough fluids. You must also try to maintain personal hygiene as germs can reach your tummy from your hands, not just contaminated food and water.
You should cut back on any antibiotics or supplements that make your poop color or texture irregular and cause you discomfort.
Constipation During Pregnancy
Pregnancy is a hard nut to crack. From your reproductive system to your digestive tract, everything gets impacted. One of the harsh side effects of pregnancy is constipation. Constipation occurs during the early stages of pregnancy when the body is just getting used to the new hormonal levels and the development of the fetus.
Constipation occurs in pregnancy mainly due to hormones more than diet. More specifically, progesterone makes your digestive system lazy and slows down digestion by slowing the movement of food in your intestines. The scientific term for this process is gastric motility; you can call it lack of bowel mobility in the intestines.
If we move away from hormones, certain pregnancy medications also cause constipation. It is well known that women have limited interaction with medication during pregnancy, but there are certain medicines and antacids taken for heartburn and morning sickness as prescribed by the doctor.
In addition, women take vitamins and other supplements, including iron and calcium, that are good during pregnancy but lead to constipation as a side effect.
You can always take professional medical advice if your supplements do not suit you and cause constipation. You need to have healthy bowel movements to maintain a healthy pregnancy, and your doctor must ensure that you don’t experience any discomfort during digestion.
You can always change your supplements and switch to formulas that work well for you.
How Often Can a Pregnant Woman Have Diarrhea?
It all depends upon what sort of condition a pregnant woman is living in. If a woman is living in conditions where water and food contamination is normal, then diarrhea will become a regular thing.
This happens because toxic substances get into the body through food and water, disturbing the body and alerting the immune system to fight them off. As a result, the immune system tries to expel these toxins from the body through faster bowel movements.
In such a case, diarrhea helps eliminate the harmful substances from the body, given that you replenish your bodily fluids accordingly to continue a healthy pregnancy. Typically, diarrhea occurs twice in healthy pregnancies: once in the first trimester and again just before the labor starts.
In the first trimester, diarrhea eliminates anything that can prove unhealthy for the fetus or the new mother. This happens along with morning sickness, which has the same purpose as diarrhea. Here it should be noted that if diarrhea lingers, the new mom must visit her healthcare provider to be treated before her body weakens.
Before labor, diarrhea occurs to empty the body of any excess content. This allows the uterus to contract properly and progresses the labor into the final stages. So in both ways, diarrhea works as nature’s instrument to keep the mother and child safe and allow for a healthy birth.
Key Takeaways for Mommy-To-Be
So you are newly pregnant, and you already have enough on your plate to be worried about, so don’t go into panic mode over the color of your poop. It may be caused by any of the most common factors like eating habits, laxatives, or simply excessive bile. It may not always appear as an early sign of pregnancy.
Constipation and diarrhea are common for pregnant women globally. They may occur for any reason but are impacted by pregnancy hormones, which make the digestive system slower or faster, depending on your condition.
If you are facing any severe symptoms along with changes in your poop color, you must contact your doctor for the right guidance. Remember, your health is as important as the baby’s health. It can remain healthy as long as you are healthy. So, do not neglect your digestive problems.