Posted by Alex on 29th November 2011

What are the Causes of Green Bowel Movement During Pregnancy

Due to the release of a number of hormones, pregnant women experience a wide array of changes during pregnancy. The changes are so diverse that some women have difficulty sorting which sign or symptom should be a cause for concern. Some of the symptoms of illnesses during pre-gestational states, such as the common colds, are considered normal occurrences throughout pregnancy. It is therefore of utmost importance for pregnant women to decipher which condition is normal from those that can bring harm to both the mother and the unborn.

Causes of Green Bowel Movement during Pregnancy

The presence of green stools is rarely indicative of infections or diseases.

The change in color may be normal due to the following factors:

  • Foods. Women who ingest foods that have a rich, green color may eliminate these in the same appearance. Foods rich in chlorophyll, such as cabbages, spinach, lettuce, and broccoli contribute to a greenish tinge to the stools. Similarly, foods rich in iron such as beans, red meat, and breakfast cereals cause an alteration in the color. Artificial coloring including fruit juices and those added to soda and ice cream can also make the stool appear green.
  • Medications. Apart from iron supplements, ingestion of drugs made up of chlorophyll and algae make the stool appear green. Those who use laxatives have green stools after a few rounds of installation due to a shortened transit time of the mass in the bowel. A greenish stool in this case is indicative of a cleansed colon. Other medications that contain sorbitol and fructose may also alter the color.
  • Loose bowel movements. Diarrhea is usually characterized by a decreased transit time of the bowel. After ingestion, bile is excreted by the liver, and changes to yellow and brown after traveling through the intestinal tract. But with a shorter and faster transit time, fecal content retains its original bile green color.
  • Impaired reabsorption. Although this is not a normal manifestation whether during pregnancy or not, impaired bile re-absorption should be further checked by a doctor. This may be caused by removal of the terminal ileum or the inflammation of the small intestine.

Green Bowel Movement Treatment

Pregnant women cannot take medications too often, and there are a lot of drugs contraindicated for their use. Instead, pregnant women can use more natural forms of treatment to regulate bowel movements and characteristics.

  • Swimming. Exercise during pregnancy is not entirely discouraged, and swimming remains to be one of the best forms of exercise throughout gestation. Pregnant women should swim when possible to relieve problems of constipation and regulate the bowel’s transit time.
  • Hydration. Drinking lots of water helps in replenishing the stool lost during bouts of diarrhea or loose bowel movement.

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