Green Poop While Pregnant: Should I Worry?

Everybody poops. There is even a children's book that talks about just this. However, talking about poop is taboo in polite society around the world. Talking about poop can be embarrassing. However, once you become a mother, talking about poop seems to become a bit more normal.

Since poop talk seems to become the norm when you have kids, you might as well get used to it while you are pregnant. Let's discuss pregnancy poop and more specifically the color of your poop while you are pregnant and what it might mean.

When you become pregnant, you will start to experience all types of mental and physical changes. Those pregnancy hormones are going to cause hot flashes, muscle aches, and headaches.

Also, the growing size of the belly can cause joint pain among other issues. Along with all of this, some women may notice that the color of their poop may change. In fact, while you are pregnant you may have poop that is green. 

What Causes Green Poop When Pregnant?

Several things may cause you to have green poop while you are pregnant. While hormonal imbalances cause several changes within the body, other things can cause your poop to turn green. Some reasons that you may have green poop while pregnant include:

Diet

The food that you eat can affect the color of your poop. Eating a healthy diet while you are pregnant is important. If your diet includes green leafy vegetables such as broccoli and spinach (which it should) you are going to have an overdose of chlorophyll, which can turn your poop green.

Colonic Transit Times

The colonic transit time refers to how long food stays in your large intestine before exiting the body. If your colonic transit time is short, your poop may be green. The reason for this is because bile is green and mixes with the food when it enters your small intestine. You may experience green poop while you are pregnant as your colonic transit times are shorter.

Prenatal Vitamins

If you are taking prenatal vitamins, which you should be, the essential minerals found in these vitamins such as calcium and iron can change what color your poop is.

You need an increase in nutrients while you are pregnant and taking supplements ensures that you get these. However, the higher amounts of iron can cause your fecal matter to turn green.

The reason for this is because your body may not absorb all of the iron that you are taking in, this results in iron salts being eliminated in your bowel movements, which can cause your poop to look green. 

Intestinal Disorders

If you have an intestinal problem, your poop may change colors. Pregnant women can develop disorders such as Crohn's disease or irritable bowel syndrome.

This can cause stools to turn greenish. Crohn's disease is caused by tissues in the small intestine becoming inflamed. This may cause bleeding as food passes through the small intestine. The combination of blood and bile can cause your stools to look greenish or black. 

Medications

Some medications may cause your poop to be green. For example, if you are put on antibiotics while you are pregnant you could end up with green poop. It is important to note that this change will only be temporary.

Once you stop taking the medication, your poop should go back to the normal color. If you are concerned about the color of your poop while you are taking a medication, you can discuss it with your doctor and have the dosage reduced as this could help fix the problem. 

Dealing with Green Poop While Pregnant

Generally speaking, there is no need to worry about green poop while you are pregnant. The increase in iron or hormonal changes are likely the cause. For this reason, you typically do not need to go to the doctor if you are having green bowel movements.

In order for your bowel movements to become normal again, you will simply want to reduce the amount of certain foods that you eat and stop taking your supplements once you have the baby. If the problem continues, you can discuss it with your doctor. 

When You Should See your Doctor

If you have green poop occasionally while you are pregnant, you can simply ignore it. However, if you are having green poop regularly, you may want to schedule an appointment to discuss the issue with your doctor.

Your doctor will want to know about your diet and any lifestyle changes that you have made after you found out you were pregnant. This will help the doctor determine what may be causing you to poop green. In very rare circumstances, green poop can indicate a serious health problem. 

If you have green poop that has mucus or blood in it, you need to discuss it with your doctor immediately. In addition, if your stool is very watery, seek medical guidance. If you have other symptoms that go along with a change in the color of your poop, such as rectal pain, fever, constipation, or loss of appetite, you need to see your doctor right away.

In Conclusion

Overall, if you have green poop while you are pregnant, the majority of the time it is nothing to worry about. In fact, it is quite normal for your poop to vary in color during your pregnancy. However, if you have other digestive issues or notice blood in your stool as well, it is important to discuss it with your doctor.

Another side note, when you have the baby, chances are you are going to see green poop in their diaper. This is very common for babies who are breastfed and is no cause for alarm.

References:

http://ww.verywell.com/green-stool-meaning-89207
http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/giardia-infection/basics/causes/con-20024686
https://www.medicinenet.com/stool_color_changes/article.htm

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