Dark stool causes anxiety in any person, especially when you are pregnant, the condition can cause more panic and fretfulness because you are worried for your baby than yourself. But wait, dark stools are not always harmful, they can occur due to simple reasons such as dark colored food intake or even supplements. Whatever might be the reason, the minute dark stools appear, it is upsetting and bothersome for the expectant mother. So, in this post we have summed up a few causes for black or dark stools during pregnancy so that you can do a self–investigation before meeting the doctor and know if the condition is harmless or needs medical examination.
Here Are The Causes Of Black Stool During Pregnancy:
Consuming certain food items that are dark in color, blue or green in color can be a cause of black or dark stool during pregnancy. Foods such as beet root, tomatoes, blueberries can sometimes make your stools reddish black. Even food colorants can cause dark colored stools so keeping a daily record of what all you eat will help identify the food that causes dark or black stools.
Doctors prescribe iron supplements to keep up your blood count during pregnancy and correct anemic or low blood count conditions. Iron supplements in the form of ferrous sulfate or ferrous gluconate may cause black stool as a result of unabsorbed iron. To increase blood count, you can opt for iron rich diet such as green leafy veggies, red meat, etc and avoid the anxiety caused due to black stools. Besides iron supplements, ingesting blue berries and black liquorice can also cause black stools.
Any bleeding in upper GI tract can result in black stool during pregnancy. Digestion of blood occurs as it passes through the digestive tract. When the blood moves quickly in the tract, it might look dark red or red in color. Generally, when bleeding occurs in the stomach, it appears tarry and black. So, bleeding in the stomach, esophagus or upper parts of intestine due to ulcer, tear caused by vomiting, gastritis, presence of foreign bodies, etc can result in dark stools. Consult the doctor immediately if stool is tar colored or dark red blood and foul smelling. Bright red blood after the bowel movement must also be checked by your doctor.
Certain medication other than supplements are another reason for black stool during pregnancy. For example, taking OTC medication such as Pepto-Bismol for acid reflux or upset stomach can cause black stool, so discuss with the doctor if any medication causes the onset of dark stools especially during pregnancy. Avoid taking over-the-counter medications to ensure safety of your baby.
Increase in pressure or heaviness in the pelvic region or constipation during pregnancy might lead to hemorrhoids, fissures and even anal tear, which in turn would cause bleeding and dark stools. So, include fibrous food and increase water intake to prevent constipation and ease the passing of stool during pregnancy. Talk to your doctor if there is excess strain during passing stools and discuss about taking laxatives to ease the process. Remember that taking some medications during pregnancy are not safe, so avoid them.
6. Smoking And Taking Drugs
It is advisable to limit intake of alcohol during pregnancy because excessive consumption of illicit drugs or alcohol can irritate the lining of stomach or the esophagus, which results in dark stools. Also, smoking increases the risk of peptic ulcers. Hence, during pregnancy one should avoid smoking.