Loose Stools in Early Pregnancy

Women who experience loose stools during the first trimester of their pregnancy may be concerned for their health or the health of their growing embryo. Paying close attention to the frequency of loose stools is critical in knowing when to seek medical help.

Pregnancy-Related Causes

Loose stools in early pregnancy may be caused by a fluctuation in hormones, prenatal vitamins, changes in diet, increase in water consumption or as a result of beginning a prenatal fitness routine, according to

Additional Causes

Loose stools during early pregnancy may also be caused by an intestinal parasite, food poisoning or the stomach flu. Medical tests may be performed to determine if any of these are the cause of the bowel problems.

Diet Recommendations

Avoid dried fruits, fatty or spicy foods, as well as milk, which can make bowel movements looser. Add bananas, rice, applesauce, toast, potatoes, yoghurt and lean meats to help reduce the number of loose stools.


Loose stools or diarrhoea that lasts for more than one or two days could lead to dehydration, which is a risk factor for premature labour and miscarriage in early pregnancy. Contact a doctor if loose stools are experienced more than three times per day and persist for more than two days.

Immediate Attention

Pregnant women who experience loose stools that contain blood or mucus, or who have stools that become watery over time, should inform their health care provider immediately.

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About the Author

A mother of three and graduate of the University of Texas, Mary Evett is the online pregnancy expert who contributes to and CBS Local. Her passion for DIY projects is showcased monthly on the craft blog, My Crafty Spot. She is the author of the blog, Just Mom Matters.