Green Poop While Pregnant: Causes and Ways to Help

As you become pregnant, you begin experiencing all sorts of physical and mental changes. Those raging hormones will make you experience issues like headaches, hot flashes, and muscle aches. And of course, the increasing size of your belly is also going to play a role in joint pain and other issues. Along with these common changes, some women may experience green poop during pregnancy. As the normal color of your poop is light brown, it is natural to feel concerned when you have a green bowel movement. Is it because of hormonal changes? Let's find out more about it.

What Causes Green Poop While Pregnant?

It is true hormonal imbalances are going to cause several changes to take place in your body, but there are actually a number of factors making you have a green bowel movement during pregnancy.

1. Diet

What you eat will have an impact on the color of bowel movement. You should stick to a healthy diet throughout your pregnancy because nutritious meals lower your risk of experiencing pregnancy related complications – it also reduces risk of birth defects in babies. Your diet should include important minerals and vitamins for a healthy delivery. But if your diet includes green leafy veggies, such as broccoli and spinach, you will get an overdose of the chlorophyll (green pigment) that can turn your poop green as well. Limiting the use of green veggies may help resolve the issue.

2. Abnormal Colonic Transit Time

It refers to how long the ingested food stays in your large intestine before it finally goes out of your body. You can have green bowel movement if the colonic time is very short and food does not stay for long enough in your large intestine. It happens because the bile (digestive juices) is of green color and mixes with food when it enters the small intestine. Bile helps break down fat to improve digestion, but undigested food with green bile will move to your large intestine and go out of your body because your colonic transit time is abnormal.

3. Prenatal Vitamins

You may have green poop while pregnant if your diet includes prenatal vitamins. Your doctor recommends prenatal vitamins to ensure proper growth of your baby, but these supplements contain a large dose of essential minerals such as iron and calcium, which can change the color of your poop.

You have increased nutrient needs during pregnancy, and you have to take supplements because even a healthy diet cannot serve the purpose. However, the high iron content of these supplements can result in greenish fecal matter. The change in color is because your body sometimes fails to absorb all the iron you take, which results in the elimination of iron salts during bowel movements. This will make you notice shades of green when you have a bowel movement.

4. Intestinal Disorder

Your stool color may change if you have intestinal problems. It is possible for pregnant women to develop disorders like irritable bowel syndrome or Crohn's disease that can result in green stools. You develop Crohn's disease when the tissues in your small intestine become inflamed, which results in bleeding when the food passes through it. The combination of bile and blood can make you notice greenish black stools.

5. Medications

Certain mediations may also result in green poop while pregnant. For instance, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics if you have a sinus infection. In this case, you may end up having green bowel movements. The thing you need to bear in mind is that this change is temporary only. It means your bowel movement should become normal once you stop taking your antibiotics. If you are concerned about green feces, talk to your doctor and reduce the dosage to help resolve the issue.

How to Deal with Green Poop in Pregnancy

Generally, there is no need to worry about defecating green feces in pregnancy. It could be due to hormonal changes or an increase in the intake of iron. Therefore, you usually do not have to go to your doctor for a solution. You just need to reduce the consumption of certain food and stop taking your supplements after delivery to make your bowel movement normal again. If your problem persists, you can go discuss it with your doctor.

When to See a Doctor

You can easily ignore it if you have green poop while pregnant occasionally. However, you may want to schedule an appointment with your doctor if you have green feces more often. Your doctor will ask you about any lifestyle or dietary changes you have made after becoming pregnant. This helps them determine exactly what is affecting digestion and the color of your stool.

In rare cases, green stool may indicate rather serious health problems.

  • You should talk to your doctor immediately if you have green stool along with blood or mucus in it.
  • Similarly, you require medical assistance if your stool seems very watery.
  • There is probably something serious if you have other symptoms along with a change in the color of your stools. Symptoms that you shouldn't ignore include rectal pain, loss of appetite, fever, and intermittent bouts of constipation. 
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