Digestion

Are you Passing Black Stools during Pregnancy?

An expecting mother is likely to suffer from several complications and uncomfortable symptoms like black stool during pregnancy. Pregnancy is a natural process like menopause. Within all these, you must know how to maintain your optimum health for a comfortable pregnancy and deliver a healthy baby. Most importance must be given to your eating habits whenever you are pregnant.

Cause of Black Stools during Pregnancy –

  • Black stools occur when bleeding occurs in the upper gastrointestinal tract (like the stomach, esophagus and the first parts of the intestines).
  • It signifies that the blood is coming from the upper part of the GI tract.
  • When the blood is exposed to other digestive juices, the blood appear tar-colored or black.
  • The blood in the stool makes the color of the stool black.
  • Black, tarry, foul smelling stool is called melena.
  • Ingesting iron supplements, black liquorice, blue berries and pepto-bismol can also result in black stools. Injury in the upper gastrointestinal tract cannot be ignored. So it is advisable to get yourself medically examined whenever black stool occurs.
  • The prime causes of bleeding in the upper gastrointestinal tract are -
    • Duodenal ulcer (bleeding stomach)
    • Esophageal varices
    • Gastritis
    • Tear in the esophagus caused during violent vomiting
    • Foreign body presence or trauma to the upper GI tract
    • Lack of proper blood supply to the intestines (ischemia)
    • Vascular malformation

Supplements and black stool-

  • Mothers prefer taking certain supplements during pregnancy to ensure proper nutrition are maintained for them and their baby. Example – Iron supplements.
  • Since ages, iron supplements are given to the expecting mothers despite of evaluation of iron levels.
  • Iron has strange qualities.
  • Iron is required to produce new blood cells and transport enough oxygen within the body.
  • In case of loss of iron, no new cells will be formed and the organs will die starving out of less oxygen.
  • But again too much of iron is not beneficial.
  • The iron which is not used is stored within the body in the form of ferritin.
  • During childbirth, menstrual periods, blood donation, blood loss in a injury, iron is lost from the body. In short; loose blood, loose iron.
  • So make sure you are deficient in iron before taking iron supplements. During pregnancy your iron levels must be tested regularly.
  • Some iron supplements can be largely ineffective. Their form of intake decides their effect. Example – inorganic iron supplements like the ferrous gluconate and ferrous suplhate.
  • These are standard forms of iron which are medically prescribed.
  • But these are very difficult to be absorbed
  • These supplements cause problems in the digestion and results in black stools.
  • Black stools are often a sign of iron being absorbed.
  • The chelated forms of iron are easily absorbed. These hardly cause any harm to the bowel habits. These supplements are combined with an amino acid.
  • It is better to increase iron intake naturally. Drink black tea during a meal. Take iron supplements along with Vitamin c supplements. Keep a gap of 30 minutes between eating and drinking tea.

Do not forget you are having another life within you. Taking proper food is important for you and for your baby as well. You need to have optimum knowledge about what to eat and what not to eat. Taking supplements must also be considered only after medical advice. Passing black stool during pregnancy must not be ignored. It may not usually be a sign of alarming medical condition but still must be attended. Following natural approaches is the best way to have a healthy pregnancy.

Babies are naturally insulated from the external environment within the wombs. They are highly protected. But anything that affects their mother will also affect them equally. The profound effects are visible on the baby after he/she is born and sometimes after growing into an adult. So pay proper attention t your diet and drinks. Make a strict guideline to obey as per your medical practitioner.

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