Anything unusual that happens while you are pregnant seems extra scary, but green poop is not something to get worked up about. There are a number of reasons why an expecting mom can have a change in stool color. In fact, it is actually very common. Like with all things in pregnancy, it is just something you will want to monitor. You can always bring it up at your next doctor’s appointment as well. I do encourage moms to trust their instincts.
This means if you feel like something is truly wrong then make an appointment right away. In many cases, you can blame your green poop diet and supplements. However, we have gathered much of the information about other reasons for your green poop and information about when it is necessary to ask for medical advice.
Reasons for Green Poop in Pregnant Moms
Eating Green Food
Wow! I bet this one is a total shocker! Eating green foods, pregnant or not, makes your poop green. In this case, your green poop may just be a sign that you are eating a healthy diet focused on green foods. The chlorophyll in these foods can actually change the color of your stool from brown to green. Foods like green smoothies, juices with spinach and kale, and other dark green leafy vegetables may all be to blame. Even fruits like green apples, grapes, and honeydew contain chlorophyll.
Laxatives and Laxative Effects
Bile is a green or yellowish fluid that you produce in your liver. Its role in your body is to aid the digestion of fats in the intestines. When your body digests at a regular pace, bile changes color from green to brown based on how long it is affected by the bacteria in the large intestines.
When bile passes quickly through the intestines, it does not have the time to change colors. If your doctor recommends a laxative or stool softener for constipation during pregnancy, it may be affecting the transit time that bile has in the gut.
That is enough to make a pregnant mama’s poop turn shades of green. Certain foods can also have a laxative effect that would affect stool color. Foods that are high in fiber such as fruits and vegetables will soften stool. Other foods that have laxative effects are coffee, alcohol, jalapenos, and chili pepper.
Supplements and Medication
Prenatal vitamins that contain iron or herbal green teas can change the color of poop from a normal brown to green. If you think your green tea is the problem, check out Earth Mama Morning Wellness Tea or Peapod Tea for Two.
Sometimes the side effects of medication can also contribute to green poop in pregnant moms. As mentioned before, stool softeners can have this effect as well as long-term prescriptions like ciprofloxacin.
Bacteria and Viruses
Green poop can be a symptom of an illness or the presence of bacteria. Salmonella and the norovirus are two of the culprits that can change the color of poop. When food or water is contaminated, your body fights it off with a fever, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea.
Your body is trying to expel the infections, so your bowels move faster and your poop is then likely to be green. This is a bit more serious for pregnant moms than it is for others, so if you have green poop accompanied by the above-mentioned symptoms you should contact your doctor.
Colors of Poop to Be Concerned About
- Green: Green can be the result of food, supplement, medication, or bacterial infection.
- Yellowish: If you are pooping yellow it may be from excess fat that is not digested completely or from an infection in the small intestines.
- Reddish or bright red: One reason you may be having red stools is dyed red foods. However, it can also be caused by hemorrhoids, bleeding in the lower gut, digestive tract, or rectum. For a pregnant mom red poop may be more concerning than green, don’t hesitate to contact your doctor.
- Black or dark brown: Darker poop can be the result of the iron supplements from prenatal vitamins. It can also be caused by bleeding in the upper digestive tract that has changed colors by the time it is expelled from the body.
- White, light, or clay-colored: Medication that prevents diarrhea can take the color out of poop. Also, it can be a sign that the body is not producing enough bile.
Pregnant with Green Funky Smelling Poop; Cause for Concern?
Poop smells. I think we can probably all agree on that. However, if you notice that your poop has a stronger smell or has a smell that is different than usual, it may be an indicator of something else. If your diet has changed, it may be the cause. The unusual smell from poop may also be a symptom of infection, blood in the stool, or a disease such as celiac or Crohn’s. Your doctor can help you find out for sure and help you take the right course of action. Your body goes through so many changes while pregnant though, that both green poop and a funky smell wouldn’t be out of the usual.
Is Green Poop a Sign of Labor?
If diarrhea is not a common occurrence for you in your last trimester, it can be a signal that the baby is coming. You have hormones called prostaglandins which release and help the body empty the bowels prior to labor. Your uterus does this so that it can contract with efficiency.
When to Talk to Your Doctor
If you are pregnant and experiencing green stool, it may run its course on its own. The food you eat or the supplements you take can have an impact on how your body digests food. Just be sure to maintain a healthy diet and drink plenty of water. It is especially important to remain hydrated if you are dealing with diarrhea.
If green stool occurs for more than a few days, call your doctor. They will help you to be sure this is not the result of an infection or intestinal issue.
If you are pregnant and experiencing symptoms of bacterial or viral infections, call your doctor to determine a course of treatment. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach cramps, and fever.
If you have any questions, do not hesitate to reach out to our Rookie Moms Facebook Group. You will find that plenty of other moms have experienced this too!
*This post is for educational purposes only, always get professional medical advice before making any decisions*