A medication that is commonly used to treat stomach upsets and diarrhea, bismuth subsalicytate is sold under the brand name Pepto bismol in North America. Although anyone with an upset stomach can take pepto bismol, pregnancy is one condition where it needs to be used after consultation with the doctor. Stomach disorders, upset stomachs, constipation, hyper acidity, and diarrhea are digestion-related problems that most pregnant women are likely to suffer at one time or the other. At such times, they may be tempted to reach for the familiar pink liquid, but it would be better to avoid pepto bismol during pregnancy.
Millions of pregnant women have nausea and morning sickness during their pregnancy and try to alleviate these problems with pepto bismol, as pregnancy brings with it heartburn and indigestion too. Bismuth, the active ingredient in it forms a protective layer over stomach ulcers and shields them from stomach acid. Combined with its anti-bacterial properties, taking pepto bismol in pregnancy may appear to ease all digestion problems, but alternatives like bland diets are safer and have no side effects. Pepto bismol in the last trimester of the pregnancy is not recommended as it may interfere with normal delivery.
Constipation and change of color of the stools are common side effects of the use of pepto bismol. Hormonal changes in pregnancy tend to affect the movement in the gastro-intestinal passages, leading to acid reflux and a bloated feeling in the stomach.
An effective treatment that is used to treat diarrhea and stomach upsets during pregnancy is the BRAT diet. This diet involves eating foods that are low in fiber and relatively bland. BRAT is an acronym that stands for bananas, rice, apple sauce and toast. You could also have tea (BRATT) and yoghurt (BRATTY) as part of this diet. Doctors recommend that pregnant women increase their intake of fluids so that dehydration does not take place. If suffering from a stomach upset or diarrhea, it is recommended that they have oral re-hydration solutions to ensure that the depleted electrolytes are replaced. Any salt-imbalance can be thus avoided. Sometimes any irritation on the lining of the stomach walls could be due to pre-natal supplements of vitamins and iron, and these may then have to be stopped. Eating a well-balanced diet and exercising sufficiently is recommended as opposed to picking up an OTC medication.