Q: Good evening Dr. Thank you for the way you have been helping us out with some health issues. I am 9weeks pregnant and I noticed this morning that my stool is dark in colour. Please what is the cause? Secondly if I eat any food, I throw up immediately, please is there any way i can handle this? Because, I don’t have appetite for any food at all
A: You are most welcome and thank you for your kind words! Congratulations on your pregnancy!
During pregnancy, iron supplements are usually given to ensure that an adequate blood level is maintained during the pregnancy (due to increase need) and prevent anaemia. These supplements can cause the colour of stool to become black. Other side effects include heart burn, constipation or diarrhea, abdominal pain and nausea/vomiting. However, pregnancy itself can cause nausea and vomiting (morning sickness). Morning sickness during pregnancy can be really trying! I know…I suffered through it!
The standard teaching is to try eating some bland foods like Crackers biscuits or dry toast. That personally didn’t work for me. I preferred tart things…which some may want to avoid. I loved lemons during my pregnancies. They were the one thing guaranteed to ‘wake up’ my mouth and chase nausea far away. I also had a particular brand of very tart bubble gum, I indulged in 😀 These were key for me because, though I didn’t have the real bad case of morning sickness that sent you to the hospital, brushing my teeth in the morning always sent me into a bout of retching/vomiting. So, I always had a ready supply of the gum or lemon/lime to pop into my mouth once I was done brushing/retching! Not a very pleasant memory ;D
So, if lemons work for you to prevent nausea, go for it. Remember that moderation is key. A few drops (one or two) in a glass of water are enough to provide that tart kick that sends nausea far away. There is a catch here though…remember the heart burn associated with pregnancy. The acid content of lemon might make the heart burn and any pre-existing gastro-esophageal (stomach and esophagus/gullet) problems worse. So, this is all the more reason to be very moderate or stop if it exacerbates an already bad case of heart burn. Wherever and whenever in doubt, please be sure to see your doctor.
• Eat little amounts of food frequently as an empty tummy increases the likelihood of throwing up. Remember this is not an excuse to binge and over eat 😀
• Avoid fatty and greasy foods.
• Avoid smells that trigger nausea
• Cold foods may be preferable to hot as the former does not give off smells that may cause you to feel queasy.
• Get loads of fresh air and rest
• And drink sufficient fluids daily
A note of caution though, black stools can also occur when there is bleeding from the upper digestive tract. So, your first course of action is to check with your doctor especially if you’re not on iron supplements.
Have a great weekend, y’all 😀