Black (Dark) Stool during Pregnancy: Causes, Diagnosis & Prevention

Black (Dark) Poop While Pregnant: Causes & Prevention

Medically Reviewed By
Dr. Sabiha Anjum (Gynecologist/Obstetrician)
View more Gynecologist/Obstetrician Our Panel of Experts

Pregnancy is a time of immense change and transformation for a woman’s body. As the body undergoes various hormonal and physical changes, it is not uncommon to experience some digestive issues, such as dark or black poop. While this can be a cause for concern, it is essential to understand that it is often a temporary and treatable condition that can be managed effectively with proper care and attention. In this article, we will explore the causes and prevention of dark poop during pregnancy, helping you understand what to expect and how to take care of yourself during this critical time. Whether you are a first-time mother or have experienced pregnancy before, this article will provide you with the information you need to stay healthy and comfortable throughout your pregnancy. 

The symptoms to watch out for when you have black stools are:

To better understand the reasons and risks associated with black stools during pregnancy, it is essential to understand the causes of black stools.

Also Read: Green Stool During Pregnancy – Is It Normal?

Is Black Poop During Pregnancy Normal?

Hey there mama-to-be! It’s totally normal to have some weird and wacky bodily functions during pregnancy, but what about blackish stool? Well, don’t panic just yet! Black stool during pregnancy can be caused by a number of things, including prenatal vitamins, iron supplements, or even something as simple as eating dark-coloured foods. But if you’re experiencing black poop during the first, second, or third trimester, it’s always a good idea to chat with your doctor just to be on the safe side. And in the meantime, maybe skip the charcoal smoothie bowls.

What Are The Causes of Black Stools While Pregnant

There can be numerous reasons why your body passes motions in black colour during pregnancy. Some of them are:

1. Medication

Certain types of medication can cause dark stools during your pregnancy. This is usually the first thing doctors check when examining your condition. Some variations of antacids are known to cause black stools. Over-the-counter medication is easy to access and can be harmful if taken without a prescription. It is important to remember that self-medication can be dangerous during pregnancy. Inform your doctor about the medicines you consume so that medication-related problems with your stools can be ruled out.

2. Food

It is commonly believed that dark coloured foods cause dark stools. Watch out for black or blue foods and talk to your doctor about managing your diet to balance out your nutritional intake. It is also recommended that you stay away from any food prepared using artificial food colouring during this period.

3. Iron Supplements

During pregnancy, your doctor will prescribe you iron supplements – this can cause dark coloured stools. This is absolutely normal. Most women are generally anaemic due to loss of blood during menstruation, and in the case of pregnant women, due to the increasing demand of the growing foetus. Since these supplements do not pose harm generally, continue consuming them along with iron-rich foods like spinach, meat, etc. Also, keep a check on your haemoglobin levels.

Consuming supplements during pregnancy

4. Bleeding

One of the more serious reasons for black stools during pregnancy is bleeding. It could be something as small as gastrointestinal bleeding due to extreme GERD, or something as serious as intestinal tract bleeding. Regardless of the type, it is essential to have it checked out by a doctor.

5. Health Issues

Black stools often indicate health issues. If your stool is black and has an extremely foul odour, it could be a condition called melena. If the consistency is tarry and black, it could indicate internal bleeding. If during the third term of your pregnancy the anal region swells and the stools come out black, it could be a sign of an anal tear. Talk to a doctor to understand if the black stools are related to medical issues.

Symptoms Of Black Stool During Pregnancy

Blackish stool can be a bit of a shocker during pregnancy, especially when you’re already dealing with a myriad of other changes. If you’re experiencing black stool during your first trimester, it could simply be a result of changes in your diet or prenatal vitamins. However, black poop in the second or third trimester may warrant a closer look as it could be a sign of something more serious. Don’t hesitate to talk to your doctor if you’re concerned. After all, your baby’s health is nothing to take lightly – even if the topic of poop might make you feel a little uncomfortable!


Doctors can diagnose the cause of your dark stools by first taking into account the history of your physical and medical condition. If they feel the information does not point to the reason for black stools, you might have to go through a combination of x-rays, blood tests and stool examinations. This can help identify the cause of the black stool. If this is still inconclusive, then the doctor could ask you to undertake an examination called an endoscopy which involves a trained practitioner putting a tube through your oesophagus, with a camera attached to it. This tube will navigate the GI tract and try to identify the cause of the dark stool. They could also ask you to get a colonoscopy done to rule out colon infections and colon cancer as a cause.

Is Black Poop Indicate Miscarriage?

We get it – pregnancy can be nerve-wracking enough without adding the worry of black poop indicating a miscarriage. But let’s clear things up: blackish stool alone does not necessarily indicate a miscarriage. Phew, right? However, black stool in combination with other symptoms such as cramping, fever, or heavy bleeding could potentially signal a miscarriage or other serious complications. It’s important to note that black stool during any trimester should always be discussed with your doctor to rule out any underlying issues. Remember, your health and your baby’s health are top priorities, so don’t hesitate to speak up and ask questions. And hey, at least you can add “poop expert” to your pregnancy resume!

Effective Measures to Avoid Dark Stools

Here are some effective ways to avoid dark stools during your pregnancy.

1. Increase Fibre Intake

One of the most effective ways to deal with digestive issues during pregnancy is consuming a high fibre and a mineral-rich diet that ensures your digestive system has an easy time processing and breaking down nutrients. However, this does not mean that you eliminate carbs entirely from your diet. It simply means that you increase the fibre component of your diet and consume complex and healthy carbs. Consulting a dietician and creating a meal plan that not only provides all the minerals, vitamins and nutrients your body needs but also helps enrich the efficiency of your GI tract will turn out to be beneficial. Increasing fibre content relieves constipation and prevents anal fissures or haemorrhoids, and thus, bleeding.

2. Quit Smoking

Smoking is an extremely harmful habit that not only hurts your lungs and risks cancer but also deteriorates organ health which could cause digestive tract issues, raise your blood pressure, and even cause internal bleeding. Doctors highly recommend that you quit smoking in general but especially during your pregnancy as the risks are almost three times as bad as normal and could also impact your child’s health and delivery.

3. Stay Hydrated

One of the most common reasons behind your GI tract health deteriorating is dehydration. Water plays a crucial role in maintaining a healthy digestive system as well as organ health, especially intestinal health. So, remember to drink the right amount of water and fluids during the day and consume water-rich food like watermelons, cucumbers and grapes.Pregnant woman drinking water

4. Avoid Self-medicating

Some medications can cause black stools, which is why it is recommended that you do not self-medicate during the period of your pregnancy. Before consuming any over-the-counter medication, consult a doctor and ensure that you keep them in the loop about the medication you consume.

5. Exercise

Remember that exercise is crucial for your well-being. Some light exercise will not only preserve organ health but will also help improve digestion and ensure muscle health. This is also known to help avoid black stools.

What to Do If You Notice Black Stools

Dark stools during pregnancy

It is best that you consult your doctor immediately even if the cause is minor, as it is best to rule out any danger. Remember that when you’re pregnant, you also carry the well-being of your child in your hands. Get the help of professionals whenever possible to rule out any future danger for both you and your child.


Do Prenatal Vitamins Cause Black Stool?

Ah, the wonders of prenatal vitamins – they’re like a magic pill for your growing baby, but can they also be the culprit of black poop during pregnancy? The answer is yes, they can! But before you panic, let’s clarify: blackish stool caused by prenatal vitamins is generally nothing to worry about. Iron is a common ingredient in prenatal vitamins and can cause changes in stool colour. However, black poop in combination with other symptoms like abdominal pain or nausea should always be discussed with your doctor to rule out any other potential causes. So don’t throw out those vitamins just yet! Instead, take comfort in knowing that a little black poop is a small price to pay for a healthy pregnancy. Plus, it’s just one more reason to embrace your pregnancy quirks and laugh off the unexpected surprises that come with the territory.

Is Black Poop One Of The Early Pregnancy Symptoms?

Black poop as an early pregnancy symptom? Not exactly the glamorous “pregnancy glow” you were hoping for, huh? While blackish stool can occur during pregnancy, it’s not typically one of the early symptoms. However, changes in diet and prenatal vitamins can cause black stool during any trimester. If you’re experiencing black poop in combination with other symptoms like fatigue, nausea, or missed periods, it’s important to speak with your doctor to rule out any potential health concerns. But don’t worry – even if black stool isn’t a common early pregnancy symptom, you can still enjoy all the joys of morning sickness and weird food cravings! Just remember to take care of yourself and prioritise your health (and bathroom breaks) throughout your pregnancy journey.

Does Every Pregnant Women Have Dark Stool?

Does every pregnant woman have dark stool? Well, let’s just say black poop isn’t exactly a universal pregnancy experience. While some women may notice changes in stool colour during pregnancy, it’s not a guaranteed symptom for every mom-to-be. Factors like diet, prenatal vitamins, and overall health can all play a role in stool colour, so it’s important to pay attention to your body and talk to your doctor if you have any concerns. And if you happen to be one of the lucky ones who avoids the joys of blackish stool during pregnancy, consider it a small victory in a journey filled with its fair share of surprises. After all, pregnancy is unpredictable enough without adding black poop to the mix!

Does Black Stool During Pregnancy Mean Blood?

Does black stool during pregnancy mean blood? It’s a valid concern, but not necessarily the case. Black poop can be caused by a number of factors, including changes in diet or prenatal vitamins. However, black stool can also be a sign of internal bleeding, so it’s important to discuss any concerns with your doctor. They can perform tests to determine the cause of the blackish stool and ensure the health and safety of you and your baby. Remember, it’s always better to err on the side of caution when it comes to your health and your little one’s.

Even though black stools during pregnancy can be a mildly worrying sign, they don’t always indicate danger. Consult your doctor, follow up on the advice given, and ensure you keep an eye on the other symptoms. Communicate openly and in detail with your doctors so you take the right step forward.

Resources and References: Health Link

Also Read: 

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) during Pregnancy
Mucus in Stool While Pregnant

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