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Constipation During Pregnancy: Causes & Treatment

Table of Contents

Constipation During Pregnancy

Table of Contents

Women while in their trimester usually complain about their experience upon the irregular bowel movements that generally result in a sense of being bloated, gassy, and clogged-up that perhaps are quite a regular feeling during pregnancy. Therefore, the question here then rises, what can one do to help stop these irregular senses? The article below will help you find out how!

When does constipation during pregnancy start?

As soon as your levels of progesterone tend to rise, constipation tends to start and may get worse while you travel down the road to the second or third trimester of your pregnancy with the uterus growing.

What is its causes according to a healthcare provider?

What causes this you may ask? The answer to this question is quite straightforward. The two things that are the major cause are its symptoms and the raging hormones you go through.

The high levels of progesterone in you tend to relax the muscles in your bowels that hinders the whole process of digestion. Here, with this unnatural relaxation, the food is allowed to simply hang around comparatively longer than usual, in its digestive tract. This then produces a waste traffic jam resulting in an expansion of the uterus, taking much more space than what is normally required or occupied by the bowel.

However, irrespective of the discomfort it causes it actually adds up more nutrients absorption due to the added time into your bloodstream that further reaches the unborn baby.

What can I do to aid constipation during pregnancy along with the stool softeners?

Typically, a clear discharge is experienced by most women during the early days of pregnancy and this can also smell slightly funny or pungent so to say. The reason for this discharge is usually the sudden spike in the estrogen levels which increase the blood flow to the vaginal area and cause fluid secretion.

1) Add and consume lots of fiber in your daily diet chart

Having foods that contain high amounts of fiber while you’re pregnant helps eliminate the waste produced up to 25 to 35 grams every day! Foods with high levels of fiber include;  whole-grain cereals and bread, legumes like edamame and chickpeas, fresh fruits, vegetables ( both raw and lightly cooked with skin), and dried fruits. 

These foods will help you aid from constipation, for instance, if you opt for greens like leafy green vegetables and kiwi fruit, they are useful as they are packed with an effect of potent laxative. You may also opt for adding some amounts of bran or psyllium to your diet too to help increase the level of fiber in your food, and increase the sprinkle as and when needed. However, remember to check with your doctor before you go all over the boat to know if the amount is right according to your diet.

Pro tip – If at all you plan to go for anything else other than the listed, make sure to read the label to know the ingredients used and if it has fiber included.

2) Avoid finely refined foods

Avoiding foods that are quite refined can help you by not backing things up and further constipating you. These finely refined foods include; white bread, white rice, refined cereals, and pasta.

3) Drink lots of liquid

Now we don’t necessarily mean only water but any liquid like a broth, vegetable and fruit juices, and water. Have about 8 to 10 ounces of liquid daily. This will help the solid stuck in the directive track to pass through by making your stool softer that will help it pass through easily.

Also, to help you stimulate the peristalsis (that is the intestinal contractions), you could opt for warm liquids like a health spa staple, hot water and lemon, and prune juice.

4) Do not eat all the food at once

Consuming all the meal at once or maxing out your mealtime could lead to overtaxing your digestive tract that could further add to constipation in your pregnancy. The best way to then consume food is to divide your make into 6 mini-meals in a day compared to the otherwise 3 large meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner). Not only that, but this can also help you with less bloating and gas.

5) Do not skip washroom trips

We understand the amount of work you might have and how busy things might have caught you up, but it is recommended to not skip your washroom trips at any cost. These regular hold-ups further weaken your muscles that are supposed to control the bowel movement, adding to constipation. So, you need to go when you need to!

6) Reconsider the supplements and medications prescribed

Quote ironically, the supplements or prenatal vitamins medications recommended by your doctor for your pregnant body could be a cause for your constipation. These medications include calcium and iron supplements, and antacids. So, it is recommended to consult your doctor and check for stool softeners as alternatives like slow-release iron supplements or even certain adjustments in your dosages until the constipation situation improves.

Tip – Ask your doctor or the gynecologist for a magnesium supplement that will help you fight the irritant constipation. Also, advisable to have in the nights to help relax those achy muscles resulting in a good sound sleep.

7) Have probiotics

Probiotics like acidophilus that is generally found in yogurts contain active cultures that help stimulate the bacteria present in the intestine and further break the food present in the digestive tract for a healthy and smooth moving. Also, ask your gynecologist for a good probiotic supplement in terms of capsules in either chewable or powder form.

8) Try to stay active

Staying active in terms of regular exercises helps you encourage bowel movements. It need not be a long walk or a hefty routine, but even a 10-minute walk can have things to move. However, if you plan to have a routine in form, it is recommended to get the gynecologist’s approval or ask the doctor to help you with certain exercises to practice and improve your constipation.

9) Avoid stimulant laxatives

There are quite a few laxatives and stool softeners, both herbal and homemade ones that are safe, not safe for you during your pregnancy. So, try talking to your health care provider before you take any remedy for constipation.

10) Do Kegels

The straining caused by the force you place during your constipation in pregnancy can result in weak pelvic muscles. This is what you must practice your Kegels regularly to help strengthen and keep those pelvic muscles nice and strong for the time of delivery.

11) Always consult your gynecologist

If all the points above do not help in any movement in the digestive tract and you still feel constipated, consult your healthcare provider. She/he/they will help you with some over-the-counter meds like docusate or polyethylene glycol that will help you do away with constipation.

How to prevent constipation during pregnancy?

There is no easy pass to help you aid the discomfort caused by the pregnancy. All you need to do is have good and healthy eating habits like consuming foods rich in fiber (fruits, veggies, whole grains, lentils) and drink lots of water to help aid the irritant pregnancy constipation.

Also with that, try to exercise daily. This will help encourage a speedy digestive system, preventing constipation in pregnancy.

When constipation during pregnancy end?

Constipation for most women usually lasts throughout pregnancy due to the high levels of progesterone produced.

However, the good news here is, you can help prevent or aid constipation. Change your eating and exercise habits, at any point of your pregnancy and you can help things move and do away with the nasty and irritant constipation.

That’s all folks! The information above has everything you need to know about constipation during pregnancy and how you can aid it.

That’s all pals! This was all about the causes and aids for constipation during pregnancy. Are you also tense about the pregnancy cramps you get? Here is an article about cramping during pregnancy from Parenthood Bliss. Click and read on!

Constipation During Pregnancy Final Conclusion

Constipation during pregnancy could perhaps be quite a hard time to be in. But that doesn’t mean you have to stick to it throughout! That’s right, there are aids to help cure or at the most help in breaking down the waste traffic and help in the smooth passage. So, get started, stay healthy, break your 3 large meals into 6 mini-meals and stay active!

Constipation During Pregnancy FAQs:

1) Can constipation hurt the baby during pregnancy?

Fortunately, constipation does not have any effect on the baby. But, it does cause a problem for you which could be as simple as a nuisance that leads to a severe medical condition. These conditions include hemorrhoids, rectal bleeding, and rectal fissures. So, take care and take the required precautions prescribed by the gynecologist.

2) What medicine is safe for constipation during pregnancy?

Medicines that are safe as act as a stool softener to prevent constipation are:
  • Colace or docusate sodium
  • Fibercon or the calcium polycarbophil
  • Metamucil or psyllium
  • Milk of Magnesia or in other words a magnesium hydroxide
  • Miralax or polyethylene glycol
  • 3) Can being constipated affect your pregnancy?

    Unfortunately yes, pregnancy constipation in your trimester does affect your pregnancy as it can lead to problems like hemorrhoids, rectal bleeding, and rectal fissures. These are the common side effects of pregnancy, along with the other common side effects of pregnancy. To help aid yourself from irritant constipation during pregnancy, refer to the above information below.

    4) How do you relieve constipation during pregnancy?

    To help prevent constipation follow these simple steps:
  • Have as much liquid as needed. This liquid could be any from water to vegetable stocks to fruit juices like Prune.
  • Remember to be active throughout. Keep yourself busy with physical activities, especially Kegels for the waste traffic to get easier to pass by encouraging bowel movements.
  • Include more high-fiber foods in your diet. For instance, fruits, vegetables, beans, and whole grains.
  • On behalf of the editorial team at Parenthoodbliss, we follow strict reporting guidelines and only use credible sources, along with peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and highly respected health organizations. To learn about how we maintain content accurate and up-to-date by reading our medical review and editorial policy.

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