Constipation During Pregnancy

December 30, 2009

Constipation is one of the most frequent complaints among pregnant women.

Causes of Constipation During Pregnancy

  • abdominal-painweb180Hormones- Your body is rapidly producing hormones which have a relaxing affect on all the muscles in your body. Your intestines also rely on muscle tissue to move waste through your body. This laxness in your muscles results in a slower digestive process.
  • Pressure from your growing baby- Your baby and your uterus are growing and pushing on your intestines and rectum. This pressure can put the squeeze on your organs causing constipation.
  • Thyroid- a low thyroid hormone can contribute to constipation.
  • Poor diet- Improper intake of fiber.
  • Insufficient exercise.
  • Dehydration

Preventing Constipation During Pregnancy

  • Be sure to drink plenty of water- Dehydration is a common cause of constipation. Drinking 8 glasses of fluids a day can help keep your bowels moving.
  • Increase fiber intake- eat high fiber foods, cereals, whole grains and lots of fruits and vegetables every day.
  • Exercise- Movement stimulates digestion and your bowels. Exercise regularly.
  • Practice prenatal yoga

Treatment for Constipation During Pregnancy

  • Prune juice or prunes
  • Ask your doctor about Milk of Magnesia or other safe and gentle laxatives
  • Take a fiber supplement such as psyllium to add moisture to your bowels.
  • Talk to an acupuncturist or massage practitioner.
  • Learn about techniques such as those in the Pregnancy Pain Relief book to help alleviate some of the pressure on your bowels.

When You Should Call Your Doctor

  • You haven’t had a bowel movement in more than 3 days
  • You are experiencing vaginal or rectal bleeding
  • You are having severe pain


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