Constipation during pregnancy is a common occurrence. But what is the cause of this discomfort? And when should I expect it to happen? How can I reduce this annoying symptom of pregnancy?
Apart from the typical discomforts of pregnancy like morning sickness, fatigue, or heartburn, you may also suffer from constipation. But don’t worry, constipation is not something that will affect your baby, it is simply a consequence of changes in your body.
What causes constipation during pregnancy?
During pregnancy the increase of the hormone progesterone slows the movement of food through your digestive system, and the muscles in your intestines become relaxed, thus causing constipation.
In the final stages of your pregnancy the growing uterus presses on your rectum, further causing constipation.
So constipation may occur at any time during pregnancy.
There are other common causes of constipation like:
- Stress and anxiety. This cause is very common in anyone, even without being pregnant. So, try not to worry about anything, relax and eat wisely.
- Iron supplements can cause constipation because they may irritate the bowels. If you need iron, your doctor has to prescribe the exact dose in order to avoid or minimize constipation.
What can be done to reduce constipation during pregnancy?
It is very easy to reduce constipation. There is a simple formula: fiber, lots of liquid, and exercise.
- Ideally follow a high fiber diet. Try brown rice, wholegrain bread, morning cereals, vegetables, citrus fruits. Read about a Healthy Pregnancy Diet for more ideas.
- Drink plenty of fluids, at least 6 to 8 glasses of water daily. You can drink fruit juices, especially prune juice.
- Practice a low-impact exercise, such as walking, swimming or yoga.Practicing an exercise during pregnancy will help you to keep you healthy. Read about Pregnancy Exercises for more ideas.
In some cases constipation during pregnancy can cause a serious problem with hemorrhoids, which could increase the discomfort after delivery. Do not ignore this problem.
Constipation, like any other early sign of pregnancy such as nausea and vomiting, are part of the show to be a mom. So you must be very well prepared to deal with them in order to make your pregnancy more enjoyable.
The best part of this pregnancy problem is that there are natural remedies to minimize its discomfort. You should not forget to include fiber and water in your diet. And your body has to keep moving, so a good fitness program will definitely help.
Eat lots of foods that are high in fiber every day.
I know that constipation during pregnancy is hard and I struggled with that problem early in my pregnancy, but once you tackle it, you will feel much more comfortable.
If your constipation is severe and is accompanied with pain, visit your doctor immediately. He will probably recommend a stool softener or magnesium citrate. They don’t make you go, they just make it softer.