Treating Constipation During Pregnancy

Pregnancy, though a wonderful experience has its own package of discomforts. Nausea is felt by most pregnant women, heartburn is another and one familiar discomfort is constipation.  The movement of food through the intestines is quite slow during pregnancy. This permits a greater absorption of nutrients and water but also causes constipation. Since the size of the uterus is increasing the pressure on the large intestine also increases. If you have been prescribed iron supplements by your caregiver, you may have constipation.

You may define constipation differently. Generally constipation is having fewer than three bowel movements in a week. You may feel bloated or probably strain too much while having a bowel movement. One common remedy and very important one during pregnancy is to drink at least 10 8 ounce glasses of water daily to prevent constipation and also to keep yourself and the baby healthy.

Constipation during pregnancy can be curbed by following some simple tips. You will feel very uncomfortable if you let the condition of constipation aggravate. Drink plenty of fluids and eat high fiber fruits and vegetables, bran, whole grains and prune juice. These will encourage elimination. It is important to exercise regularly during pregnancy. Regular exercise and walking not only makes you feel better if you are experiencing constipation but also enhances your overall health.

In case you do not experience relief by diet and exercise you may try over the counter high fiber products containing psyllium seed. These products are safe and quite effective In adding soft bulk to the stool. Stool softeners may be used if the discomfort is unbearable but ensure not to make it a habit. As far as possible avoid intestinal stimulants or laxatives. In case you are taking an iron supplement check with your caregiver if she can give a supplement that will constipate less.

Even calcium and vitamin supplements may cause constipation so you may need to check that also with your caregiver. Hemorrhoids are another common problem during pregnancy and can be alleviated by preventing constipation. Constipation during pregnancy can be avoided by taking suitable precautions, with a balanced diet and exercise.

Esther Gideon


The author is a postgraduate in business management and is a mother of a four year old and an eight month old.