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Can Constipation Hurt The Baby During Pregnancy

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Side Effects Of Treatments For Pregnancy Constipation

Constipation during pregnancy

Because all medications have side effects, you should try increasing fiber, water, and exercise before taking laxatives. If you do need laxatives, talk to your doctor about the best one for your condition. Once you start laxatives, it may take several months to wean off of them. You should only use osmotic and stimulant laxatives short-term.;

Talk to your doctor about seeing a gastroenterologist if you have:

  • Bowel habit changes that have lasted longer than six weeks

Feeling Faint In Pregnancy

Been feeling slightly dizzy or faint? There are a number of reasons that you can feel faint in pregnancy; these can be hormonal changes, low blood pressure, you may become overheated or have low iron levels. Some useful tips to help are:

  • Get up slowly after sitting or lying down.
  • As soon as you feel faint, find a seat quickly – if the faintness doesnt pass, lie down on your side.
  • If you feel faint while lying on your back, turn on your side.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.

If you experience feeling faint or dizzy then please contact your GP or midwife.

What Is Postpartum Constipation

Constipation is common after giving birth. Characterized by difficult or infrequent bowel movements, many people experience constipation during pregnancy, and it can continue after delivery, or it may occur for the first time after delivery.;Generally, constipation is defined as fewer than three bowel movements a week and/or less often than your normal bathroom habits. This condition may persist for a week or longer until your body’s elimination system gets back on track.

People who did not have an issue with constipation during their pregnancy might be surprised to develop it after. On the other hand, for someone who has had bowel woes in the past or dealt with them while they were pregnant, constipation may continue or worsen right after giving birth.

Whether the experience is new to you or not, constipation is uncomfortableespecially when your body is still trying to heal from labor and delivery. Postpartum constipation can happen for several reasons. Understanding them can help you find the best treatment and get relief.

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What Are The Signs Of Constipation

  • More than four days between bowel movements.
  • Dry, hard stools that are painful and difficult to pass.
  • If you’re left with a feeling that not everything has passed when you do have a bowel movement.
  • If theres bleeding from the rectal area when hard stools have been passed.
  • Lack of appetite and not being able to face food.
  • Bloating of the lower abdomen, cramp, spasm;and pain.
  • Having a headache and general unease;are signs of constipation;and dehydration.

Pregnancy Bleeding And Swollen Gums

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You may not have expected pregnancy to affect your mouth. But your blood circulation and hormone levels can make your gums tender and swollen, and you may notice they bleed more easily. You may also develop nose bleeds.


  • Get a dental checkup early in your pregnancy to make sure your teeth and mouth are healthy. See your dentist if you notice a particular problem.
  • Brush your teeth, floss regularly and rinse daily with an antiseptic mouthwash.

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Constipation Relief During Pregnancy

The first step in finding constipation relief is to make sure youre drinking lots of water , consuming enough fiber and getting ample activity . If the constipation persists, Metamucil or a mild stool softener such as Colace can help. If youre taking iron supplements, these may be contributing to your constipationtalk with your doctor about possible alternatives. In general, mineral oils, oral laxatives, enemas and rectal suppositories should be taken only after talking with your doctor, because they may stimulate labor.

Drinking plenty of water and eating those fruits and veggies can help prevent constipation later in pregnancy. Staying active can help prevent constipation too.

How To Manage Constipation In Pregnancy

Nearly three out of four women experience constipation and other bowel disorders during their pregnancies. Heres how to handle it.

Noticing a flutter or two in your belly lately? It’s not necessarily your baby kicking. Thanks to pregnancy hormones and an enlarged uterus, you might start feeling bloated, constipated, and generally uncomfortable. Constipation can also lead to hemorrhoids, another common side effect of pregnancy. Here’s how to manage and prevent constipation while expecting.;

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What Is Constipation During Pregnancy

Constipation is a common complaint of women who are pregnant. It affects up to 38% of women at some point during their pregnancy. Constipation can be painful and negatively affect your quality of life. It can also lead to physical problems like hemorrhoids if you don’t treat it.;

Symptoms of constipation during pregnancy

Symptoms of constipation can include any of the following:

  • Infrequent bowel movements
  • Hard, lumpy, or dry stool
  • A feeling like all of your stool hasn’t passed
  • Excessive straining to have a bowel movement;

Causes of constipation during pregnancy

If you are experiencing constipation during pregnancy, it may be a result of one of the following potential causes:;

  • Hormone changes in pregnancy
  • Not enough fiber in your diet;

Who can get constipation during pregnancy?

Any woman who is pregnant can experience constipation, but the following factors may increase your risk:

  • Age over 35
  • Pre-pregnancy Body Mass Index over 24;

How To Stop Using Laxatives

3 Simple Techniques To Combat Constipation During Pregnancy

When your bowel movements occur regularly without difficulty, laxatives can be withdrawn gradually. The reduction in the dose of laxatives should be guided by the frequency and consistency of the stools.

Gradual withdrawal will reduce the risk of requiring re-initiation of therapy for recurrent fecal loading.

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Coping With Constipation During Pregnancy

This article first appeared in the February/March 2016 issue of Your Pregnancy magazine.;

Your body produces more female hormones than usual while youre pregnant. These hormones have the important job of ensuring that your pregnancy develops as it should, but their presence does cause some unwelcome side effects. One of them is increased constipation.

Relieving Constipation In Pregnancy

With good reason, only a few medicines are licensed for the treatment of constipation in pregnancy. MICROLAX® Enema has established itself as a laxative for pregnant women over many years and is well tolerated, even by children under 3 years old. It takes effect locally in the rectum, so there is no fear of it having any effect on your unborn baby. A further benefit: MICROLAX® Enema acts within 30 minutes so your pregnancy can be a pleasurable experience untroubled by any tiresome discomfort.

Find out more here about the gentle mode of action of MICROLAX® Enema.

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Cramps In Buttocks During Pregnancy

Cramps are also a literal pain in the butt for the pregnant woman.

Sometimes muscle tension in the back can contribute to cramping lower down.

If you suffer cramping and buttocks pain, it can help if you incorporate some daily stretching into your routine.

To alleviate cramps, add Epsom salts to your bath, and make sure youre getting enough magnesium and potassium.

You might be keeping your fluids up but you could be low in these minerals, particularly if you live in a warmer climate.

What Can I Do About Constipation When I’m Pregnant

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You don’t have to resign yourself to nine months of discomfort. There are plenty of tactics to combat colon congestion :

What to Expect selects products based on independent research;and suggestions from our community of millions of parents; learn more about our review process. We may earn commissions from shopping links.

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How To Deal With Constipation During Pregnancy

Constipation is often an early sign of pregnancy, and sometimes it continues for all nine months . Here’s what you can do to get relief from pregnancy constipation.

Both of Adele Hedricks pregnancies were marred by months of cramping, bloating and gassiness thanks to constipation, which affects 11 to 38 percent of pregnant women. It added so much more discomfort to pregnancy, says the Bowmanville, Ont. mom of two. When she developed painful hemorrhoids as a result of straining, Hedrick knew it was time to put some serious effort into softening her stools. I focused on drinking lots of water and eating whatever fibre I could get my hands on, she says. All-Bran was my best friend.

What causes pregnancy constipationWhen you become pregnant, rising levels of the hormone progesterone slow your digestive system to a snails pace, and for good reason: your body is absorbing the extra nutrients and fluids it needs to grow a healthy baby. The result, though, is harder stools that are more difficult to pass. This happens so early that its a first sign of pregnancy for some women, says Suzanne Wong, an OB/GYN at Torontos St. Josephs Health Centre.

Read more:

Pain In Buttocks During Pregnancy Third Trimester

The pelvic girdle contains and supports pelvic organs, including the intestines, the bladder and internal sex organs.

Discomfort or pain in this area is known as pelvic girdle pain .

PGP can also affect the lower back and hips, causing pain not only in the pelvic region but also in the buttocks, groin, thighs and knees.

Causes of pelvic girdle pain during pregnancy:

  • The pregnancy hormone relaxin helps to loosen the ligaments of the pelvis;to make space for your baby in preparation for birth.
  • Sometimes the ligaments can loosen too much, or can move unevenly, leading to instability in the pelvic girdle
  • Normal pregnancy weight gain puts additional pressure on the sacroiliac and the symphysis pubis ligaments, which causes discomfort.

PGP is a common cause of pain during pregnancy.

According to the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, pelvic girdle pain affects 1 in 5 pregnant women.

Symptoms can range from mild to severe and can occur at any point in the pregnancy.

For most women, PGP will go away after birth, but some experience ongoing pain throughout the postnatal period and beyond.

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The Link Between Constipation And Hemorrhoids

On its own, pregnancy increases your risk of swollen veins around your rectum. “But if your stool is uncomfortable to pass and you’re straining to do so, it can make hemorrhoids worse,” says Shari Brasner, M.D., assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, in New York City, and author of Advice from a Pregnant Obstetrician “This is serious, because they can be with you for life.” You can prevent pregnancy hemorrhoids by managing constipation, using the tips below.;

Your Position On The Toilet

I’m pregnant and constipated. Will it affect my baby if I strain during a bowel movement?

Having a good position on the toilet can help when you are emptying your bowels.

  • Use a small step or footstool under your feet. This helps you to get into the best position.
  • Lean forward, as much as your bump allows. Put your elbows on your knees. Try and keep your back straight.
  • Do not strain, and do not hold your breath. Taking long, slow, deep breaths through your mouth will help your tummy muscles relax.
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    Abdominal Pain Or Discomfort

    Sharp, shooting pains on either side of your stomach may result from the stretching tissue supporting your growing uterus. These pains may also travel down your thigh and into your leg.


    • Change your position or activity until you are comfortable; avoid sharp turns or movements.
    • If you have a sudden pain in your abdomen, bend forward to the point of pain to relieve tension and relax the tissue.
    • Apply a hot water bottle or heating pad to your back, or take a warm bath or shower.
    • Try a massage.

    Will It Continue After Ive Had The Baby

    There are several reasons why constipation may continue after birth. Women who have had a caesarean often experience constipation for a few days until their regular bowel movements return. Women who have stiches after a vaginal birth may hesitate on the toilet, which can cause a build-up in their bowels.

    If youve taken strong pain medication after having your baby this may also cause constipation.

    New mothers are often busier than usual in the first few weeks and months of motherhood. It may seem like taking care of yourself has become less of a priority, but your health is no less important now than it was during your pregnancy. Be sure to have plenty of fibre-rich fruit, vegetables, and wholegrains as well as increase your fluid intake while breastfeeding to encourage healthy bowel movements, even when you are busy.

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    When Can I Expect Constipation To End While I’m Pregnant

    For some women, constipation lasts throughout pregnancy as progesterone levels peak. However, if you change up your eating and exercise habits, things usually begin moving more smoothly. And you can take steps to combat constipation at any point during your pregnancy.

    From the What to Expect editorial team and;Heidi Murkoff,;author of;What to Expect When You’re Expecting. What to Expect follows strict reporting guidelines and uses only credible sources, such as peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions and highly respected health organizations. Learn how we keep our content accurate and up-to-date by reading our;medical review and editorial policy.

    Pelvic Pain In Pregnancy

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    Symptoms differ from one woman to the next and some suffer more than others but pelvic pain – also known as pregnancy-related pelvic girdle pain or symphysis pubis dysfunction – can be debilitating. Make these simple adjustments to ease the discomfort:

    • Sit down to get dressed, rather than standing on one leg to put knickers and trousers on.
    • Keep your knees together when you get in and out of the car.
    • Avoid carrying heavy things in one hand – use a backpack instead.
    • Dont do breast stroke when swimming.
    • Stop exercises that might make your symptoms worse.

    Speak to your midwife about getting a referral to a physiotherapist sooner rather than later.

    See more information on;SPD/PGP.

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    Constipation In Pregnancy Treatment And Prevention

    If constipation is your issue, there are a few ways to get things, er, moving along. Here are some tips from the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists ‘s consumer pregnancy book, Your Pregnancy and Childbirth Month to Month.

    • Drink plenty of liquids, especially water and prune juice or other fruit juices.
    • Eat high-fiber foods, such as fruits, vegetables, beans, whole-grain bread, and bran cereal. Aim for about 25 grams each day.
    • Try eating smaller meals more frequently.

    Here’s the good news: bowel problems don’t really affect a pregnant woman’s quality of life all that much. But if you’ve been spending more time in the bathroom than usual lately, at least you know you’re not alone!

    Feeling Hot In Pregnancy

    Your body pumps more blood in pregnancy – that and hormones can make you feel unbearably hot:

    • Invest in a desk fan for work and your bedroom.
    • Carry a small, battery-operated fan around with you.
    • Wear loose, breathable fabrics.
    • Stay hydrated and always have a bottle of water handy.
    • Take a dip in a refreshing bath, or, better still, go for a swim.

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    When Abdominal Pain During Pregnancy Is Serious

    Although many women who experience abdominal pain have healthy pregnancies, there are times when abdominal pain can pose a serious risk.; If you exhibit any severe symptoms, such as those discussed below, please consult your medical care professional immediately.

    • Ectopic Pregnancy: Occurring in 1 out of 50 pregnancies, an ectopic pregnancy is when the egg is implanted anywhere other than the uterus.; Most often, the egg is implanted in the fallopian tube.; Sadly, an ectopic pregnancy cannot continue to term and requires medical treatment.; In the unlikely event that you have an ectopic pregnancy, you may experience intense pain and bleeding between your 6th and 10th weeks of pregnancy. Women at increased risk for ectopic pregnancies include those who have had an ectopic pregnancy in the past or have had endometriosis, a tubal ligation, or an intrauterine device in place at the time of conception. ;Learn more about Ectopic Pregnancies.
    • Placental abruption: Placental abruption is a life-threatening condition in which the placenta separates from your uterus before the baby is born. One symptom of placental abruption is constant pain that causes your stomach to stay hard for an extended period of time without relief. Another sign is bloody fluid or premature breakage of your water. Additional symptoms include tenderness in your abdomen, back pain, or fluid discharge that includes traces of blood. You can access the complete Placental Abruption article here.

    Prevention Is Better Than Cure

    Is constipation during pregnancy normal. If so, what can I do about it?

    Stay active! Brisk walking several times a week will wake up your system. Other forms of exercise, like swimming and yoga, are also a good idea. Drink at least eight cups of water a day. Sip it throughout the day, and youll not find yourself in the loo as much as if you drink a glass quickly every hour or so.;

    Limit your intake of tea and other caffeinated products such as coffee and colas. These can irritate your bladder and make you want to urinate more often.;You need roughage to assist with digestion. Add high fibre foods to your diet. Eat raw or cooked fruits and vegetables and whole grain products, like wholewheat bread, brown rice and oatmeal. Sprinkle your salads, fruit, vegetables and breakfast cereals with crushed linseeds and prunes. Chew your food well.Try to take your iron supplements with orange juice or prune juice. Follow good bowel habits. Respond immediately to your bodys cues.

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