Am I More Likely To Experience Constipation If I Had It Before Pregnancy
Women who have had constipation before pregnancy are, unfortunately, likely to experience worsening of symptoms during pregnancy.
If you have constipation and are planning a pregnancy, try to get into good habits before you become pregnant. Keeping to a healthy diet, drinking plenty of fluids, and doing regular exercise may help you maintain regular bowel motions.
It is better to prevent constipation early on rather than wait to treat it later.
Here Are Some Tips For Easing Constipation During Pregnancy
Eat high-fibre foods such as whole-grain cereals and breads, brown rice, beans, and fresh fruits and vegetables every day. Adding a couple of tablespoons of unprocessed wheat bran to your cereal in the morning and following it with a glass of water can help. Be patient as it may take a few days before you notice a difference.
Dont forget to drink plenty of water. Try to drink 10 cups of water or other beverages every day. Your urine should be clear or pale yellow a sign of proper hydration. You can always try some prune juice. Some people find that drinking a warm beverage right after waking up helps too.
Iron can cause constipation. You may want to check with your health care provider about switching to a supplement with less iron.
Another pregnancy tip: your bowels are most likely to be active after meals, so make time for the bathroom after you eat. Listen to your body. Never put off going to the bathroom when you feel the urge.
Moving might also help to get things moving. Exercise regularly. Walk, swim, ride a stationary bike, and do yoga. All of these can help ease constipation and leave you feeling more fit and healthy. And if none of the above helps, talk to your doctor about taking an over-the-counter fibre supplement or stool softener. Do not use a laxative without checking with your doctor or nurse first. Laxatives can trigger the onset of labour contractions.
When Does Constipation Occur During Pregnancy
Constipation affects 3 out of 4 pregnant women. Thats alarming, isnt it? Some women experience it in the first trimester, however, others do shortly after they conceive. Experts reveal that the hormone that triggers constipation heightens in the 9th and 32nd weeks of pregnancy. The major cause of constipation during pregnancy is the enlarged uterus and the consequent pressure on the intestines.
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What Remedies Should Not Be Used For Constipation During Pregnancy
Laxative pills are NOT recommended for the treatment of constipation during pregnancy because they might stimulate uterine contractions and cause dehydration. Talk to your doctor about taking an over-the-counter fiber supplement or a laxative or stool softener.
Mineral oils should NOT be used during pregnancy because they reduce nutrient absorption.
Constipation Due To Hormonal Changes
Hormonal changes which occur in your body later in pregnancy can relax some muscles, including the ones which squeeze food along the digestive tract. This can prevent foods from moving along the bowels easily, especially if your diet is low in fibre and water.
Unfortunately, many over-the-counter constipation relievers have aspartame and other nasties in them, which are best avoided when pregnant.
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Ways To Prevent Constipation In Pregnancy
The best way to prevent constipation in pregnancy is to be proactive in your approach to living healthier. Incorporate fiber into your diet, drink lots of water each day and exercise, Lamppa says. Greves also recommends trying to eat more frequent, smaller meals instead of larger ones. Bigger meals, she explains, can be harder to process and could increase your risk of constipation.
What Are Some Of The Problems Related To Constipation During Pregnancy
Constipation can lead to other complications including:
Haemorrhoids or piles straining to move your bowels could cause swelling in the veins in and around the anus. Ask your GP or pharmacist about options for treating your haemorrhoids
Anal fissure a big or hard stool can cause small tears in the anus. Treatment depends on the severity of the fissure and should be discussed with a healthcare professional
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How Can I Reduce My Risk Of Becoming Constipated During Pregnancy
You can reduce your risk of becoming constipated by doing the same things you would do to manage constipation. Pay attention to how much fiber youre eating and fluids youre drinking. Schedule exercise that feels doable for you. Walking, swimming, yoga, pilates and light aerobics are all good options to keep your bowel active.
How Can One Treat Constipation During Pregnancy
The body undergoes various changes during pregnancy, and constipation is one of the conditions that occur as a result of such changes. If youre pregnant and often feel constipated, youre not alone. Weve compiled some natural remedies that youll find helpful, together with some useful information on constipation during pregnancy. Keep reading.
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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.
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How To Help Constipation During Pregnancy
If youre pregnant and experiencing constipation, you might be wondering how to help constipation during pregnancy. Although you can find a variety of home remedies for constipation that you can try, they shouldnt be used without medical supervision. For starters, avoiding laxatives can help with your condition. Many of these laxatives have been shown to cause dehydration and electrolyte imbalance during pregnancy, so you should seek medical advice before taking any of them.
The most common solution for constipation is to drink plenty of fluids. A woman should drink at least eight glasses of water every day. This will make her bowels stay soft and move easily. In addition to drinking lots of water, she should also be active and eat lots of foods high in fiber, magnesium, and probiotics. Additionally, she should consider using laxatives if necessary.
When choosing a laxative, you should consult your healthcare provider and discuss the problem. He or she can prescribe a medication for you. While most pregnant women dont require medication, its important to get the go-ahead before taking any. While laxatives are not safe, fiber supplements and probiotics can be helpful. If youre concerned, talk to your doctor about your options. He or she can prescribe a suitable laxative for you.
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Symptoms Of Constipation During Pregnancy
Some of the most common symptoms of constipation during pregnancy include:
- Reduced bowel movements.
- Feces become hardened, making their passage difficult.
- A decrease in appetite.
- Abdominal bloating and pain.
- Blood splotches in the stool as a result of rectal injury due to hard feces.
Constipation is a tiring condition in general. During pregnancy, it may take a toll on your health. Read on to find out when it occurs so that you are prepared to deal with it.
Can Constipation Hurt The Baby During Pregnancy
No. All the pressure that builds up in your belly because of constipation may make you worry for your baby. But dont stress. Constipation may be unpleasant for you, but it wont harm your baby.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
You may have to make some changes to manage constipation when youre pregnant. But there are straightforward things you and your provider can do to help get you relief. The foods you eat, the fluids you drink, the exercise you do and the medicine you take all make a difference when its time to visit the toilet. Put good habits into place so that your memories of pregnancy dont include having to suffer through uncomfortable bowel movements.
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Ways To Relieve Pregnancy Constipation
If youre desperately trying to figure out how to relieve constipation during pregnancy, look no further.
Dr. Jhaveri shares helpful tips for finding relief and getting your insides in order and if youre pregnant but not constipated, these same tips can help you avoid it. Most of these are just healthy principles to follow when you are pregnant, she says, and fortunately, they can also help to prevent constipation.
- Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water at least 10 to 12 glasses per day to give your body the lubrication it needs.
- Increase your fiber intake:Fiber keeps you regular, so eat high-fiber cereal and fresh fruits and veggies to keep things running smoothly.
- Get moving: Regular exercise during pregnancy has lots of important benefits, including helping to relieve constipation, Dr. Jhaveri says. Even a brisk walk can help.
- Try a stool softener: Get an assist from over-the-counter products designed to moisten your bowels, which make it easier for you to poop.
- Talk to your Ob/Gyn: If you just cant seem to go, it might be time to talk to your doctor, who can walk you through the options.
Ask Your Provider About Medications
Some medications can increase the likelihood that you will have constipation. One big culprit in pregnancy can be iron-laden prenatal vitamins, which are often given to help prevent anemia. If you are having issues with the vitamins, ask your provider if you can switch. You might also try ways to prevent anemia in a nutritional manner.
One study found that certain brands of prenatal vitamins might be able to reduce constipation by up to 30%.
There are medications available to help with constipation, but generally as a last resort. These medications can particularly problematic in pregnancy and you would want to talk to your doctor or midwife before taking anythingeven if it is over the counter .
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How Common Is Constipation In Pregnancy
About 16 to 39% of people get constipated at some point during pregnancy. Youre most likely to get constipated in the third trimester, when the fetus is heaviest and putting the most pressure on your bowel. Constipation can happen in all three trimesters, though. Sometimes, youll continue to be constipated up to three months after the babys born.
What Can I Do About Constipation When I’m Pregnant
You don’t have to resign yourself to nine months of discomfort. There are plenty of tactics to combat colon congestion :
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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.
- Walk or do another safe exercise every day. A simple walk around the block will help things get moving.
- Try eating smaller meals more frequently.
- Ask your doctor about bulking agents such as FiberCon, which add fiber and water to your digestive system, or stool softeners.
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!
How To Ease Constipation
You can ease constipation by:
- drinking plenty of water – try to have 10 glasses of water a day, about 2.3 litres
- eating foods that are high in fibre every day – vegetables, wholegrain breads, porridge, fruit, dried fruits, vegetables, beans and lentils
- staying active – try walking, swimming, pregnancy yoga or pilates
- going to the toilet when you first feel the urge to have a bowel motion – give yourself plenty of time and take some deep breaths to help relax the pelvic floor
Only take iron supplements if your GP or midwife has said you need them.
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When To Call Your Doctor
Although body aches and cramps are normal in pregnancy, you may seek medical care if it concerns you. It is recommended to seek prescriptions to take pain relievers in pregnancy since several over-the-counter pain medications are unsafe.
Always seek medical care for pain or aches with other symptoms such as fever, persistent headaches, breathing troubles, and vaginal bleeding. These symptoms may indicate underlying infections, high blood pressure, or ectopic pregnancy in some women. Your health care provider can diagnose the exact cause of pain and treat them accordingly.
Treat Constipation Through Physical Exercise
Pregnancy does not mean that you dont work out! In fact, going for nice long walks and getting some sweat out of your body is extremely good for your physique and mind. This not only keeps your stomach light but also helps in good bowel movements. Walking is a safe and the most tried and tested way of working out during pregnancy. At your own comfort, set your pace and enjoy the work out!
Squats are also good form of exercise during pregnancy as it strengthens the pelvic muscles to make them flexible for easy delivery. Squat for a while and slowly get up, repeat this 5- 10 times or as per your comfort level. Make sure you have support so that you dont fall. This exercise obviously works on your intestine too, and helps in the bowel movement. When done with your meals go for a light walk and also sit for 5 minutes in vajrasana .
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Guidance On Managing Constipation
The first-line treatment for constipation is increasing dietary fibre and fluid intake. Dietary fibre intake can be improved by eating more wholegrain foods, fruit and vegetables, or through wheat or bran fibre supplementation. Where fibre supplementation does not alleviate symptoms, laxatives may be helpful in the short-term, although they can cause adverse side effects such as abdominal pain and diarrhoea.
Get Your Fill Of Probiotics
The probiotic acidophilus, found in yogurts containing active cultures, stimulates the intestinal bacteria to break down food better to keep things moving.
You can also ask your practitioner to recommend a good probiotic supplement in capsules, chewable or powder form that can be added to smoothies.
Millions of healthy bacteria live in the gut and help it function correctly. Probiotics may help repopulate the gut bacteria with beneficial strains that encourage regular bowel movements. Foods high in probiotics include yogurt, sauerkraut, and kimchi.
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Potential Complications Of Constipation
If the symptoms of constipation persist for several weeks or longer, this indicates chronic constipation, which can lead to complications such as:
Hemorrhoids, which are swollen veins in your anus
Anal fissures, which are tears of the skin in your anus
Fecal impaction, which is when hardened stool accumulates in your intestines
Rectal prolapse, which is when your rectum protrudes from the anus.
To help avoid complications, itâs safest to get in touch with your healthcare provider at the first signs of constipation or pain.
Donât let constipation ruin your last few months of pregnancy! Talk to your healthcare provider, and make some of the lifestyle changes weâve listed in this article. In time, things will get moving down there, and you can get back to more enjoyable tasks such as shopping for baby gear, decorating your babyâs nursery, or even just putting your feet up for a bit.
One thing to keep in mind is that, at the other end of the spectrum, you may experience diarrhea from time to time during your pregnancy. You should always mention this to your healthcare provider, especially if you suspect it may be caused by something like food poisoning or a tummy bug.
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What Can I Do
Whilst your doctor may be able to recommend medication, there are several things you can do at home in order to relieve the symptoms of constipation
Drink plenty of water
Great for your overall health, making sure youâre hydrated has the added benefit of easing your bowel movements.
Get your fibre
Fibre â rich foods are great for helping you eliminate waste. Make sure youâre getting plenty of the following:
- fresh fruit and veg
Get on your feet
When youâre pregnant, exercising might be the last thing you want to do. Itâs normal to feel tired, experience heartburn and have difficulty sleeping â none of which make you feel inclined to get down the gym. However just getting in some gentle physical exercise could help relieve your symptoms. Try going for a walk or a swim and reap the benefits.
See your doctor
If these strategies do not help, your doctor may be able to recommend medication. Always make sure you consult a health professional and do not self-medicate with over the counter laxatives. Laxative misuse can cause un-wanted side effects so itâs better to be safe than sorry.
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Side Effects Of Treatments For Pregnancy Constipation
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