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How To Help Constipation While Pregnant

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Medical Treatment For Constipation

Relieve Constipation in Pregnancy – Physio Bowel Emptying Technique


If over-the-counter treatments donât do the job, your doctor may prescribe a different kind of medication.

  • Prescription laxatives such as and work by increasing the amount of water in your intestines and speeding up the movement of stool. Note that Amitiza is approved for use only in women.

  • Serotonin 5-hydroxytryptamine 4 receptors. Prucalopride is a powerful stimulant thatâs used for chronic constipation without a known cause.

  • PAMORAs. This is a shorter way of saying âperipherally acting mu-opioid receptor antagonists.â These work on constipation thatâs caused by opioid pain medicines. These drugs include methylnaltrexone and naloxegol

Surgery for constipation treatment

Sometimes constipation is caused by a structural problem in your colon or rectum. Your colon may be blocked or unusually narrow, or you may have a partial collapse or a bulge in the wall of your rectum. In that case, surgery can correct the problem.

Surgery may also be a last resort if your colon just works too slowly and treatments havenât helped. You may need to have a section of your colon removed.

How Is Constipation Treated During Pregnancy

The first step in treating constipation is to increase the fluids and fibre in your diet. Eating wholegrain foods, fruit and vegetables can often resolve constipation. If symptoms continue, then fibre supplements or laxatives may be a short-term solution however, it is always better to stimulate the bowel with a healthy diet rather than take medications. Taking laxatives can sometimes result in side effects such as abdominal pain and diarrhoea.

What Can I Do To Help Prevent Constipation

There are several lifestyle changes you can make that help prevent constipation:

  • Include foods that are high in fibre in your diet such as wholemeal bread, wholegrain creals, fruit, vegetables and pulses like beans and peas
  • Drink plenty of water you shouldnt be thirsty
  • Aim to move regularly to keep muscles toned gentle exercise includes walking, swimming or yoga
  • Take iron supplements if needed, but some can cause constipation if you become constipated ask your doctor about alternatives
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    What Causes Pregnancy Constipation

    When 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 it is a first sign of pregnancy for some women, says Suzanne Wong, an OB/GYN at Torontos St. Josephs Health Centre.

    In your second and third trimesters, pressure from your growing uterus on your bowels can exacerbate the problem, and that extra iron and calcium in your prenatal vitamins are binding, so theyre not doing your situation any favours, either. And if you suffered from constipation prior to pregnancy, theres a good chance youll suffer in pregnancy. The risk of becoming constipated is enhanced if you have a predisposition to it, says Wong.

    What Can I Do To Prevent This

    10 Surefire Ways To Relieve Constipation During Pregnancy!

    Eat a diet rich in high-fiber foods such as fresh or dried fruits and vegetables plus high-fiber cereal. If you suddenly eat a lot more fiber, you may get bloating, diarrhea, and gas pressure. If this happens, try increasing the amount slowly over a week or more.

    Also, drinking enough water and getting regular exercise can all help to prevent constipation.

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    Pregnancy Constipation Relief: Ways To Feel Better

    Here are some tips for preventing and easing constipation when you’re pregnant:

    • Drink plenty of water. Try to have 10 to 12 cups of water or other beverages daily. Drinking a glass of fruit juice every day, especially prune juice, can also be helpful. Some people find that drinking a warm liquid right after waking up helps get things moving. Keep in mind that humid weather, sweating, and exercise may increase how much fluid you need.
    • Eat high-fiber foods, including whole grain cereals and breads, brown rice, beans, and fresh fruits and vegetables every day. It can help to add a couple of tablespoons of unprocessed wheat bran to your cereal in the morning, though it may take a few days before you notice a difference. Options like these help to add bulk to your stools so they go through your system easier.

    If the measures above don’t help , talk to your provider about taking an over-the-counter fiber supplement. Just make sure you also increase your water intake to compensate for the extra fiber. These supplements are usually appropriate most women, but sometimes they can cause uterine contractions so it’s important you follow your doctor’s guidance. Also, if you’re taking too much, you may actually experience diarrhea.

    Learn more:

    American Pregnancy Association. Constipation in Pregnancy.

    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.

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    Due To Iron Supplements

    One of the causes of constipation in pregnant women is increase in iron due to the precribed supplements.

    Though constipation can be a cause of discomfort, it is easily remedied by a simple diet and lifestyle changes and a few easy home-remedies. While some offer immediate constipation relief during pregnancy, others help you get better gradually. Here are some remedies to help relieve constipation during pregnancy.

    How About Bulk Forming Agents

    How Do I Relieve Constipation While Pregnant!

    If for some reason you are unable to modify your diet or increase activity levels to experience pregnancy constipation relief, meal supplementation with four to six tablespoons of bran is sure to help. You can also try another bulk forming agent such as psyllium, methylcellulose or polycarbophil. All you need to do is consume these with 1 to 2 glasses of water. It works to relieve constipation by increasing fecal water content and stool weight and decreasing colonic transit time.

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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 youre 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 ObstetricianThis is serious, because they can be with you for life. You can prevent pregnancy hemorrhoids by managing constipation, using the tips below.

    Nearly Three Out Of Four Women Experience Constipation And Other Bowel Disorders During Their Pregnancies Here’s 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 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 bodys 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.

    Can Constipation Be Serious

    Home Remedies to Treat Constipation during Pregnancy

    Not usually, but occasionally, it can point to another problem. If you have severe constipation that is accompanied by abdominal pain or that alternates with diarrhea, or if you pass mucus or blood, call your doctor or midwife immediately.

    Also, straining during a bowel movement or passing a hard stool can lead to or worsen hemorrhoids. Hemorrhoids can be extremely uncomfortable, though they rarely cause serious problems. In most cases, they go away fairly soon after your baby is born. However, if the pain is severe or you have rectal bleeding, you should see your doctor or midwife for an evaluation.

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    Persistent Constipation During Early Pregnancy

    If you have tried the above tricks and are still struggling with constipation, talk to your doctor or midwife. There may be laxatives that are safe to take during pregnancy. Just dont take any medications, supplements, or other remedies without discussing it with your healthcare provider beforehand.

    Ultimately, constipation can be annoying and uncomfortable, but fortunately does not pose a risk to you or your little one. Work with your provider to find relief, and get back to enjoying your pregnancy.

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  • Barratt, J., Cross, C., Steel, S., & Biswas, C. . The pregnancy encyclopedia: All your questions answered. London: Dorling Kindersley Limited.
  • Trottier, M., Erebara, A., & Bozzo, P. . Treating constipation during pregnancy. Retrieved July 14, 2020, from
  • Curtis, G. B., & Schuler, J. . Your pregnancy week by week. Cambridge, MA, MA: Da Capo Life Long.
  • American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. . YOUR PREGNANCY AND CHILDBIRTH: Month to month. Place of publication not identified: ACOG.
  • Definition & Facts of Hemorrhoids. . Retrieved July 14, 2020, from
  • 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:

    • Pre-pregnancy Body Mass Index over 24

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    Feeling Hot In Pregnancy

    You’re likely to feel warmer than usual during pregnancy. This is due to hormonal changes and an increase in blood supply to the skin. You’re also likely to sweat more.

    It can help if you:

    • wear loose clothing made of natural fibres, as these are more absorbent and breathable than synthetic fibres
    • keep your room cool you could use an electric fan
    • wash frequently to help you feel fresh

    Otc Medications For Constipation During Pregnancy

    Natural Remedies for CONSTIPATION During Pregnancy & HEMORRHOID Home Remedies

    If these remedies arent working for you, you may need to talk with your doctor or midwife about trying a laxative or stool softener.

    Here are some over-the-counter medications that are generally considered safe to take during pregnancy and your provider may suggest :

    • Colace : Your doctor might have you try a stool softener, like Colace, first before turning to laxatives. The active ingredient in stool softeners is minimally absorbed by the body, so there is very little chance it could pass to or harm your baby in any way.
    • Milk of Magnesia : This is a mild laxative you may need to try if a stool softener alone doesnt do the trick. Milk of Magnesia may have a yucky taste, but it works like a charm for many expecting moms.
    • Metamucil : Metamucil is another safe option your provider may suggest. It is a bulk-producing laxative that draws water into the stools, making them softer and easier to pass. Its also used as a fiber supplement.

    Bisacodyl and senna are both stimulant laxatives that have been found to be safe in pregnancy. Because they are stimulants, though, they can cause abdominal cramps and diarrhea and can lead to dehydration. Some recommendations state that bisacodyl should be avoided during the first trimester. Senna should be taken with caution, and only if your doctor recommends it. . Always make sure to talk with your healthcare provider before taking any OTC medications during pregnancy.

    Editors Note:

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    Probiotics To The Rescue

    Probiotics are naturally present in many foods. They work well to provide pregnancy constipation relief as they alter the colonic flora and might also improve bowel function. You can enrich your diet with probiotic-rich foods such as yogurt and kimchi salad or try probiotic supplements that are available over-the-counter. Though not extensively studied in pregnant patients, but probiotic agents have little to no potential for harm for you or your growing baby.

    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.

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    Is Constipation A Sign Of Early Pregnancy

    You betcha! Once an egg and a sperm unite, resulting in pregnancy, progesterone levels start to rise. Its this rise in progesterone that maintains the lining of the uterus, making it a great place for a baby to grow. Unfortunately, as mentioned above, progesterone relaxes the muscles of the intestinal wall, making it less capable of moving waste material through it .

    If youre experiencing constipation in early pregnancy, hang on for the ridethis pregnancy symptom can stick around for all three trimesters.

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    Am I More Likely To Experience Constipation If I Had It Before Pregnancy

    Pin on Constipated children

    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.

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    Your Position On The Toilet

    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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    Skin And Hair Changes In Pregnancy

    Hormonal changes taking place in pregnancy may make your nipples and the area around them go darker. Your skin colour may also darken a little, either in patches or all over.

    Birthmarks, moles and freckles may also darken. You may develop a dark line down the middle of your stomach. These changes will gradually fade after the baby is born, although your nipples may remain a little darker.

    If you sunbathe while pregnant, you may find you burn more easily. Protect your skin with a high-factor sunscreen and don’t stay in the sun for a long time. Read more about sunscreen and sun safety.

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    Cant Poop Safe Constipation Remedies During Pregnancy

    Written by our resident pharmacist, Yeniset Santana.

    Not being able to poop is a common problem in pregnancy. Luckily there are a number of remedies you can use to help get things moving.

    The safest way to relieve constipation during pregnancy is by introducing simple changes in your lifestyle . Some medications for constipation like bulk-forming agents and, osmotic and stimulant laxatives are also safe.

    So How Often Should I be Pooping?

    Its normal to poop from 3 times per day to 3 times a week. Sometimes during pregnancy you can experience fewer bowel movements than you would when not pregnant, but that does not necessarily mean that youre constipated.

    However, if you have 2 bowel movements or less per week and 25% of your visits to the restroom are: painful, with a sensation of incomplete evacuation or with lumpy or hard stools. Then you are constipated.

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