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.
When Does Constipation Occur During Pregnancy
Constipation is found to affect a whopping 3 out of 4 pregnant women. It may occur in the first trimester but can also appear as soon as you conceive .
However, the hormone that triggers constipation is found to increase its levels in the 9th and 32nd weeks of pregnancy. This is usually the period when it may hit you real hard. Constipation may also develop during the end of the pregnancy, owing to the enlarged uterus and the consequent pressure on the intestines.
It is best to get medical help immediately to avoid severe side effects.
Your Position On The Toilet
Having a good position on the toilet can help when you are emptying your bowels.
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.
Are There Any Other Tools Or Tricks To Help Relieve Constipation Quickly
One word: exercise. Its natures laxative! If youre suffering from simple constipation , exercise works wonders to warm up your bowels and get them ready for a mass exodus.
If youre flexible, you could try a bit of manual stimulation. According to a UCLA study, putting gentle pressure on the perineum might help break up and soften stools. Or, if youre not flexible , you could try applying moderate pressure and massaging your abdomen. Doing this in a clockwise direction might invigorate your bowels. Your stomach is also usually the most active in the mornings and early afternoons. So it might help to use the bathroom then if you can.
And, finally, theres always the . Generically known as a defecation postural modification device, this little stool sits at the base of the toilet. When you pop a squat to try taking a poo, you place your feet on this stool to raise your knees up. In turn, this relaxes the muscles and elevates your colon in a way that makes it easier to empty your bowels. Skeptical? Dont be. A 2019 study found that Squatty Potties positively influenced BM duration, straining patterns, and complete evacuation of bowels.
We shit you not.
Prune Juice For Constipation
Wondering how to cure constipation during pregnancy, prune juice is widely hailed as an effective cure for constipation. All you need to do is have prune juice, four to six times in a day to leave constipation and soften the stool. If the concentrated taste of the prune juice is too strong for you, they mix it with a bit of water and add a slice of lemon.
Read More: yoga for constipation during pregnancy
Medical Treatment For Constipation
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.Â 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 drugsÂ include methylnaltrexone and naloxegol Â
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.
Treatments For Constipation During Pregnancy
Home remedies for constipation during pregnancy include lifestyle changes or medications. The following treatments may help relieve constipation symptoms:
Increase dietary fiber and water
A that is low in fiber can contribute to constipation. The two types of dietary fiber are:
- Soluble Fiber, which blends with water in the intestines and forms a gel-like substance. This type of fiber helps control blood .
- Insoluble Fiber, which passes through the intestines without being absorbed. It increases the size of your stool and can help you pass it more quickly.
Increasing the fiber in your diet should be the first step in treating constipation during pregnancy. Foods high in fiber include:
- Bran cereals
In addition to increasing fiber, increasing your water intake can help with constipation. Women who are pregnant should drink 10 8-ounce glasses of water daily.
A sedentary lifestyle increased the risk of constipation. Increasing your daily can help with constipation. more is one of the best ways to increase your exercise during your pregnancy. It is very low risk and can help with constipation.
Stool softeners containing sodium are safe to take during pregnancy.
Lubricant laxatives such as mineral oil work by coating your stool and digestive tract with a waterproof layer. It keeps water in the stool which makes it softer and easier to pass.
Three Cheers For Chamomile Sipping
Chamomile tea is a great way to relax your intestinal tract and your overall self can well have been used for centuries. It soothes frazzled nerves, helps with -another woe for pregnant women and it also has a generally calming effect. Drink no more than two cups a day though since there are untested rumors that it can cause in higher doses.
Causes Of Constipation In Pregnancy
For occasional constipation during pregnancy lifestyle changes are recommended first. Then if constipation persists some over-the-counter medications can be used if necessary.
However, you must talk to your healthcare provider if constipation becomes an ongoing problem, or you dont see improvement with these first and second line recommendations.
Which Constipation Treatments Can Help
Constipation may be relieved by making lifestyle changes. However, if you cant get constipation relief by changing things like your diet, fluid intake or activity, a laxative may be an option.
Some constipation treatments can be used in pregnancy and when breastfeeding. Coloxyl 120 mg is a gentle stool softener, which can be used to treat constipation in pregnant women.
It is essential to check with your healthcare provider, before taking any medication during pregnancy so talk to your midwife, doctor or pharmacist for advice on whether a laxative is suitable for you.
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.
Constipation During Pregnancy Occurs For Four Main Reasons
- Slow digestion
- Influence of hormones
- Lack of moisture
The high levels of relax the smooth muscle walls of the bowel, slowing down the entire digestive tract.
As if this wasnt enough, the increasing pressure of the growing on the intestines causes them to be pushed into an even smaller space. This means that it becomes even more difficult for the waste to move through the mass of pulsing muscular tubing.
The longer waste stays in the bowel, the more moisture is absorbed, so the waste gets harder and even more difficult to expel. Nature slows down your digestive tract for a very good reason.
Food stays in the stomach longer so that the has more time to absorb the necessary nutrients to pass to your baby.
This means that it takes longer for your body to expel its waste. Other causes include irregular eating habits, stress, some medications, including iron remedies, lack of fibre and , or too little intake of fluids.
Will It Continue After Ive Had The Baby
There are several reasons why constipation may continue after birth. Women who have had a often experience constipation for a few days until their regular bowel movements return. Women who have 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 to encourage healthy bowel movements, even when you are busy.
Is It Safe To Take Laxatives During Pregnancy
Yes, it safe to take only some forms of laxatives during pregnancy. Options include milk of magnesia and Metamucil. Stronger laxatives are prescribed when these do not work, but they come with risks and shouldnt be used without your doctors consent .
You will be able to protect yourself from constipation by doing regular exercises and consuming plenty of water. To treat the issue effectively, you should seek advice from your doctor before using these remedies.
Have you tried any of these remedies for pregnancy constipation? Did they help? Share your experiences in the below comment section.
Why Does This Technique Cause Constipation Relief
This breathing remedy increases brain and body oxygen content. When you get increased alveolar and arterial CO2 levels, CO2 will dilate arteries and arterioles. CO2 is the most potent dilator of arteries and arterioles.
Hence, it causes easing the spasm and providing more oxygen for cells. Over 90% of people can stop constipation with this exercise in 1-2 minutes.
This YouTube video provides the same exercise to relieve constipation fast: Constipation Remedies: Relief in 1 Min.
When Do U Start Feeling Ur Baby Move
When will I feel my baby moving? You might start to feel your baby moving, often called quickening, around 18 weeks into your pregnancy. If this is your first pregnancy, it might not happen until about 20 weeks. However, by the second pregnancy, you might notice the tell-tale signs as early as 16 weeks.
Aid From Laxatives And Stool Softeners
In some cases, stool softeners or laxatives may be advised for pregnancy constipation relief. While stool softeners are largely considered safe for mom and baby, laxatives may not be so well tolerated. They come with side effects such as bloating, abdominal cramps, salt overload, dehydration, diarrhea, and flatulence.
What Are The Signs Of Constipation
If youre here, there may very well be no doubt in your mind that you are constipated. But hey, who knows? Perhaps you just suspect youd benefit from a good B.M. So, first things first, lets take a look at some tell-tail, er, telltale signs of constipation. Per the Mayo Clinic, these include:
- Hard or lumpy stools
- Straining to have bowel movements
- Feeling as though you cant completely empty your bowels
- Having fewer than three bowel movements per week
Try Some Home Remedies
If all else fails, try to stimulate your bowels using some home remedies that have been passed around from generation to generation and probably your grandma to mom.
- One is to drink warm milk before going to bed if you wont feel nauseous drinking milk. It mostly helps you the morning after. Warm milk before bedtime has been proven to provide a good nights sleep and ease bowel movements in the mornings.
- Another old favorite is to drink warm lemon water on waking up. Water has the natural ability to soften stool and lemon has high acidic content that can ease any discomfort in the stomach. Together, they work well in relieving constipation.
|Longo, Sherri A., Robert C. Moore, Bernard J. Canzoneri, and Alfred Robichaux. Gastrointestinal conditions during pregnancy. Clinics in colon and rectal surgery 23, no. 02 : 080-089.|
What Can I Do To Help Prevent Constipation
There are several lifestyle changes you can make that help prevent constipation:
Are Girl And Boy Pregnancy Different
Three weeks into pregnancy, women carrying girls exhibited hormone levels 18.5 percent higher than those of their boy-carrying counterparts, regardless of factors such as previous pregnancies or maternal age. Finding this gender-related difference so early in pregnancy may help explain how it occurs.
How To Relieve Constipation During Pregnancy Immediately
If you have ever been pregnant or are pregnant, you would know about the issue of constipation during pregnancy. It is no joke. Having constipation is quite common during pregnancy and it can affect your daily life. I am pretty sure I looked up how to relieve constipation during pregnancy immediately at least ten times during pregnancy.
In this post, I will be discussing the following.
- What causes constipation during pregnancy?
- When does constipation start in pregnancy?
- How to relieve constipation during pregnancy immediately?
- Can constipation hurt the baby or cause a miscarriage?
When To Call Your Doctor
Postpartum constipation is very common and usually resolves with proper lifestyle coping measures, but sometimes it can be a sign of a bigger problem. There are several “red flag” symptoms that you should be on the lookout for.
- Blood or mucus in your stool
- Constipation alternating with diarrhea
- Severe, painful bulging in the vagina, vulva, and/or perineum
- Severe rectal pain
Adjusting Your Diet To Prevent And Treat Constipation
Dietary problems are the most difficult to deal with, as people have been told so many different stories about what constitutes a good diet.
Youve likely already received well meaning advice from friends, relatives and others, which may have you in a bit of a pickle about what you should be eating.
Whether you are vegetarian or a meat eater, your daily pregnancy diet should contain:
- A good amount of protein
- At least several cups full of raw and cooked green veggies
- As many coloured veggies as you can
- Some fruit
- Good quality dairy for calcium supplemental calcium if you cant eat dairy
- Around 6 tablespoons of saturated fats in the form of virgin coconut oil, butter, animal fats
- Around 4 tablespoons of monounsaturated fats such as avocado, olive oil, nuts and nut oils
- About 2 teaspoons of polyunsaturated oils such as cod liver oil, flax oil, evening primrose oil, blackcurrant oil or borage oil
In total, the calories should add up to around 2,600 for both a pregnant and nursing mother. If your diet has enough of the foods above and in the right proportions, it should prevent constipation.
The Aborigines, First Nation Native Americans and Eskimos all praised eating enough fats to help keep the bowels moving. Their diets were low in carbohydrates, but as long as they had enough fats, it wasnt a problem. Do avoid heat processed oils such as rice bran, canola, rapeseed, soy, and oils labelled as vegetable, as they are rife with carcinogens which cause cancer.
What Is Slow Transit Constipation
Why is that important to know? Because health conditions such as diabetes and certain thyroid disorder can cause slow transit constipation. So, if you really cant seem to get things moving, its best to go ahead and schedule an appointment with your primary care physician or seek a referral to a GI doctor.
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.
When To See Your Doctor
You should see your doctor if:
- you have constipation for a week or more after a normal bowel motion
- there is blood or slime in your motions, or alternating diarrhoea and constipation
- you also have abdominal pain or bloating
- youre still constipated after changing your diet or trying other remedies
- you are losing weight without trying.
Cause Of Constipation During Pregnancy
- Changes in hormones
One of the culprits causing constipation during pregnancy is an increase in progesterone. This hormone causes the smooth muscle fibers to relax in the body, preparing mom and a baby for delivery. But it also smoothes the intestines, which means the peristaltic motion is not as strong, and food moves more slowly through the digestive tract.
- Reduced food and water consumption
- Changes in diet
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 Are Remedies For Constipation During Pregnancy
As constipation can cause discomfort during pregnancy, its best to treat or prevent it whenever possible. Some tips that may help to relieve constipation during pregnancy include:
Eating foods that are high in fibre, such as wholemeal breads and cereals, fruit and vegetables, and pulses, such as beans and lentils. You should aim to consume about 30 grams of fibre per day
Exercising on a regular basis. Walking, swimming or other exercise can help to stimulate your bowels
Drinking plenty of water try to drink six to eight glasses of fluids each day
If you’re taking iron and calcium supplements, these can make you even more constipated. You can discuss stopping taking these or changing to a different formulation with your doctor
Medicines. If lifestyle changes do not help, you may want to consider taking a medicine. Your GP or pharmacist will be able to advise you which medicines are suitable for you during pregnancy. Always speak to your GP or pharmacist before using any medicines during pregnancy
Spinach And Other Greens
Greens such as spinach, Brussels sprouts and broccoli are not only rich in fiber but also great sources of vitamin c, vitamin k and folate. These greens help add bulk and weight to stools, which makes them easier to pass through the gut. One cup of cooked spinach contains 4.3 grams of fiber, or 17% of your recommended daily intake. To get spinach into your diet, try adding it to a quiche, pie or soup. Baby spinach or tender greens can be added raw to salads or sandwiches for a fiber boost.
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.
How Does Pregnancy Affect Gut Motility
causes a lot of changes in a woman’s body, including an increase in the hormone . Rising levels of this hormone can slow down gut motility, which is how fast your food and move through your intestinal tract. This slowdown can lead to , or trouble passing a bowel movement. It may also mean you don’t have as many bowel movements as normal.
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.
How About Bulk Forming Agents
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.
Break Up Your Daily Meal
Instead of eating a lot of food in a single time, break up your daily food intake into five or six small meals segments. It eases the stomach to digest and transfers the food to intestine smoothly.
If you eat a lot in a single time, it can overload your stomach. So, the food digesting process slows down and causes irregular bowel movements leading to constipation. Therefore, try never to overeat.