Thursday, June 13, 2024

Is Constipation A Sign Of Pregnancy

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Early Signs Of Pregnancy Few Women Know About

Pregnancy is one of lifes miraculous blessings. Creating another living, breathing human being is something that every woman deserves to experience in their lifetime. Pregnancy can be a wild ride for expectant mothers. The signs and symptoms of pregnancy show up just a few weeks after conceiving, and if you lack preparation for them, you may think that you are suffering from some disease or health disorder.

The classic symptoms of pregnancy are hard to miss. Tender, swollen breasts, a missed period, and an overwhelming sense of being tired all the time are all tell-tale signs that a baby is on the way.

However, there are a few symptoms of pregnancy that can take new mothers by surprise. Women that are expecting sometimes dont even realize they are pregnant until the beginning of the second trimester. They mistake the lesser-known signs of pregnancy for other physical and psychological conditions such as the flu or fatigue.Here are 10 early warning signs that you may have a bun in the oven. If you recognize any of them, make an appointment with your doctor to confirm a possible pregnancy.

Menopause Vs Pregnancy Symptoms

There are many symptoms that may accompany pregnancy and menopause. Symptoms in one pregnancy may differ from another pregnancy, even in the same woman. Likewise, menopause symptoms differ from person to person, and they also can change over time. The following are some general symptoms that you may have in perimenopause and pregnancy.

Tips To Prevent Constipation During Pregnancy

editorial processLeigh Raviv, WHNP-BCMedical Review Board

Constipation is difficulty having regular bowel movements . It is a common symptom of pregnancy. However, you do not necessarily have to suffer from constipation or irregular, hard bowel movements, and the pain associated with them when you’re pregnant. There are things you can do to keep things moving along and prevent constipation during pregnancy.

Is Constipation A Sign Of Pregnancy

When thinking whether constipation can be a sign of pregnancy, you should know that this is one of the earliest symptoms of pregnancy.

The sign is caused by the pregnancy hormones that slow down the digestive tract. The feelings that women experience vary from one woman to the other.

Some of the women could experience bloating and they could have droppings that look like the rabbit droppings. In other cases women could have problems with bowel movements. It is said that women suffer from constipation if they have bowel movements less than three times per week.

Should I Take Laxatives For Constipation In Early Pregnancy

First Symptoms Of Pregnancy. Sickness And Constipation ...

Have you tried all the above strategies with no relief? You could be tempted to try a laxative.

There are different kinds of laxatives, and they have different actions. The main types of laxatives are:

  • Bulk-forming: help to reabsorb water into the bowel, increasing the size of the stool
  • Stool softening: make the stool easier to pass
  • Stimulant: speed up the movement of the stool through the intestines
  • Lubricant: contain a mineral oil to make the stool slippery
  • Osmotic: increase water in the intestines and soften the stool.

Always talk to your doctor or pharmacist about which type of laxative is safe to use during pregnancy.

Your care provider will most likely recommend a stool softening laxative first. This makes it easier for your digestive system to pass the stool. You should increase your fluid intake at the same time.

Stimulant laxatives, such as castor oil or other mineral-based oils, arent recommended for use during pregnancy.

Taken in extreme amounts, laxatives can over-stimulate the bowel and other organs, including the uterus. This can lead to cramping and contractions, which may cause premature labor.

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Food And Odor Aversions Or Cravings

Aversions to certain foods or odors are caused by your bodys hormonal changes during the first trimester of pregnancy. You may start to despise the way your favorite dinner smells or tastes, or, on the flip side, you may crave certain snacks, meals, beverages or food combinations.

When it comes to cravings or aversions, listen to your body. Its okay to occasionally indulge in late-night ice cream runsjust don’t overdo it. Talk to your OBGYN if youre unable to stomach major food groups like vegetables or whole grains. The two of you can discuss foods that can easily be substituted in.

How To Relieve Stomach Gas In Early Pregnancy

Bloating is normal in early and throughout pregnancy because of the slowed digestion mechanisms. However here are tips to get relieve you from bloating.

  • Modify your diet: Aim to eat foods rich in fibers which will help absorb water in the digestive tract to get food moving down the intestines
  • Drink more water: Water simply keeps things moving down your tract to avoid constipation which in return triggers bloating. Additionally, water keeps you hydrated.
  • Eat smaller portions: Do not overload your digestive system by eating larger meals. It is advisable that you eat smaller portions throughout the day which will be easily digested. Remember to steer clear off unhealthy snacking. Always get yourself off the couch.

Move around and take part in light exercises like rope skipping or walking. Exercise during this period will tone down your digestive tract muscles and help you eliminate gas. Walking at least 30 minutes daily will do you good.

It is important to cut down on other foods known to contain gas such as cabbage, onions, fried foods and sugary foods. You can always find alternatives to such foods and stay healthy all the way.


  • Chew your food thoroughly to make it easily digestible
  • Avoid chewing gum, causes you to swallow air causing gut irritation
  • Avoid talking while eating, only causes you to take in more air.

When Do The Symptoms Start

Though it may sound odd, your first week of pregnancy is based on the date of your last menstrual period. Your last menstrual period is considered week 1 of pregnancy, even if you werent actually pregnant yet.

The expected delivery date is calculated using the first day of your last period. For that reason, the first few weeks where you may not have symptoms also count toward your 40-week pregnancy.

Signs and symptoms

Signs You Should Take A Pregnancy Test: Early Signs Of Pregnancy

Irina Ilyich, MD Obstetrician/Gynecologist, Researcher, Medical Advisor at Flo

Different people have different reactions to the idea that they might be pregnant. Whatever your feelings are, you can prepare for the future by learning about the early signs and symptoms of pregnancy.

If you want to find out if youre pregnant for sure, youll need to get a testing kit. You can buy a pregnancy test at most drugstores and pharmacies or order one online. 

Many of the early signs of pregnancy are very similar to those youd experience around the time of your period. None of these early signs of pregnancy can determine that youre pregnant for sure, so consider them symptoms to look out for, rather than a reliable test. Youll need to take a pregnancy test if you want to confirm that youve conceived.

Here are 10 common signs of early pregnancy:

Vivid Dreams And Nightmares

Those pesky hormones have been blamed for an increase in vivid dreams and nightmares too. But there is also another explanation. A pregnant woman’s sleep is often broken during pregnancy,  whether it’s from those midnight bathroom runs, baby movement or cramps. And the more recent a dream is, the more likely it will be remembered.

A study published in Sleep Medicine reported that 43.5 percent of pregnant women experienced “vivid dreams” during pregnancy.

RELATED: Safe sleep guidelines during pregnancy

What Are The Causes Of Constipation Right After Conception

In most cases women relate constipation before missed period to decreased water intake. However, it is good to note that your body undergoes a lot of changes to sustain the pregnancy. Constipation in early pregnancy is as a result of

  • Hormonal changes: After conception, even before a missed period your body starts to prepare itself to carry the pregnancy. Progesterone, a hormone which plays a significant role in softening the muscles in readiness for childbirth increases in level, this hormone causes relaxation of the smooth muscles throughout the body.
  • Decreased muscle activity leads to a slow movement of materials in your digestive tract and less water absorption thus hard stools afterward.

  • Perinatal iron supplements: Ironically the iron supplements that you have been taking can be the source of constipation in early pregnancy! Having to stop taking your supplements because of constipation is not a good idea. Simply visit your doctor and let them know what know about your situation and they will urgently provide a solution.
  • Changes in dietary intake: Right after conception, most women develop cravings, sugary refined foods are usually what most women opt for. It is this sudden change in diet from a high fiber diet to a highly processed one often leads to acute constipation.
  • Signs You Need To Take A Pregnancy Test

    4 min Read Time

    Most over-the-counter pregnancy tests are 99% effective when you take them after a missed period. But how do you know when its time to pee on a stick?

    Pregnancy symptoms are different for everyone, and as the levels of the pregnancy hormone human chorionic gonadotropin rise, your symptoms may increase, says OBGYN Jessica Brown, MD. At four weeks, you may have a little bit of cramping, but classic symptoms like sore breasts, nausea and fatigue may not begin for six or seven weeks, she says.

    So, how do you know if your symptoms point to pregnancy? Brown discusses some of the very first symptoms, along with how to ease the discomfort and the best time to take a pregnancy test.

    Food Aversions Or Cravings

    Pregnancy symptoms. Early signs pregnant woman change ...

    When you’re pregnant, you might find yourself turning up your nose at certain foods, such as coffee or fried foods. Food cravings are common too. Like most other symptoms of pregnancy, these food preferences can be chalked up to hormonal changes – especially in the first trimester, when hormonal changes are the most dramatic.

    Dr Sam Hay says: “Theres no proof that what you are craving is a sign of what your body needs for the baby. For example, drinking two litres of orange juice a day doesn’t mean youre Vitamin C deficient.

    “Be sensible with your eating during pregnancy. Sure, spoil yourself every now and again, but you aren’t eating for two. Eat the best foods you can eat for yourself, and baby will take all the nutrients it needs.”

    Early in pregnancy, increased blood circulation caused by hormonal changes may trigger frequent, mild headaches.

    Tips to combat headaches from :

    • getting more sleep or rest and relaxation
    • pregnancy yoga classes or other exercise
    • practising good posture, particularly later in your pregnancy
    • eating regular, well-balanced meals
    • putting a warm facecloth on your eye and nose area, if it is a sinus headache
    • putting a cold pack on the back of your neck, taking a bath or using a heat pack, if it is a tension headache
    • neck and shoulders massage

    Early Changes To Breasts: Tingling Aching Growing

    Breast changes can occur between weeks 4 and 6. Youre likely to develop tender and swollen breasts due to hormone changes. This is likely to go away after a few weeks when your body has adjusted to the hormones.

    Nipple and breast changes can also occur around week 11. Hormones continue to cause your breasts to grow. The areola the area around the nipple may change to a darker color and grow larger.

    When During Pregnancy Do You Get Constipated

    And slower moving intestines means slower digestion. This can lead to constipation. Constipation is common during pregnancy. Almost three out of four pregnant women will experience constipation and other bowel issues at some point, according to a study published in Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica.

    What Are The Common Symptoms And Signs Of Early Pregnancy

    The symptoms of early pregnancy vary tremendously between women. Some women hardly have any symptoms, whereas others have very severe symptoms. It is impossible to predict which women will have more severe symptoms. However, in general, if you are expecting twins or triplets then it is likely that your symptoms will be more severe.

    How Do You Self Check Your Stomach For Pregnancy

    Walk your fingers up the side of her abdomen until you feel the top of her abdomen under the skin. It will feel like a hard ball. You can feel the top by curving your fingers gently into the abdomen. Figure 10.1 With the woman lying on her back, begin by finding the top of the uterus with your fingers.

    How Do You Tell If Youre Pregnant Without A Test

    The most common early signs and symptoms of pregnancy might include: Missed period. If you re in your childbearing years and a week or more has passed without the start of an expected menstrual cycle, you might be pregnant. Tender, swollen breasts. Nausea with or without vomiting. Increased urination. Fatigue.

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    When Should You Take A Pregnancy Test

    Its usually recommended that you take a pregnancy test after youve missed your period. This is because pregnancy tests measure the level of human chorionic gonadotrophin in your body, which is a hormone that starts to build up when you conceive. It can take around three to four weeks from the first day of your last period for there to be enough hCG in your body to show up on a test.

    What Relieves Constipation While Pregnant

    For example: Drink plenty of fluids. Water is a good choice. Prune juice also can help. Include physical activity in your daily routine. Being active can help prevent pregnancy constipation. Include more fiber in your diet. Choose high-fiber foods, such as fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grains.

    Is Bloating Or Gas An Early Sign Of Pregnancy

    Abdominal pain during pregnancy causes sign

    One of the very early signs of pregnancy in the first week is bloating. Even though it can be hard for many women to distinguish early pregnancy bloating and period bloating, most of them find it normal to be bloated during these times.

    But what causes gas after conception? Is being bloated before period a sign of pregnancy? Not always, but if accompanied by other pregnancy symptoms, it is likely to be a sign that will be followed by a positive pregnancy test.

    High levels of progesterone after ovulation reduce contractions in the gut leading to bloating and accumulation of gas.

    Missed Period During Early Pregnancy

    Once implantation is complete, your body will begin producing human chorionic gonadotropin . This hormone helps the body maintain the pregnancy. It also tells the ovaries to stop releasing mature eggs each month.

    You will likely miss your next period four weeks after conception. If you have an irregular period, youll want to take a pregnancy test to confirm.

    Most home tests can detect hCG as soon as eight days after a missed period. A pregnancy test will be able to detect hCG levels in your urine and show if you are pregnant.

    What Should You Do

    Get a supportive bra to ease the discomfort of this pregnancy symptom. Talk to a professional who can help you with a fitting, and be sure to leave a little extra room. Trust us, theyre going to keep growing. And dont be afraid to use either warm or cold compresses if things get really uncomfortablejust use whichever feels right for you.

    Very Early Signs Of Pregnancy

    Think you might be pregnant? Check out these early symptoms of pregnancy that can show up one week before your missed period. If you’ve already experienced a few, it may be time to head to the drugstore to pick up a pregnancy test or schedule an appointment with your OB-GYN.

    Your breasts may be extra tender as early as one or two weeks after conception. Youre making so much estrogen and progesterone in early pregnancy that the glands in the breasts start growing, explains Jasbir Singh, M.D., an OB-GYN at Baylor Medical Center at Waxahachie in Texas. This hormone surge causes breasts to retain more fluids and feel heavy, sore, or more sensitive than normal PMS tenderness.

    Many women mistake these for PMS symptoms, but theyre actually caused by hormonal changes and the growth of the uterus. About 30 percent of women experience , which is triggered by implantationwhen the fertilized egg attaches to the uterine wall. Your uterus may be stretching a little now to prep for its massive expansion over the next nine months

    When a fertilized egg implants into the plush lining of the uterus about six to 12 days after conception, light vaginal spotting may occur. You might mistake this “implantation bleeding” for your period, but it’s generally lighter than menstruation and brown or pink in color.

    So what should you do? Take prenatal vitamins early on, eat a healthful diet, drink plenty of fluids to keep your blood pressure high enough, and rest when you can, Dr. Singh says.

    Why Do Pregnant Women Crave Certain Foods

    While it’s difficult to pinpoint exactly why some women experience food cravings, obstetrician Dr Cindy MP Duke says that some probably have a physiologial explanation . But others can’t be explained, possibly because research on the topic is lacking.

    Brooklyn-based Brandice Taylor-Davis says that throughout her pregnancy she craved two things the entire time: steak and ice lollies – of which she would eat four at a time.

    “I also craved steak almost daily, but we eventually discovered I was severely anaemic and that was corrected through iron supplements. I did crave steak less after that.”

    Other Causes Of Constipation In Early Pregnancy

    Progesterone is thought to be the main culprit for constipation during the early stages of pregnancy.

    There are also other factors that contribute to slowed digestion.

    Many women take a prenatal supplement that contains essential minerals such as iron.

    Constipation is a known side effect of taking certain forms of iron.

    Youre also likely to be more tired and lethargic in early pregnancy.

    This means you move less, which slows down your digestion even more.

    Need To Pee All The Time

    I asked a bunch of friends what signs they remember from early pregnancy and two mentioned more trips to the restroom.

    And its a common symptom of early pregnancy that usually kicks in around  2-3 weeks after conception, thanks to those hormones.

    As baby gets bigger and starts to press on your bladder, youll be making frequent trips to the restroom so this is a symptom thats here to stay.

    I know its annoying, but dont skimp on your water intake as being hydrated is vital for good health.

    Is Constipation An Early Sign Of Pregnancy Or Period

    How does pregnancy cause constipation? Is constipation and bloating a sign of pregnancy or period? Early pregnancy signs are almost similar to the premenstrual symptoms. It is not easy for many women to tell the difference.

    Increase in progesterone hormone during ovulation and pregnancy leads to muscle relaxation. Thus the bowel tends to produce more gas and the wind during pregnancy or even before a period.

    Constipation itself is a cause of bloating and gas in many cases, especially during early pregnancy. You are advised to stay away from gas-producing foods such as beans and onions. Always find alternative foods to help you stay healthy right from the start of your pregnancy. While there are other signs of pregnancy and period, constipation should never be ignored.

    Do You Poop Less When Pregnant

    Constipation during Pregnancy

    When it occurs during pregnancy, though, its often due to an increase in the hormone progesterone. This hormone slows muscle contractions in the intestines. And when muscle contractions slow down, your bowels dont flow as freely or as easily. Symptoms of constipation include hard, dry stools, bloating, and straining.

    How To Maintain A Healthy Diet During Pregnancy

    Eating for two is part of the fun of being pregnant, right? Yes, but you must proceed with caution. Just because you are growing a baby, doesn’t give you the green light to eat whatever you want.

    Plus, pregnancy can be rough on your body. Not only do you have a constant shift in energy levels and varying degrees of nausea, you’re also hit with the highs and lows of emotions, due to fluctuating hormones. That’s why it’s important to maintain a healthy diet, despite some of the intense food cravings you may be experiencing.

    Since most of the reported food cravings don’t tend to be for the healthy foods which are needed in pregnancy, “its critical that you focus on eating a rainbow of differently coloured fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans, lentils and seeds,” explains Bishop-Weston.

    Here are some other things you can do to maintain a healthy diet during pregnancy:

    Changes In Bathroom And Stomach Habits

    In addition to nausea and vomiting, you may experience other stomach problems when you first become pregnantlike constipation, frequent urination and bloating, to name a few.

    Constipation is normally characterized by fewer than three bowel movements a week, hard stool, dry stool or stool that is difficult to pass. The progesterone that starts to form from the placenta slows the bowels down, says Brown. Constipation can occur early on in pregnancy, but can come back during the third trimester, too.

    Frequent urination is common. Symptoms can start even earlier than your missed period, since the fertilized egg implants itself into the uterus and begins making the pregnancy hormone hCG, prompting you to run to the bathroom more often.

    Bloating can happen early on in pregnancy, and may continue throughout your nine months. The progesterone hormone causes your muscle tissues to relax, slowing down digestion. That, in addition to an expanding uterus, can put pressure on your rectum and cause it to feel heavy.

    Heres how to keep your stomach happy during pregnancy:

    • Aim to get at least 25 grams of fiber a day from foods like leafy greens and whole grains.
    • Stay hydrated.
    • Talk to your OBGYN about any iron supplements youre taking.
    • Discuss with your OBGYN whether you need to try over-the-counter medications.
    • When you feel the urge, do not hold in bowel movements.
    • Eat slowly.
    • Take it easy on foods that may upset your stomach, like beans, cabbage and fried items.

    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.
  • When To See A Doctor

    According to the National Institutes of Health, you should see a doctor if you have any of the following symptoms:

    • Self-care remedies do not work
    • If you are worried that your constipation is a result of a more serious condition

    Children should see a doctor if they have constipation with any of the above symptoms. In rare instances, constipation in children may be a result of a food allergy or a medical condition in which case they will need to receive a medical work-up to determine the cause.

    In any case, if you can’t figure out a reason as to why there is a change in your normal bowel routine or if self-care has been unsuccessful in treating your constipation, contact your doctor.

    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.
    • Ask your doctor about , 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!

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