Treatment & Prevention Of Constipation In Pregnancy
The most important things to consider when preparing a diet during pregnancy are whether your symptoms are temporary or long-term.
If you have signs of food intolerance or a condition that causes constipation.
Eat a high fiber diet: A diet high in fiber is the best way to keep things moving, Sass said.
Make light exercise a part of your routine. Another discomfort during pregnancy is a pain in the lower part of the body, which arises suddenly and intensely. For example, Rotate the feet eight to ten times a day. First clockwise and then anti-clockwise. Then close and open the toes 30 to 40 times. This exercise must be done a day.
If there is sudden or sudden pain in the lower part of the body, move the toes up and down with a jolt and massage the leg muscles. This will reduce the feeling of pain quickly.
Drink a lot of fluids: Drink plenty of fluids during pregnancy can save you much distress! Drinking a lot of fluids during pregnancy is important for the health of your baby.
Large amounts of fluid are lost through sweating, urinating, and bowel movements. This can lead to dehydration, low blood pressure, dizziness, and tiredness if not replaced.
Its also important to replace fluids because they help prevent constipation, which can be uncomfortable.
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.
Pressure From The Uterus
A common problem during pregnancy is the pressure from the uterus, which causes pain and discomfort to the expectant mother.
If you feel pressure from your uterus, it can bring about a lot of additional problems such as headaches and nausea.
One common symptom people fail to recognize is constipation. Pressure from the uterus in pregnancy will cause constipation easily
Other causes include:
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Constipation During Pregnancy: Causes Symptoms Treatments
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Taking photos of your pregnancy belly, planning a baby gender reveal party, buying baby clothes – All very fun and exciting things about pregnancy, right?
While theres no arguing that there are going to be some memorable milestones along the way, there are also going to be some challenges.
Constipation – A not-so-fun and exciting part of pregnancy. This is one of the many common discomforts that you may experience during your pregnancy. But don’t worry, understanding the cause of your constipation, and ways to prevent it will help to make it better.
As it is a common symptom that you may or may not feel, youll surely know if youre going through it if youre having trouble going number two — Trust us, youll know.
Other Causes Of Diarrhea After Implantation
While you may experience diarrhea and nausea as signs of early pregnancy, it is not a good idea to presume that the cause is implantation. It could be an infection. Here are other possible causes of nausea, diarrhea and bloating in the first weeks of pregnancy, or even any other time.
- Viruses such as rotavirus, entorivus, and hepatitis can be the cause of severe diarrhea once present in the gut.
- Food poisoning, taking of contaminated foods can be a cause of abdominal upset.
- Maternal digestive conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease and irritable bowel syndrome often lead to chronic diarrhea.
- Excessive water intake causes imbalance in the internal environment which causes the body to naturally expel some to maintain balance.
- Contaminated water, especially if you have been in a new environment in the past few days. Dirty water may not only cause diarrhea but also mild to severe abdominal cramping.
If you think you have been exposed to such factors and your diarrhea is not just an early sign of pregnancy, seek medical help. Proper diagnosis and treatment should follow.
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When Should I Contact My Ob
Constipation is very common during pregnancy. Although it can make you feel like youre all stopped up, its usually not serious. If constipation is impacting your daily activities or eating, or is causing significant pain or discomfort, talk to your doctor.
For more information or to schedule an appointment with an obstetrician/gynecologist near you, visit the UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital online, or call 1-866-696-2433 .
Colace® is a trademark of Avrio Health L.P.
Editor’s Note: This gallery was originally published on November 9, 2014.
Slight Bleeding Or Cramping
Sometimes a small amount of spotting or vaginal bleeding is one of the first symptoms of pregnancy. Known as implantation bleeding, it can happen when the fertilised egg attaches to the lining of the uterus – about 10 to 14 days after fertilisation. This type of bleeding is usually a bit earlier and lighter in colour than a normal period and doesn’t last as long.
A 2010 study published in Annals of Epidemiology revealed that one in four pregnant women experienced bleeding. Only eight percent of those reported heavy bleeding, and most episodes lasted less than three days and occurred between five and eight weeks gestation.
Some women also experience abdominal cramping early in pregnancy. These cramps are similar to menstrual cramps. If you are ever concerned about bleeding or cramping, speak to your medical provider.
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Is Constipation A Sign Of Early Pregnancy
Although it isnt talked about as often as other signs, constipation can be a symptom of early pregnancy.
About 50% of women say they suffered from constipation very early in pregnancy.
Get the facts about constipation in early pregnancy here.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Constipation
Releasing a stool feels satisfying. Constipation feels just the opposite. You can tell youre constipated when:
- Youre only able to poop a few times a week.
- You strain to poop, and your belly feels swollen and gassy.
- When you poop, your stools are lumpy and hard. Theyre so dry that passing them is painful.
Sometimes, constipation leads to or worsens hemorrhoids and anal fissures. Like constipation, both conditions are common during pregnancy.
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Varicose Veins And Leg Oedema
Varicose veins of the legs are very common in pregnancy due to a combination of factors, including increased volume of circulating blood during pregnancy, and pressure of the pregnant uterus on the larger veins. This increased pressure on the veins can also result in swelling of the legs that can cause pain, feelings of heaviness, cramps and other unusual sensations.
If you have varicose veins, it is recommended that you:
- Wear support stockings.
- Avoid standing for long periods.
- Exercise gently and regularly .
- Lie down to rest with feet elevated, when you can.
- Try massaging your legs.
What Can You Do If You Have Pregnancy Diarrhea
Again, diarrhea throughout pregnancy is actually less typical than constipation, but if you do experience it, it’s more likely to happen closer to the time of delivery. At that time, your uterus starts producing hormones known as prostaglandins, which help soften the cervix and prepare the uterus to contract in labor, explains Dr. Zore.
The prostaglandins also get the smooth muscles of the digestive tract moving, so stool will pass more quickly, Dr. Zore says. You may just experience increased frequency or urgency to go to the bathroom, or you may even get diarrhea in some cases.
If you do have diarrhea, hydration is super important. Basically, loading up on water is your best defense mechanism. Eating a diet rich in fiber while pregnant is also key to make sure you dont end up with loose stools, says Dr. Zore.
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Of Course Diarrhea In Early Pregnancy Can Happen
You certainly can get diarrhea in early pregnancy, whether its due to something you ate or a stomach bug, Dr. Rosser says. Diarrhea has a ton of potential causes, including bacteria-contaminated food or water, viruses , parasites, certain medications , and food intolerances , according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. All of those things can mess with your GI functioning, whether youre pregnant or not.
Thats why Dr. Ruiz compares looking at diarrhea as an early sign of pregnancy to trying to read tea leaves. Basically, youre going to see what you want to see. At the end of the day, no single symptom is a foolproof sign that youre pregnant. So even though its tempting to interpret every weird body thing as a sign that youre expecting, a missed period and positive pregnancy test are really the best indicators that you might be pregnant.
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
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When To See Your Healthcare Provider
Itâs time to see your provider if
your diarrhea lasts for more than two days
you have severe abdominal pain or rectal pain
you pass bloody or black stools
you have a fever of 101 degrees Fahrenheit or higher.
Diarrhea during pregnancy can be a symptom of something normal, such as a change in diet, but it can also be a sign of something more serious, such as preterm labor. Itâs a pretty uncomfortable condition that can also lead to dehydration, so itâs always safest and best to get checked by your healthcare provider sooner rather than later. With the right treatment you’ll feel better soon.
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Foods To Avoid During Diarrhea
Dealing with diarrhea is hectic. However avoiding these foods will get rid of your symptoms sooner than you think.
- Avoid eating dairy products when suffering diarrhea in early pregnancy. Consuming dairy products only worsens diarrhea. Dairy products contain sugar. Processing sugar will only lead to bloating and gas. Am sure you dont want that already!
- Oily foods: Stay away from French fries and any other deep fried foods. These irritate your gut and can cause increased diarrhea.
- Citrus fruits: Citrus fruits contain fiber that is not suitable for your digestion during diarrhea. Fiber takes a lot of time to digest, and this means a lot more discomfort for you, including constipation.
- Carbonated drinks and caffeine: Caffeine has a diuretic effect meaning that it will cause dehydration which will only lead to serious complications. On the other hand, carbonated drinks add gas causing bloating.
- All foods causing gas: Some foods such as beans and cabbage contain and produce gas. Avoid such foods from the first week of pregnancy until your gut starts to function well.
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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 youve 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 its 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.
What Causes Constipation
The hormonal changes in pregnancy, which encourage parts of your body to relax and make room for the baby, also make constipation more likely. Constipation during pregnancy might also be caused by reduced physical activity and changes in dietary habits . As your baby grows and your uterus stretches, it can also press on your intestines and cause digestive delays or obstructions .
Make sure you are eating a healthy and varied diet, drinking enough water and keeping physically active . Read our article on five ways to help prevent constipation in pregnancy.
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Will It Affect My Baby
If youre pregnant, you dont need to worry that constipation will affect your baby since the discomfort occurs in the mothers gut and bowels and isnt passed on to the baby. Most laxatives are not well absorbed into the bloodstream and can be taken during pregnancy and breastfeeding, but always check with your pharmacist before taking a medicine while pregnant.
Causes Of Constipation In Pregnancy
There are a number of different causes for constipation during pregnancy. It can occur at any given stage.
If a woman is in the early stages of pregnancy, then this could be due to hormonal changes in her body that prevent her from digesting food properly.
If it occurs later in the pregnancy, then it could be due to the pressure on her abdomen from the baby pressing down on her stomach and intestines.
Causes of constipation include:
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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.
Constipation During Early Pregnancy
In the very early stages of pregnancy, hormone levels begin to surge.
One of the main hormones of pregnancy is progesterone.
Progesterone is produced by a womans ovaries and adrenal glands until the placenta is developed enough to take over the task.
One of the main actions of progesterone is to relax the smooth muscles of the uterus.
This prevents the body from expelling the pregnancy.
Progesterone also slows the movement of the intestine and bowel.
This means food takes longer to pass through. The longer the food is in the intestine, the more water is absorbed from the waste.
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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 , which add fiber and water to your digestive system, or stool softeners.
Heres the good news: bowel problems dont really affect a pregnant womans quality of life all that much. But if youve been spending more time in the bathroom than usual lately, at least you know youre not alone!
Cramping And Spotting During Early Pregnancy
From weeks 1 to 4, everything is still happening on a cellular level. The fertilized egg creates a blastocyst that will develop into the fetuss organs and body parts.
About 10 to 14 days after conception, the blastocyst will implant in the endometrium, which is the lining of the uterus. This can cause implantation bleeding, which may be mistaken for a light period. It does not occur for everyone. If it does occur, it will usually happen around the time you expect your period.
Here are some signs of implantation bleeding:
- Color. The color of each episode may be pink, red, or brown.
- Bleeding. Implantation bleeding is usually much less than your usual period. Its often described as light bleeding that never turns into a flow or enough to need a tampon.
- Pain. Pain is usually milder than your usual menstrual pain. It may involve some cramping. It can be moderate or severe, but its most often mild.
- Episodes. Implantation bleeding is likely to last less than 3 days and does not require treatment. It can sometimes last only a few hours.
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