While Constipation During Pregnancy Is Uncomfortable & Unfortunately Common There Are Several Ways To Treat It & Ease Discomfort
Constipation is one of the most common gastrointestinal symptoms experienced by pregnant women. In fact, constipation during pregnancy affects up to 40 percent of women.
Experiencing constipation while pregnant can mean passing hard stools, at times painfully. It can also mean having less frequent bowel movements and involve additional symptoms such as abdominal discomfort, cramping and flatulence.
Why do women experience constipation during pregnancy?
The main reason pregnancy is thought to cause constipation is due to pregnancy hormones relaxing the bowels and causing them to work more slowly.
How do you relieve 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 youâre 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
When should I be worried about constipation during pregnancy?
You should see a GP if you:
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.
You May Like: How To Help Migraines While Pregnant
How Do I Pass A Hard Stool
You May Like: How Does Gum Help Heartburn
What Happens If You Dont Poop After A Suppository
If the suppository seems soft, hold it inside the foil wrapper under cold water for one or two minutes. If you do not have a bowel movement within 12 hours after using this medicine or you experience rectal bleeding,contact your doctor or health care professional. These may be signs of a more serious condition.
How Can You Stop The Flu From Spreading
When you have the flu, you can spread it to others. Heres what you can do to help prevent it from spreading:
- Stay home when youre sick and limit contact with others.
- Dont kiss anyone.
- Cough or sneeze into a tissue or into your arm. Throw used tissues in the trash.
- Try not to touch your eyes, nose or mouth.
- Wash your hands with soap and water before touching anyone. You also can use alcohol-based hand sanitizers. Use enough hand sanitizer so that it takes at least 15 seconds for your hands to dry.
- Use hot, soapy water or a dishwasher to wash your dishes and utensils.
- Dont share your dishes, glasses, utensils or toothbrush.
Read Also: How Do You Know If Baby Has Diarrhea
Will The Constipation Extend Beyond The First Trimester
It can. Thats because some of the top factors for constipation such as increased progesterone and lowered physical activity can continue after your first trimester. Also, your intestines will absorb less water overall, which causes stools to dry out more.
Later in your pregnancy, these issues are exacerbated by an enlarging uterus, which may slow the movement of feces through your system.
If Im Fit And Healthy Do I Need To Have The Flu Vaccine
Although people with medical conditions like asthma and diabetes are most at risk of complications from the flu, fit and healthy adults, children and infants can still become seriously ill and even die from the flu. Also, healthy people can spread the flu to others around them. So it is recommended that even fit and healthy people get the flu vaccine.
Don’t Miss: What To Take For Upset Stomach And Diarrhea
Who Is Eligible For The Flu Jab
The flu vaccine is given free on the NHS to people who:
- are 50 and over
- have certain health conditions
- are in long-stay residential care
- receive a carers allowance, or are the main carer for an older or disabled person who may be at risk if you get sick
- live with someone who is more likely to get infections
- frontline health or social care workers
Dont Miss: Cold And Flu Medicine While Pregnant
Why Are Iron And Calcium Important During Pregnancy
Your body needs iron to make hemoglobin â thats the substance in your red blood cells that helps carry oxygen to your organs and tissues. When youre pregnant, your body produces more blood to supply oxygen to your baby, which is why youll need to double your iron intake. If you dont get enough iron, or youre already low on iron, you could develop iron deficiency anemia, which will not only make you feel more tired in pregnancy, but also, in severe cases, can increase the risk of premature birth, low birth weight, and postpartum depression.
Getting enough calcium helps keep your teeth and bones healthy, and helps your baby develop strong teeth and bones, too. Whats more, calcium keeps your circulatory, nervous, and muscular systems running normally.
Dont Miss: Can You Get Pregnant With Uterine Fibroids
Read Also: How To Get Ib Diploma
What Causes Constipation During Pregnancy
In general, worry, anxiety, minimal physical exercise, and a low-fiber diet may cause constipation. Constipation during pregnancy is due to the increase in progesterone hormones that relax the intestinal muscle causing food and waste to move slower through your system.
Sometimes iron tablets may contribute to constipation. Make sure you are drinking plenty of water if you are taking iron supplements. You may need to switch to a different type of iron tablet, but it is important to talk to your health care provider first.
What Is Safe To Take For Constipation While Pregnant
Constipation is a very common symptom that many women experience during pregnancy. Some women have constipation at an early stage of their pregnancy, while it does not affect other women until much later on. 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.
During pregnancy, an increase in the progesterone hormone causes the relaxation of your bodyâs muscles, which includes your intestines. And slower moving intestines mean slower digestion, this can lead to constipation. In addition, prenatal vitamins are chock-full of iron, a crucial mineral that can sometimes be deficient during pregnancy. Iron can cause constipation and hard, black stools.
What Is Safe To Take For Constipation While Pregnant?
Although some medicines for constipation are considered safe during pregnancy, certain over-the-counter pills and remedies for constipation can be harmful to a developing baby when taken during the first three months of pregnancy, often before a woman even knows she is pregnant.
Here is a list of medications and remedies that are available and safe for relieving constipation during pregnancy:
Read Also: Does Fasting Give You Diarrhea
How To Relieve Constipation During Pregnancy
Of all the potential side effects, constipation in pregnancy can be one of the most irritating. Itâs believed that about half of all women experience constipation during pregnancy1, so if youâre feeling it, youâre not alone. This article will discuss how constipation and pregnancy are related, how to avoid constipation, and how to relieve constipation in pregnancy.
What Medicines Can I Take While Im Breastfeeding
If you need to take medicines while you are breastfeeding, check with your doctor or pharmacist that they are safe for you and your baby. Even when your medicine is considered safe during breastfeeding, it is best to breastfeed your baby before you take your medicine.
While you are breastfeeding, its especially important to maintain good hygiene to reduce the chance of spreading the infection to your baby and other members of your household.
Here are some common medicines and some information about their use while youre breastfeeding.
There is limited scientific information about many herbal or complementary products or medicines and their safety while breastfeeding. If you are breastfeeding and want to use a herbal medicine, check with your doctor or pharmacist about their safety and effectiveness before you do.
Recommended Reading: What To Eat When You Feel Bloated
The Risks Of Substances During Pregnancy
Pregnancy is a complex and delicate process for both the mother and the fetus, susceptible to a host of internal and external influences. There are any number of factors that could affect the course of a pregnancy, birth, or lactating babys growth. Each process has its own variables, and CBD is just one of many substances whose effects scientists and doctors dont fully understand either. Pregnant women have to navigate a complex and often changing set of guidelines and best practice recommendations based on ever-evolving research.
Not only is the mothers body changing physically, hormonally, and physiologically, her baby is developing one of the most complex brains on the planet. This development process is incredibly delicate, and every mother wants to give her baby the best chance of success. Some substances are known to increase the risk of abnormal brain development, but much of CBDs effects are still unknown.
What Medications Should I Avoid
Always be sure to avoid polyethylene glycol and magnesium citrate while expecting, as these could possibly harm your baby.
You must also avoid castor oil, as it can cause irregular and painful contractions, which can be stressful on mom and baby and may lead to labor. It may also cause your baby to pass meconium before delivery, which often leads to complications after birth .
Play It Safe
Recommended Reading: Which Fiber Is Best For Constipation
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 Like constipation, both conditions are common during pregnancy.
What Helps Constipation Naturally While Pregnant
Also Check: How Do You Spell Constipated
Will It Continue After Ive Had The Baby
There are several reasons why constipation may continue after birth. Women who have had a caesarean often experience constipation for a few days until their regular bowel movements return. Women who have stiches 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 breastfeeding to encourage healthy bowel movements, even when you are busy.
Watch Your Calcium Intake
Too much calcium can cause constipation. Calcium is found in many foods and supplements, particularly dairy products. If you overdo it on the milk and cheese, you might find your bowels get backed up.
Food sensitivities can sometimes contribute to constipation. Keep track of what you eat to see if certain foods are related to bouts of constipation.
Also Check: What’s An Ib Program
If I Had The Flu Jab Last Year Do I Need To Have It Again Now
Yes, because the viruses that cause flu change every year. This means the flu strains the vaccines are designed to prevent this year may be different from last year.
If you had the flu vaccine during the last flu season because you were pregnant , or because youre in a vulnerable group, you need to have it again this year.
How Does Pregnancy Affect Your Digestive System
Constipation occurs in nearly half of pregnant women, due to physiological and anatomical changes in the gastrointestinal tract. In addition, dietary changes such as not eating some of the foods youre used to, or eating less can contribute to constipation. And to top it all off, a growing fetus may slow down the movement of the bowel.
Hormonal changesPregnant women produce more hormones than usual, including relaxin and progesterone, which relax the joints and ligaments in the pelvic area to make room for the growing baby. They also relax the muscles of the digestive system, causing bowel movements to slow down. Another hormone, aldosterone, makes the colon absorb more liquid and electrolytes than usual, which makes stools harder. All of these changes can make it difficult to get relief.
Physical changesSome changes in the body during pregnancy may include backache, nausea and vomiting, heartburn, hemorrhoids, frequent urination, feeling tired, increase in appetite, increased vaginal discharge, tender breasts, and constipation. Toward the end of the pregnancy, the expansion of the uterus can put an increased pressure on the intestines, which also contributes to constipation.
Dietary changesDifferent eating habits during pregnancy can cause constipation. Maybe youre eating more of certain foods, while you cant stand the sight of others either way, sudden changes can cause occasional constipation.
You May Like: What To Eat Or Drink When Constipated
Other Medications Or Supplements
You can find a medication guide that offers additional suggestions about whats safe to take for headaches, morning sickness, congestion and other ills that may crop up during your pregnancy. Whether you are pregnant or are planning to get pregnant, if you have any questions about the safety of the medications or supplements you take, please talk to your health care provider right away.
Why Do Doctors Give Progesterone During Pregnancy
Progesterone is a hormone that helps the uterus grow during pregnancy and keeps it from contracting. Treatment with progesterone during pregnancy may help some people reduce their risk for premature birth. If you have a short cervix, treatment with vaginal progesterone gel may help prevent premature birth.
Recommended Reading: How Much Mineral Oil To Take For Constipation
Vitamin D In Pregnancy
You need 10 micrograms of vitamin D each day and should consider taking a supplement containing this amount between September and March.
Vitamin D regulates the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body, which are needed to keep bones, teeth and muscles healthy. Our bodies make vitamin D when our skin is exposed to summer sunlight .
Its not known exactly how much time is needed in the sun to make enough vitamin D to meet the bodys needs, but if youre in the sun take care to cover up or protect your skin with sunscreen before you start to turn red or burn.
Vitamin D is also in some foods, including:
Vitamin D is added to some breakfast cereals, fat spreads and non-dairy milk alternatives. The amounts added to these products can vary and might only be small.
Because vitamin D is only found in a small number of foods, whether naturally or added, it is difficult to get enough from foods alone.
Do not take more than 100 micrograms of vitamin D a day as it could be harmful.
You can get vitamin supplements containing vitamin D free of charge if youre pregnant or breastfeeding and qualify for the Healthy Start scheme.
There have been some reports about vitamin D reducing the risk of coronavirus . But there is currently not enough evidence to support taking vitamin D solely to prevent or treat COVID-19.
Recommended Reading: What Vitamins Should I Take If Trying To Get Pregnant
How To Use Colace
Follow all directions on the product package unless otherwise directed by your doctor. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Take this medication by mouth, usually at bedtime with a full glass of water or juice, or as directed by your doctor. The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to therapy. Decrease your dose or stop taking this medication if you develop diarrhea.
If you are using the liquid form of this medication, measure the dose carefully using a special measuring device/spoon. Do not use a household spoon because you may not get the correct dose. If you are using the drops, measure the medication with the dropper provided, or use a dose-measuring spoon or device to make sure you have the correct dose. Mix the syrup, liquid or drops in 4 to 8 ounces of fruit juice, milk or infant formula to prevent throat irritation and mask a bitter taste.
Use this medication only when needed. Do not use this product for more than 1 week unless directed by your doctor.
Relief is usually seen in 1 to 3 days.
Tell your doctor if your condition lasts or gets worse.
Don’t Miss: Can Ibs Cause Pregnancy Symptoms