Tuesday, June 18, 2024

What To Take For Constipation During Pregnancy

Must read

Are There Any Other Tools Or Tricks To Help Relieve Constipation Quickly

Constipation during pregnancy

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.

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. 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.

Constipation During Pregnancy: Five Ways To Get Things Moving Again

You expected morning sickness and fatigue during your pregnancy but constipation and hemorrhoids? Unfortunately, irregular bowel movements and constipation are common pregnancy complaints. And all that straining can lead to painful hemorrhoids swollen veins in the rectum.

Pregnancy isnt always the most comfortable time. Constipation and hemorrhoids can heighten discomfort even more. Being unable to have regular bowel movements can make you feel even more bloated and miserable. So, whats slowing things down?

Hyagriv Simhan, MD, a maternal fetal medicine specialist at UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital, says many things cause constipation during pregnancy. For one, progesterone relaxes the muscles of the intestines, which slows down your gastrointestinal tract.

Also, your increased blood supply requires more fluid intake. Not drinking enough can leave you dehydrated and contribute to slow bowel movements. The iron in your prenatal vitamins might also cause constipation.

Recommended Reading: Yogurt H Pylori

Can Straining Cause A Miscarriage

Straining to have a bowel movement will not cause a miscarriage. According to the American Pregnancy Association, most miscarriages happen from:

  • Problems with the babys chromosomes.
  • Problems with the mothers hormones, uterus, or cervix.
  • Infections or exposure to certain toxins.
  • Lifestyle factors like smoking, drinking alcohol, or using illegal drugs.
  • Having certain health conditions like diabetes or kidney disease.

When Does Constipation In Pregnancy Start

How To Treat Severe Constipation In Pregnancy

Constipation in pregnancy can begin early and continue for months. It can start in the first trimester and even continue for days or weeks after the birth, Lamppa says. But dont worry, having early constipation in pregnancy doesnt necessarily mean youll be plugged up for months on end. Often, women will find that it can wax and waneor they get good control with their diet, activity, supplements or medications, Lamppa says.

You May Like: Almond Milk Gas And Bloating

Guidance On Managing Constipation

The first-line treatment for constipation is increasing dietary fibre and fluid intake. Dietary fibre intake can be improved by eating more wholegrain foods, fruit and vegetables, or through wheat or bran fibre supplementation. Where fibre supplementation does not alleviate symptoms, laxatives may be helpful in the short-term, although they can cause adverse side effects such as abdominal pain and diarrhoea.

What Can I Do To Prevent This

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.

Read Also: Probiotics And Lexapro

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.

Probiotics To The Rescue

How to manage severe constipation during pregnancy if resistant to laxatives? – Dr. Shailaja N

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.

Recommended Reading: Does Fish Oil Make You Constipated

What Can I Do If I Become Constipated

The first thing to try is to increase the fiber in your diet, drink a lot of water, and exercise regularly. You can also try prunes and prune juice, as these things help to speed up elimination. If these things do not help, see the safe medications page during pregnancy. If you are unable to pass a bowel movement, have severe abdominal pain or rectal bleeding, you should contact your physician.

What To Do About Pregnancy

Try these tips and tricks for pregnancy constipation relief:

1. Get more fiber. One of the best actions you can take when you feel constipated is to add more fiber to your diet. Some of the most fiber-rich foods are: almonds, lima beans, broccoli, chia seeds, brussels sprouts, chickpeas, and avocados . Adding a psyllium-based fiber supplement like Metamucil to your diet can also help boost your fiber intake and keep you regular.*

2. Drink more water. Water more important than ever during pregnancy, as it helps deliver essential nutrients to your baby. On top of that, it is also important to drink enough water to ensure that the fiber you eat can do its job and keep your system moving.

3. Exercise. If youâve ever felt the sudden need to use the bathroom when exercising, you know how getting your heart rate up can get your bowels active. Adding just 10-15 minutes of walking to your daily routine can help get things moving and relive constipation.

4. Plan a destressing activity. Pregnancy can be stressful enough without worrying about constipation. Do an activity that helps you destress, like taking a warm bath or joining a prenatal yoga class.

Don’t Miss: Can Lettuce Cause Constipation

Problems Caused By Untreated Constipation In Pregnancy

Constipation may cause pain, cramps, hemorrhoids, and breakdown of the anal tissue. Treating constipation will help reduce the risk of these problems.

Straining could also impair the supportive function of the pelvic floor muscles and could contribute to the development of uterine prolapse .

The likelihood of constipation resulting in fecal impaction during pregnancy is rare, but serious.

What Are Remedies For Constipation During Pregnancy

How To Relieve Constipation During Pregnancy Immediately

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 youre 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

Don’t Miss: Align Prebiotic And Probiotic Gummies

When Can I Expect Constipation To End While Im 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 Youre 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.

Ways To Prevent Constipation In Pregnancy

The best way to prevent constipation in pregnancy is to be proactive in your approach to living healthier. Incorporate fiber into your diet, drink lots of water each day and exercise, Lamppa says. Greves also recommends trying to eat more frequent, smaller meals instead of larger ones. Bigger meals, she explains, can be harder to process and could increase your risk of constipation.

Also Check: What Is The Difference Between Raw Probiotics And Regular Probiotics

What Causes Pregnancy Constipation

The increasing level of progesterone hormone in pregnancy slows down the functioning of the gastrointestinal system, resulting in constipation.

Constipation and discomfort are higher in early pregnancy due to the backward tilting of the womb until about 12 weeks and a sudden change of progesterone level in the blood.

During the second and third trimesters, the pressure exerted by the growing womb on your bowels will intensify the problem. Also, consumption of iron and calcium supplements, low-fiber diet, lack of exercise, dehydration, worry, and anxiety might cause or contribute to constipation. The rare and most severe causes include hemorrhoids and anal fissures .

Constipation During Pregnancy Occurs For Four Main Reasons

Constipation relief during pregnancy – Treatments and cures
  • 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.

You May Like: Probiotics Cause Nausea

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.

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.

Read Also: Diarrhea Medicine Pregnancy

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.

Constipation Remedies During Pregnancy

How to cope with constipation during pregnancy and after delivery ...

If you find yourself having difficulty going to the toilet, you may need to try these ten pregnancy-safe remedies to get things moving again.

  • Plenty of Fluids: Drinking lots of water throughout the day will help flush things through. Make sure youre getting at least ten 8-ounce glasses of water a day to replace lost fluids. This can even help with constipation caused by taking iron supplements. If its hot outside or if your activity level is high you should take more fluids correspondingly.
  • Get Moving: Moving helps things get moving! Walking, swimming and yoga are all great exercises for your pregnant body.
  • Warm Bath: A nice warm soak will help relax your stomach muscles and will encourage stools to move through. A nice warm soak will help relax you and your stomach muscles and will encourage stools to move through.
  • Increase Fiber Intake: High-fiber foods help remove undigested food from your intestines and into the toilet. Broccoli, berries, beans, brown rice, and green leafy vegetables all work wonders to help you go.
  • Drink Lemon Water: Take the juice from half a lemon, mix it into a glass of water, and drink before you go to bed. The water helps soften the stool, and the lemon has a high acidic content, which works on the GI tract to get things moving.
  • Editor’s Note:

    You May Like: Pouchitis Probiotics

    What Are Other Things I Can Do To Treat Constipation While Im Pregnant

    Eating foods that contain fiber can help with pregnancy constipation relief. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends getting about 25 g of fiber every day. Foods that are good sources of fiber include:

    • Chickpeas

    • Vegetables

    • Whole grains

    ACOG also recommends drinking more water if you plan on boosting your daily fiber intake. And diet aside, exercising also helps improve constipation during pregnancy. Its recommended to exercise for about 30 minutes each day if possible.

    But before making any sudden changes to your diet or exercise routine, please talk to your healthcare provider. They can tell you more about safe dietary and exercise decisions to make during pregnancy.

    What If I Take Miralax Before Realizing Im Pregnant

    Since MiraLAX is a safe way to treat constipation during pregnancy, you wont run into any problems if you take it before realizing youre pregnant. The active ingredient in MiraLAX is minimally absorbed by the body, therefore very little of the medication will be passed on to a fetus, explains Dr. McBane.

    That means that whether or not you know you have a little one on the way, a few days of MiraLAX are A-OK.

    Read Also: Can Peanuts Cause Heartburn

    Can Constipation Hurt The Baby

    Many pregnant women who experience pain from constipation will have this concern, but constipation in pregnancy will not hurt your baby.

    Another good thing to know if you do end up using a OTC laxative : most laxatives are not well absorbed into body and have not been shown to be a risk to the baby.

    The real concern is for the mother herself, not the baby. In some cases, pregnancy constipation can lead to more uncomfortable and serious symptoms of pregnancy, including hemorrhoids, rectal bleeding, fecal impaction, and rectal fissures. Oh, the joys of pregnancy! But take heart, most moms find relieve to their constipation in pregnancy with natural remedies.

    What Are The Symptoms Of Constipation

    Relieve Constipation in Pregnancy – Physio Bowel Emptying Technique

    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.

    Read Also: Side Effects Of Baking Soda For Heartburn

    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.

    More articles

    Popular Articles