Wednesday, April 10, 2024

What To Take For Constipation When Pregnant

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How Common Is Constipation In Pregnancy

Constipation during pregnancy

About 16 to 39% of people get constipated at some point during pregnancy. Youre most likely to get constipated in the third trimester, when the fetus is heaviest and putting the most pressure on your bowel. Constipation can happen in all three trimesters, though. Sometimes, youll continue to be constipated up to three months after the babys born.

How Can I Manage Constipation During Pregnancy

Lifestyle changes can often prevent and help ease pregnancy-related constipation:

  • Drink plenty of fluids. Taking in enough liquids can help move food through the digestive system. Note that fluid needs increase during pregnancy. Try to drink about 10 cups of water and other liquids every day.
  • Take in enough fiber. Fiber adds bulk to stool, which may increase how often you have bowel movements. Aim for at least 25 grams of fiber each day. Foods that contain fiber include whole grains, beans, fruits and vegetables.
  • Exercise regularly. Inactivity increases your chance of constipation. Exercising during pregnancy can help you avoid constipation and improve your overall health. Strive to be active for 30 minutes, five days per week. Check with your health care provider before you increase your activity level.

If you take iron supplements and have constipation, talk to your health care provider about the best way to manage your symptoms. They may recommend that you meet your iron needs through diet or take smaller doses of the supplement throughout the day. Getting enough iron is important, especially during pregnancy, so do not stop taking the supplement without talking to your provider first.

How To Deal With Constipation During Pregnancy

Constipation is often an early sign of pregnancy, and sometimes it continues for all nine months . Heres what you can do to get relief from pregnancy constipation.

Both of Adele Hedricks pregnancies were marred by months of cramping, bloating and gassiness thanks to constipation, which affects 11 to 38 percent of pregnant women. It added so much more discomfort to pregnancy, says the Bowmanville, Ont. mom of two. When she developed painful hemorrhoids as a result of straining, Hedrick knew it was time to put some serious effort into softening her stools. I focused on drinking lots of water and eating whatever fibre I could get my hands on, she says. All-Bran was my best friend.

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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 You Should Not Do During Pregnancy To Get Relieved From Constipation

Home Remedies to Treat Constipation during Pregnancy

Never take any constipation or laxative pills to get relief from constipation. As such pills make urine contraction which may lead to dehydration. You also should not have any mineral oil rich food as it reduces absorption of nutrition. Do not have spicy and oily food as it has a natural tendency to harden the bowel movement.

Last but not least, relax and be stress free as much as you can, eat well and have lots of green vegetables, fruits and dont overwork. Increase your intake of water and juices than normal and off course do exercise, keep the movement on that will not only help in relieving constipation but a smoother delivery as well.

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Peeing A Lot In Pregnancy

Needing to pee a lot often starts in early pregnancy and sometimes continues until the baby is born. In later pregnancy, it’s caused by the baby’s head pressing on your bladder.

If you find you need to get up in the night to pee, try cutting out drinks in the late evening. However, make sure you drink plenty of non-alcoholic, caffeine-free drinks during the day to stay hydrated.

Later in pregnancy, you may find it helps to rock backwards and forwards while youre on the toilet. This lessens the pressure of the womb on the bladder so you can empty it properly.

If you have any pain while peeing or you pass any blood in your pee, you may have a urine infection, which will need treatment.

Drink plenty of water to dilute your pee and reduce pain. You should contact your GP within 24 hours of noticing these symptoms. Read more about urinary tract infections .

Don’t take any medicines without asking your midwife, doctor or pharmacist whether they’re safe in pregnancy.

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.
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    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.

    Cant Poop Safe Constipation Remedies During Pregnancy

    Constipation during Pregnancy – Causes, Signs & Remedies

    Written by our resident pharmacist, Yeniset Santana.

    Not being able to poop is a common problem in pregnancy. Luckily there are a number of remedies you can use to help get things moving.

    The safest way to relieve constipation during pregnancy is by introducing simple changes in your lifestyle . Some medications for constipation like bulk-forming agents and, osmotic and stimulant laxatives are also safe.

    So How Often Should I be Pooping?

    Its normal to poop from 3 times per day to 3 times a week. Sometimes during pregnancy you can experience fewer bowel movements than you would when not pregnant, but that does not necessarily mean that youre constipated.

    However, if you have 2 bowel movements or less per week and 25% of your visits to the restroom are: painful, with a sensation of incomplete evacuation or with lumpy or hard stools. Then you are constipated.

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    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.

    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.

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    What Causes Constipation In Pregnancy

    Constipation can be quite unpleasant, but unfortunately extremely common during pregnancy some reports say up to 40% of women experience it. As your belly gets bigger the pressure of your growing uterus on your rectum only exacerbates the issue.

    There are a number of reasons that could be the cause of your pregnancy constipation.

    It might even be a combination of them:

    Theres also a chance your constipation may not be pregnancy-related at all and could be due to a low-fiber diet, too much dairy, or a new medication.

    Some foods you should stay away from if you are suffering from constipation include bananas, fried foods, potato chips, red meat, white bread, white rice, white pasta, and dairy products.

    What Can You Do To Stop Pregnancy

    Exercises to help constipation in pregnancy

    There are many things that couples can do to prevent pregnancy. The most effective methods are those that are used consistently and correctly. Male and female condoms are the most commonly used forms of contraception. They are 88% effective when used correctly. Other forms of contraception include birth control pills, patches, and rings. They are up to 99% effective when used correctly. Other methods include intrauterine devices and implants. They are up to 99.5% effective when used correctly. There are also natural family planning methods that are up to 98% effective when used correctly.

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    Can Diarrhea Cause A Miscarriage

    An expectant mothers worst fear is a miscarriage, so when you are experiencing those diarrhea cramps, it is not hard to quickly assume a miscarriage is happening. Some expectant mothers have diarrhea as an early pregnancy symptom, so a miscarriage should not be your first assumption.

    Diarrhea will not cause you to have a miscarriage, and no, you will not push your baby out when you are straining on the toilet.

    The cramping you are feeling is associated with diarrhea, not an impending miscarriage, so put your mind at ease. The bodily systems are not connected, even though the stomach cramps feel so much like ones that are associated with miscarriages .

    Diarrhea is a symptom of miscarriage, but having diarrhea will not cause a miscarriage to happen.

    Diarrhea can also be caused by a virus, bacteria, or parasite due to the weakened immune system during pregnancy. If you know that someone around you is contagious try to stay away as it is easier for them to spread their infection to you than a non-pregnant person.

    Editors Note:

    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.

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    How Long Should A Pregnant Woman Take Magnesium

    Any pregnant woman should be supplemented with 240-480 mg magnesium per day. Magnesium supplementation should begin as soon as possible, continue until birth, and be continued postnatally. In severe renal disease, oral magnesium supplementation is contraindicated. Soft stools can be easily avoided by taking equal doses throughout the day, and the side effects of a magnesium supplementation may be soft bowels. During breast-feeding, the bodys demand for magnesium also rises. The effect of spontaneous labour pain has yet to be established.

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    What Can I Do If I Become Constipated

    5 Best Home Remedies for Constipation During Pregnancy

    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.

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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.

    Also Check: What Foods Help With Constipation When Pregnant

    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 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

    When should I be worried about constipation during pregnancy?

    You should see a GP if you:

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    Feeling Hot In Pregnancy

    You’re likely to feel warmer than usual during pregnancy. This is due to hormonal changes and an increase in blood supply to the skin. You’re also likely to sweat more.

    It can help if you:

    • wear loose clothing made of natural fibres, as these are more absorbent and breathable than synthetic fibres
    • keep your room cool you could use an electric fan
    • wash frequently to help you feel fresh

    What Helps Constipation Naturally While Pregnant

    6 Surefire Ways To Relieve Constipation During Pregnancy

    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.
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    What Prescription Constipation Medications Are Safe During Pregnancy

    Most constipation medications are available OTC, but a few are available only with a prescription. However, many prescription constipation medications are questionable or unsafe to use during pregnancy. This is because there’s limited information about them during pregnancy. Pregnant women are often excluded from research studies.

    One that is considered safe to use is lactulose. Lactulose is an osmotic laxative thats only available with a prescription. Like the OTC products, it raises the amount of water in your stool.

    But osmotic laxatives have side effects that limit their use. For example, lactulose may cause uncomfortable bloating, gas, and nausea. It may also cause electrolyte imbalances. Electrolytes, such as sodium and potassium, are important for the normal function of your cells. Even slight changes may cause serious harm.

    How Much Magnesium Should I Take For Constipation During Pregnancy

    Doctors recommend 125-300 mg of magnesium glycinate or citrate at meals and before bed. Calm, Nature Vitalitys effervescent powder, is added to water. Both inherently decreasing and a convenient way to replenish hundreds of different trace minerals, including magnesium. Bathtub Madonna is the worlds best mineral salt soak, and it comes in a variety of flavors to choose from. Nausea in the early stages of pregnancy can make swallowing supplements difficult, but Calm is the best consumed before bed.

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    What Week Of Pregnancy Does Nausea Start

    Nausea is usually most severe during early pregnancy within the first trimester , and may even be associated with vomiting. Luckily, symptoms should start to disappear in the second trimester after HCG hormone has peaked. Unfortunately for some women, pregnancy nausea can last all nine months. Youve probably heard the term morning sickness, but thats a misnomer. It should really be called all day sickness because the truth is that it can strike at any time of the day or night. And it feels awful.

    The good news is, the typical nausea and vomiting related to hormone changes experienced during pregnancy is unlikely to harm your baby. If nausea and vomiting is so severe that you cant keep any food or fluids downa condition known as hyperemesis gravidummedical attention should be obtained since if left untreated has the potential to be harmful to the developing fetus. More on this in a bit. Aside from this very rare scenario, pregnancy nausea and vomiting is harmless. To the baby.

    For the babys mama, its a relentless queasiness that makes you want to hide in bed all day . Heres how you can battle through.

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