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.
Feeling Faint In Pregnancy
You may feel faint while pregnant. This is due to hormonal changes. Fainting happens if your brain is not getting enough blood and, therefore, not enough oxygen.
You are most likely to feel faint if you stand up too quickly from a chair or out of a bath, but it can also happen when you are lying on your back.
Here are some tips to help avoid feeling faint:
- try to get up slowly after sitting or lying down
- if you feel faint when standing still, find a seat quickly and the faintness should pass if it doesn’t, lie down on your side
- if you feel faint while lying on your back, turn onto your side
It’s better not to lie flat on your back in later pregnancy or during labour. You should avoid going to sleep on your back after 28 weeks as it has been linked to a higher risk of stillbirth.
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 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.
How To Stop Using Laxatives
When your bowel movements occur regularly without difficulty, laxatives can be withdrawn gradually. The reduction in the dose of laxatives should be guided by the frequency and consistency of the stools.
Gradual withdrawal will reduce the risk of requiring re-initiation of therapy for recurrent fecal loading.
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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.
Is Constipation A Sign Of Early Pregnancy
You betcha! Once an egg and a sperm unite, resulting in pregnancy, progesterone levels start to rise. Its this rise in progesterone that maintains the lining of the uterus, making it a great place for a baby to grow. Unfortunately, as mentioned above, progesterone relaxes the muscles of the intestinal wall, making it less capable of moving waste material through it .
If youre experiencing constipation in early pregnancy, hang on for the ridethis pregnancy symptom can stick around for all three trimesters.
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Best Probiotics While Pregnant For Utis Constipation + Gbs
It’s no secret that probiotics are great for your overall health, digestion, immunity, and mood. If you’re wondering what the best probiotics while pregnant are, we’re going to cover our top picks! Including the benefits of probiotics, my midwife’s group B strep protocol that allowed me to be GBS negative with my second baby, and loads of research and tips to find the best prenatal probiotic for you, whether you’re struggling with constipation, UTI’s or looking to simply support you and baby during pregnancy!
What Medications Should I Avoid
Always be sure to avoid polyethylene glycol and magnesium citrate while expecting, as these could possibly harm your baby.
Castor oil must also be avoided, as it can cause irregular and painful contractions, which can be stressful on mom and baby, and possibly even lead to labor. It may also cause your baby to pass meconium before delivery, which often leads to complications after birth .
Play It Safe
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What Can I Do To Help Prevent Constipation
There are several lifestyle changes you can make that help prevent constipation:
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.
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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.
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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When Does Constipation Start In Pregnancy
As soon as the implantation happens the level of progesterone starts to increase. Many women experience a small episode of constipation before they miss their period. Constipation, even though many women fail to notice, is counted as one of the early signs of pregnancy.
Constipation starts to annoy the expecting mother around the second to the third month of pregnancy as progesterone levels significantly rise. Constipation worsens as pregnancy progresses.
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Flax Seeds Home Remedies For Constipation During Pregnancy
Flax seeds are loaded with dietary fiber and Omega-3s. The laxative property of flax seeds makes them a natural remedy for constipation. Half to two tablespoons of flax seeds once a day helps to combat constipation. Start with a half teaspoon and depending on the result eventually increases the quantity up to two tablespoons.
Another important point to note is that you need to increase the intake of water considerably while having flax seeds. Also, too many flax seeds are not safe during pregnancy. Therefore consider it as a short-term remedy rather than a practice.
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Three Cheers For Chamomile Sipping
Chamomile tea is a great way to relax your intestinal tract and your overall self can well have been used for centuries. It soothes frazzled nerves, helps with -another woe for pregnant women and it also has a generally calming effect. Drink no more than two cups a day though since there are untested rumors that it can cause in higher doses.
Constipation Relief During Pregnancy
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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.
Side Effects Of Treatments For Pregnancy Constipation
Because all medications have side effects, you should try increasing fiber, water, and exercise before taking laxatives. If you do need laxatives, talk to your doctor about the best one for your condition. Once you start laxatives, it may take several months to wean off of them. You should only use osmotic and stimulant laxatives short-term.
Talk to your doctor about seeing a gastroenterologist if you have:
- Bowel habit changes that have lasted longer than six weeks
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What Are Remedies For 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 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
Magnesium During Pregnancy For Constipation
Nuts and seeds contain the most magnesium, with sunflower seeds and linseed providing the highest amount of magnesium for each 100 g. Since our body cant absorb magnesium from plant-based foods, every third woman does not meet the recommended values. According to the author, the reason is that the phytates commonly found in plant-based foods bind the magnesium taken with the diet and we excrete the majority of it.
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What Medications Can I Take To Relieve Constipation When Im Pregnant
If you cant get relief through lifestyle changes, your healthcare provider may prescribe a laxative or a fiber supplement that can help. Always check with your provider before taking any laxatives or supplements, though. Not all of them have been tested for safety and effectiveness during pregnancy. Avoid home remedies for constipation, like castor oil or mineral oil, unless your provider recommends you take them.
What are side effects of the treatment?
Some laxatives can cause you to become dehydrated and imbalance your electrolytes. This is why its so important to be sure that youre taking the right laxative and that youre taking it for the right amount of time. Speak to your provider to be sure.
How To Help Relieve Pregnancy Constipation
- Eat the rainbow. When youre pregnant, its more important than ever to eat a healthy diet with plenty of leafy greens, crunchy peppers, super squash, antioxidant-packed fruits and berries, chia seeds and whole grains. Not only do these foods benefit your little one’s development, theyre packed with fiber to help your digestion humming right along. Another fiber-packed ingredient?
- Makeover meal time. Aim to eat five small meals a day rather than three big ones. Not only will this give your system time to catch up, it also keeps you from getting hangry.
- Flat or sparkling? Keep pouring and drinking water 12 to 13 glasses a day will help keep your digestive track lubricated and make your poop softer . Decaffeinated tea , hot water with lemon, and fruit and veggie-infused waters are other hydrating choices.
- Keep moving. When you want things to get moving, you gotta get moving. Even a 10-minute daily walk can be enough to boost circulation to keep you regular.
- Dont hold back. To prevent constipation, its important to go when you feel the urge.
- Talk to your doctor. Many prenatal supplements include iron, which, while beneficial for you and your baby, can cause constipation. If you suspect this might be the case, ask your doctor if she can recommend an alternative supplement.
If youre experiencing pregnancy constipation, hang in there! Constipation usually eases up after your baby is born. In the meantime, here are some products that might help relieve your symptoms.
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Probiotics To The Rescue
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.
Can You Take Too Much Magnesium When Pregnant
According to the National Institutes of Health, healthy adult men should generally consume 400 to 420 milligrams per day. Women who are in good shape should take 310 to 320 mg per day. Pregnant women are advised to take a higher dose than those who are not pregnant. According to the N.H.E.S., healthy adults should consume 420 to 430 mg per day. Women who are not pregnant, according to the Office of Health and Dietary Supplements, should take higher doses of magnesium than those who have healthy and non-pregnant, such as pregnant women with elevated magnesium intake.
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When Does Constipation In Pregnancy Start
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.
Could This Be An Indication Of Something More Serious
Although constipation is not usually a sign or symptom of illness, there may be complications like hemorhoids and faecal impurity. Rarely, more serious conditions like tumours can cause constipation. Talk to your doctor immediately if you have any concerns, especially if there is blood in your stool.
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