How To Help Constipation While Pregnant

Guidance On Managing Constipation

How Do I Relieve Constipation While Pregnant!

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.

How To Ease Constipation

You can ease constipation by:

  • drinking plenty of water – try to have 10 glasses of water a day, about 2.3 litres
  • eating foods that are high in fibre every day – vegetables, wholegrain breads, porridge, fruit, dried fruits, vegetables, beans and lentils
  • staying active – try walking, swimming, pregnancy yoga or pilates
  • going to the toilet when you first feel the urge to have a bowel motion – give yourself plenty of time and take some deep breaths to help relax the pelvic floor

Only take iron supplements if your GP or midwife has said you need them.

How To Manage Constipation In Pregnancy

Nearly three out of four women experience constipation and other bowel disorders during their pregnancies. Heres how to handle it.

Noticing a flutter or two in your belly lately? It’s not necessarily your baby kicking. Thanks to pregnancy hormones and an enlarged uterus, you might start feeling bloated, constipated, and generally uncomfortable. Constipation can also lead to hemorrhoids, another common side effect of pregnancy. Here’s how to manage and prevent constipation while expecting.

Don’t Miss: Does Donating Plasma Affect Fertility

Can Constipation Be Serious

Not usually, but occasionally, it can point to another problem. If you have severe constipation that is accompanied by abdominal pain or that alternates with diarrhea, or if you pass mucus or blood, call your doctor or midwife immediately.

Also, straining during a bowel movement or passing a hard stool can lead to or worsen hemorrhoids. Hemorrhoids can be extremely uncomfortable, though they rarely cause serious problems. In most cases, they go away fairly soon after your baby is born. However, if the pain is severe or you have rectal bleeding, you should see your doctor or midwife for an evaluation.

Your Position On The Toilet

Pin on Next level

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.
  • Recommended Reading: Vagisil Cream While Pregnant

    Is Prune Juice Good For Constipation During Pregnancy

    Many expectant mothers are wondering if prune juice is good for constipation during pregnancy. It is not a secret that during pregnancy, women experience constipation. It happens because of the hormone relaxing, which relaxes the pelvic muscles, making it harder for stool to pass. There are many possible causes of constipation during pregnancy, including hormonal changes, eating habits, and the pressure from the baby and your growing uterus. Prune juice is the best natural product for constipation during pregnancy, though constipation is a very common complaint of pregnant women.

    Prune juice is a mild stimulant laxative that should help relieve constipation during pregnancy. However, if you have never used it before, it is better to start with small doses and increase them gradually to let your body adjust to a regular intake of prune juice. The general dose is a tablespoon of prune juice in the morning and evening.

    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.

    You May Like: Can You Get Braces While Pregnant

    How You Go Matters

    When stools are hard, it may seem natural that youd need to strain to pass them. However, you should not strain when having a bowel movement, because straining can cause hemorrhoids or fissures. Hemorrhoids are swollen and inflamed veins around your anus or in your lower rectum . Anal fissures are small tears in the delicate skin around the anus. Both can be painful. I think we can all agree that during pregnancy were not looking to add additional discomforts!

    Prune Juice For Constipation

    How to improve constipation during your pregnancy stages.

    Wondering how to cure constipation during pregnancy, prune juice is widely hailed as an effective cure for constipation. All you need to do is have prune juice, four to six times in a day to leave constipation and soften the stool. If the concentrated taste of the prune juice is too strong for you, they mix it with a bit of water and add a slice of lemon.

    Also Check: Is It Safe To Use Vagisil Cream While Pregnant

    Medications To Relieve Constipation During Pregnancy

    If youve tried everything in the books, and you are still having difficulties in the bathroom, it may be time for some meds. Check with you doctor, but generally stool softeners are safe for pregnant women. Other OTC medications that are safe include Metamucil, Citrucel, Benefiber, or Milk of Magnesia.

    Dont you just love talking about poop?? Dont worry, usually, this constipation most women experience during pregnancy is temporary. Pregnancy is like a scary roller coaster ride for your body to go through, but eventually, you get to the end and things go back to normal .

    THERE IS HOWEVER a very scary poop you must face called the first postpartum poop, but that is a story for another day, and I wont scare you with alllll that.

    Happy bathroom adventures!

    Am I More Likely To Experience Constipation If I Had It Before Pregnancy

    Women who have had constipation before pregnancy are, unfortunately, likely to experience worsening of symptoms during pregnancy.

    If you have constipation and are planning a pregnancy, try to get into good habits before you become pregnant. Keeping to a healthy diet, drinking plenty of fluids, and doing regular exercise may help you maintain regular bowel motions.

    It is better to prevent constipation early on rather than wait to treat it later.

    Don’t Miss: Mayo Clinic Pregnancy

    What Is Constipation During Pregnancy

    Constipation is a common complaint of women who are pregnant. It affects up to 38% of women at some point during their pregnancy. Constipation can be painful and negatively affect your quality of life. It can also lead to physical problems like hemorrhoids if you don’t treat it.

    Symptoms of constipation during pregnancy

    Symptoms of constipation can include any of the following:

    • Infrequent bowel movements
    • Hard, lumpy, or dry stool
    • A feeling like all of your stool hasn’t passed
    • Excessive straining to have a bowel movement

    Causes of constipation during pregnancy

    If you are experiencing constipation during pregnancy, it may be a result of one of the following potential causes:

    • Hormone changes in pregnancy
    • Not enough fiber in your diet

    Who can get constipation during pregnancy?

    Any woman who is pregnant can experience constipation, but the following factors may increase your risk:

    • Age over 35
    • Pre-pregnancy Body Mass Index over 24

    Will It Affect My Baby

    Remedies For Constipation During Pregnancy

    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.

    Recommended Reading: Vagisil Pregnant

    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.

    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.

    Also Check: Is It Okay To Use Vagisil While Pregnant

    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.

  • Metamucil can help!
  • What Causes Constipation In Pregnancy

    Relieve Constipation in Pregnancy – Physio Bowel Emptying Technique

    Constipation is having infrequent bowel movements , hard stools or difficulty passing stool.

    Many women experience some degree of constipation during pregnancy because of changes in gastrointestinal motility.

    Pregnancy can affect how contents such as food and fluid move through the digestive system.

    There are multiple pregnancy-related changes that contribute to constipation. These include:

    • Hormone changes that affect bowel motility. Progesterone levels increase during pregnancy. This is important because progesterone prevents the body from ovulating and prepares the breasts for milk production. Studies have shown that progesterone also decreases the activity of the muscles in the colon or large intestine . This causes the movement of waste products to sloowww down as they travel through the colon on their way to be expelled as a bowel movement.
    • Increased water absorption from the intestines. Increased levels of aldosterone during pregnancy can increase water absorption in the colon. This can lead to harder and drier poop, which is more difficult to pass .
    • Enlarging uterus . As it grows, the uterus can displace and compress the bowel which further slows down the movement of contents through the bowels.

    All these changes are happening naturally in our bodies during pregnancy and can potentially lead to constipation. So what are some natural ways to relieve constipation while pregnant?

    Read Also: Can You Get Lasik While Pregnant

    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.

    Top 5 Tips To Relieve Constipation During Pregnancy

  • Is prune juice good for constipation during pregnancy?
  • Constipation during pregnancy, When a woman is pregnant, her hormones are altered. One such hormone is progesterone the hormone that causes the body to tense up. And when your body is tense, it affects digestion especially of food moving through the intestines which can lead to problems with constipation.

    Recommended Reading: Vagisil And Pregnancy

    The Link Between Constipation And Hemorrhoids

    On its own, pregnancy increases your risk of swollen veins around your rectum. “But if your stool is uncomfortable to pass and you’re straining to do so, it can make hemorrhoids worse,” says Shari Brasner, M.D., assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, in New York City, and author of Advice from a Pregnant Obstetrician “This is serious, because they can be with you for life.” You can prevent pregnancy hemorrhoids by managing constipation, using the tips below.

    Pressure From The Uterus:

    10 Surefire Ways To Relieve Constipation During Pregnancy!

    The growing uterus delivers a lot of pressure on the bowel during later pregnancy and this can make it harder to move stool through the intestines. Besides having infrequent bowel movements, constipation can cause bloating and hard stomach pains. It makes bowel movements hard to pass and might even feel like it has stuck in your system.

    Read Also: Braces While Pregnant

    What Can I Do To Help Prevent Constipation

    There are several lifestyle changes you can make that help prevent constipation:

  • Include foods that are high in fibre in your diet such as wholemeal bread, wholegrain creals, fruit, vegetables and pulses like beans and peas
  • Drink plenty of water you shouldnt be thirsty
  • Aim to move regularly to keep muscles toned gentle exercise includes walking, swimming or yoga
  • Take iron supplements if needed, but some can cause constipation if you become constipated ask your doctor about alternatives
  • Persistent Constipation During Early Pregnancy

    If you have tried the above tricks and are still struggling with constipation, talk to your doctor or midwife. There may be laxatives that are safe to take during pregnancy. Just dont take any medications, supplements, or other remedies without discussing it with your healthcare provider beforehand.

    Ultimately, constipation can be annoying and uncomfortable, but fortunately does not pose a risk to you or your little one. Work with your provider to find relief, and get back to enjoying your pregnancy.

    Kopa Births online birthing classes allow you to prepare for a natural hospital birth from the comfort of your own home, 24/7. Enroll today in our free online childbirth class and start preparing for your natural birth!


  • Barratt, J., Cross, C., Steel, S., & Biswas, C. . The pregnancy encyclopedia: All your questions answered. London: Dorling Kindersley Limited.
  • Trottier, M., Erebara, A., & Bozzo, P. . Treating constipation during pregnancy. Retrieved July 14, 2020, from
  • Curtis, G. B., & Schuler, J. . Your pregnancy week by week. Cambridge, MA, MA: Da Capo Life Long.
  • American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. . YOUR PREGNANCY AND CHILDBIRTH: Month to month. Place of publication not identified: ACOG.
  • Definition & Facts of Hemorrhoids. . Retrieved July 14, 2020, from
  • Recommended Reading: Can Pregnant Women Use Vagisil

    Ask Your Provider About Medications

    Some medications can increase the likelihood that you will have constipation. One big culprit in pregnancy can be iron-laden prenatal vitamins, which are often given to help prevent anemia. If you are having issues with the vitamins, ask your provider if you can switch. You might also try ways to prevent anemia in a nutritional manner.

    One study found that certain brands of prenatal vitamins might be able to reduce constipation by up to 30%.

    There are medications available to help with constipation, but generally as a last resort. These medications can particularly problematic in pregnancy and you would want to talk to your doctor or midwife before taking anythingeven if it is over the counter .

    When To Call Your Doctor

    How to Relieve Constipation In Pregnancy | Constipation During Pregnancy

    Postpartum constipation is very common and usually resolves with proper lifestyle coping measures, but sometimes it can be a sign of a bigger problem. There are several red flag symptoms that you should be on the lookout for.

    • Blood or mucus in your stool
    • Constipation alternating with diarrhea
    • Severe, painful bulging in the vagina, vulva, and/or perineum
    • Severe rectal pain

    You May Like: Can I Get Lasik While Pregnant

    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

    Related Posts

    Recent Stories