Constipation is common during pregnancy. If you are or have been pregnant, you may have felt abdominal discomfort, difficult and infrequent bowel movements, and the passage of hard stools. According to the American Pregnancy Association, unfortunately about half of all women experience constipation at some point during their pregnancy.
The Causes Of Constipation
A primary reason for constipation during pregnancy is the increase in the hormone progesterone, which relaxes smooth muscles throughout the body, including the digestive tract. Unfortunately for mom, a relaxed digestive tract means that food and waste move slower throughout your system.
The American Pregnancy Association also mentions that worry, anxiety, minimal physical exercise, and a low-fiber diet also contribute to constipation.
Lastly, iron supplements in large doses may contribute to constipation.
Tips To Move Things Along
Constipation is uncomfortable, to say the least. So let’s review some tips on how you can help your body move things along today!
- The Baby Center recommends eating high-fiber foods, such as whole grains, beans, fresh fruits, and vegetables every day.
- Stay hydrated! Do your best to keep a water bottle with you at all times. Try to have 10 8oz cups of water per day, or at least sip throughout the day until your urine is clear or pale yellow in color, signaling proper hydration.
- Get regular exercise. WebMD suggests the safest and most productive forms of exercise for pregnant women are swimming, brisk walking, indoor stationary cycling, step or elliptical machines, and low-impact aerobics.
- Switch prenatal vitamins. As stated above, high doses of iron in your prenatal vitamin can make constipation much worse. We at Healthy Mama Brand are aware of this fact and have designed the Be Well Rounded! Prenatal Vitamin that is fortified with Ferrochel Iron. This premier iron supplement enhances iron absorption while minimizing constipation and other negative side effects.