Constipation during Pregnancy; Causes and Cures
What percent of women get constipation during pregnancy? Approximately 50%
Nobody likes to talk about it, but constipation during pregnancy is a crappy reality for many women.
A variety of things cause pregnancy constipation:
- An increase in the hormone progesterone, which relaxes muscles throughout the body, including the digestive tract is one culprit. This causes food to pass through the intestines more slowly.
- The pressure of your growing uterus on your rectum later in pregnancy can exacerbate the situation. Another culprit is Iron which can make constipation worse.
- Since pregnant and nursing women need double the amount (27mg), it can wreak havoc on your routine (if you know what we mean). There are special iron blends that help to eliminate this not so friendly guest.
- Other offenders are anxiety, minimal physical exercise, and a low-fiber diet.
Make sure you are drinking plenty of fluids. If your prenatal vitamin contains iron, you may need to switch to a different type of iron, but it is important to talk to your health care provider first. An increase in the size of your uterus may put pressure on your bowels. So much is happening inside your body!
How To Avoid or Treat Constipation During Pregnancy?
- Drink plenty of fluids. Water or Boost It Up! Protein Energy Drink is a good choice which contains 3g of fiber to assist with digestive health. Fruit juice, especially prune juice, can also help.
- Include physical activity in your daily routine. Daily walks and other aerobic activities can help prevent pregnancy constipation not to mention are a great way to stay fit!
- Include more fiber in your diet. Choose high-fiber foods such as fruits, vegetables, beans, and whole grains. Prunes are a great option (one a day can keep the constipation away!).
- If you take iron supplements, mention the constipation to your health care provider. Although iron is important during pregnancy, higher amounts of iron can cause pregnancy constipation. Certain types of iron are less likely to cause constipation like Ferrochel® iron found in healthy mama® Be Well Rounded!™ Premium Prenatal vitamin and DHA Kit. We encourage you to speak with your healthcare provider.
- Ladies, constipation can lead to hemorrhoids! Please do your best to avoid or rectify it sooner rather than later.
If you still are experiencing constipation during pregnancy and have not had a bowel movement in three or more days after trying Move It Along!™, please speak to your healthcare provider.
What NOT to take while Pregnant and Nursing
Anything called a laxative should be avoided as it can cause uterine contractions.
AVOID DURING PREGNANCY AND USE CAUTIOUSLY WHILE NURSING:
- Senna (Peri-Colace)
- Bisacodyl (Dulcolax)
- Mineral Oil
- Any laxative (unless prescribed by your healthcare professional)
• Consult your healthcare provider prior to taking any medication while pregnant or nursing.
• Follow the directions on the package.
*No medication is considered 100% safe during pregnancy or nursing