A pregnant woman who has fewer than three bowel movements a week is said to have pregnancy constipation. Most people have experienced constipation before, but it’s even more common when you’re pregnant. Relieving this constipation is vital to comfort, but it must be done in a way that doesn’t harm the developing fetus.
About 16 to 39% of pregnant women undergo constipation during their pregnancy. It is most likely to happen during the third trimester when the fetus weighs the most and puts the most pressure on your bowels. We will start with the causes of pregnancy constipation then proceed to how to remedy it safely.
During early pregnancy, changing hormone levels cause the intestines to slow down stool movement. This causes the colon to absorb more water, making the stool more solid and difficult to pass.
Iron is a crucial mineral often deficient during pregnancy, causing constipation and hard, black stools. Conversely, prenatal vitamins are chock-full of iron, a mineral that may cause constipation and hard, black stools.
Pressure From The Uterus
During later stages of pregnancy, the growing uterus can pressure the bowel, making it challenging for stool to pass through and resulting in constipation.
Eat Fiber-Rich Foods Daily
It is essential to consume enough fiber to prevent constipation. Fiber softens your stools, making them more comfortable to pass. Take the time to measure your fiber intake from fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, peas, and lentils. You’re likely to be constipated if you don’t eat enough fiber.
Drink Enough Water
Despite what many people think, eight cups of water is the bare minimum when pregnant because you need more fluids than usual to support your pregnancy and soften your stools. If you prefer something else, try low-fat milk, smoothies, tea, and juices with no added sugar. Again, water is best, but try other drinks if you’re not a fan.
Incorporate Exercise into Your Routine
When you’re pregnant, you tend to move less. Pregnancy can strain your pelvic area and joints if you carry extra weight, so you may have difficulty moving around. However, sitting isn’t good for your bowel if you’re constipated. The waste sits there. Consult your healthcare provider if you need to jumpstart your bowel muscles and exercise safely.s.
Reduce or Eliminate Iron Supplements
If your digestive system cannot handle the iron in your prenatal vitamin, your healthcare provider may suggest a vitamin with less iron to prevent constipation.
The inner lining of the gut contains billions of healthy bacteria that help keep it functioning correctly. Probiotics help replenish gut bacteria with beneficial strains that promote regular bowel movements.