4 Ways to Deal With Constipation During Pregnancy
Increased Fluid Intake
While it is always important to drink enough fluids, it is especially important during pregnancy, as the numerous hormonal fluctuations slow down the digestive process and make it more difficult for the body to remove waste at a normal speed. This can lead to constipation, as water is naturally removed from waste as it moves through the body, regardless of how long it takes the waste to be eliminated. Increasing fluid intake during pregnancy can not only help relieve constipation, but it also helps replenish lost fluids due to vomiting during episodes of morning sickness and excess urination due to the baby pressing on the bladder.
High-Fiber Foods and Supplements
Fiber intake during pregnancy is essential, as it helps relieve symptoms of constipation and also provides protection against gestational diabetes, a condition that may occur during pregnancy due to glucose intolerance. The recommended daily fiber intake for pregnant women is between 25 and 35 grams per day. Fiber can be found in whole grain breads, fruits and legumes such as chickpeas. Fiber supplements can also help, but it is important to check with your physician prior to taking any type of supplement.
Colace Stool Softener
Colace is an over-the-counter stool softening medication that helps to relieve pregnancy constipation. The medication contains docusate sodium, an ingredient that encourages healthy bowel movements and is not considered harmful for pregnant women, according to WebMD. However, it is always a good idea to attempt to treat pregnancy constipation with natural remedies before moving onto a medication. If you choose to treat your symptoms with Colace, be sure to discuss your needs with your physician before starting the medication.
Physical activity helps increase blood flow in the body, which in turn, helps to stimulate the muscles, including those in the abdominal area. Increasing your physical activity with gentle exercise is a natural way to keep the bowels moving regularly, and can also help to increase energy during periods of pregnancy fatigue.
The hormonal fluctuations and bodily changes that occur during pregnancy cause a variety of symptoms that range from mild tiredness and food cravings to nausea and constipation. While constipation is considered normal during pregnancy, it is often considered one of the most frustrating symptoms, as straining to pass a bowel movement can lead to additional upset stomach, hemorrhoids and gas. While constipation during pregnancy generally causes significant discomfort, there are a variety of remedies that can help ease the symptoms. If you are suffering from pregnancy constipation, these simple solutions can help you find relief.
While constipation is not considered harmful to pregnant women, excess bloating, gas and stomach pain can leave you irritable and uncomfortable. By discussing your constipation symptoms with your obstetrician and implementing natural remedies and over-the-counter treatments as directed, you can easily find relief and focus on the excitement of becoming a new mother.