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You are here : home > Pregnancy Month by Month > Third Month of Pregnancy > Constipation during Pregnancy

Constipation during Pregnancy

Constipation is one of the common concerns during pregnancy as it is caused due to the increasing pressure of uterus. Read on to know about the common concerns about constipation during pregnancy.


Is constipation normal?

With the pressure from the growing uterus falling on the bowels, their normal activity gets inhibited. Hormonal changes also cause the muscles of the bowel to relax, leading to constipation.

Constipation or having hard dry stools which are difficult to pass is quite common during pregnancy. Constipation can start right from the time you conceive and last through your entire pregnancy. It happens because of hormonal changes which makes the body sluggish during pregnancy.

Constipation may also be due to the growing foetus.  As the foetus develops within the body, it applies pressure to the lower abdomen and the intestines. This may cause faecal blockages that can result in constipation.

As a pregnancy progresses women tend to becomes less physically active and may also consume fatty foods which contain less fibre. Both these factors can contribute to constipation.

Some of the other known contributing factors include taking iron and calcium supplements, less or no exercise, stress and improper diet. It is important to understand the effects of pregnancy on your body, and be aware of factors which can cause any kind of physical discomfort like constipation during pregnancy. This will help you deal better with constipation and a whole lot of other health issues.


What can I do to alleviate constipation?

The following changes in diet and lifestyle are favourable for coping with constipation.

Water -Drinking water throughout the day will make bowel movements less hard to pass. Ideally you must drink at least 8 glasses of water per day. If possible your first drink of the morning should be warm water.

Fibre - Fibre is found in natural sources of foods like fruits, vegetables and grains. Consuming fibre rich food makes bowel movements regular and loose. Many health practitioners recommend having dried fruits like prunes, figs and apricots during pregnancy to relieve constipation. Oats and bran are also fibre rich foods. However, when you consume bran you must make sure to have sufficient water also failing which it will worsen your constipation.

It is always good to eat fresh and lightly cooked foods, vegetables and high fibre cereals during pregnancy. Eat several small meals, rather than three large ones, and chew your food thoroughly and carefully when you eat.

Stay away from processed, pre-cooked and instant foods as far as possible. During pregnancy you must avoid eating any refined or processed white flour products. Stay away from sugar and cheeses.

Exercise - Ensure to engage in some form of light exercise like walking every day. However, before enrolling for any formal exercise program make sure to consult your doctor.


Home Remedies for Constipation:

  1. Milk is the most effective home remedy for constipation. Consuming a glass of warm milk every night before going to bed has immense health benefits.
  1. Cabbage soup also works wonders to regularise bowel movements. For preparing the soup, boil cabbage and puree it. Add some shredded raw cabbage to it and consume it two to three times in a day for relief from constipation.

In case you suffer from severe constipation and are not able to figure out how to handle it, consult your doctor immediately. Some women make the mistake of making use of home cures like castor oil to relieve constipation without consulting a doctor. During pregnancy you must never take any medication including over the counter laxatives, castor oil or suppositories unless advised by your doctor. These products are capable of causing harm to the baby in your womb and in some rare cases also induce early labour.

In fact rather than going in for medication is best to include plenty of fibre rich food in your daily intake and make sure to drink at least 8 glasses of water every day to avoid getting constipated.

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