It is not uncommon for women to have constipation during pregnancy. It is estimated one of every three women suffers with constipation some time during pregnancy. During this time a woman’s body goes through many changes that last throughout the pregnancy. For most women, it is not hard to find constipation relief during pregnancy that will make this time more comfortable.
Why Do Women Have Constipation During Pregnancy?
From the very beginning of pregnancy, a woman’s body goes through a tremendous number of hormonal changes. For some women, severe constipation during pregnancy is a result of the growing baby in the uterus having an affect on their digestive systems. It can also be caused by iron supplements prescribed for prenatal care. Bloating, stomach discomfort and hard stool are symptoms of constipation that make women miserable during an otherwise joyful time in their lives. In addition, constipation during pregnancy can be dangerous for the mother and baby if she is consistently straining to have a bowel movement.
Natural Constipation Remedies during Pregnancy
There are several things a pregnant women can try to relieve constipation during pregnancy. Before starting any of these home remedies for constipation women should always consult with their physician to be sure it is safe for them to proceed.
-Exercise. Regular exercise during an otherwise healthy pregnancy can help to stimulate the bowels and relieve constipation. Walking and swimming are very good with helping relieve constipation during pregnancy as well as for the overall health of mother and baby. It has been recommended that squatting helps eliminate constipation; but again, this should only be done under strict obstetrician supervision.
-Water. Severe constipation during pregnancy may be the result of dehydration. Women should ask their doctor how much water they should drink each day and then make sure they are drinking the recommended amount of water and other healthful liquids.
-Eating. Eating foods rich in fiber is among the constipation during pregnancy remedies that is helpful during pregnancy and after delivery; when many women continue to be constipated. Fiber rich foods like whole grains and nuts should be incorporated into the diet on a daily basis for constipation relief and overall health. Sufficient amounts of fruits and vegetables also are very helpful for women who have constipation during pregnancy. A doctor might also recommend some other laxative foods.
-Good bowel habits. Pregnant women should avoid delaying the urge to move their bowels, as this can lead to constipation. In addition, they should not strain to defecate if they are constipated as this can lead to the development of hemorrhoids or premature labor.
Supplements and Homeopathic Constipation during Pregnancy Remedies
Fiber supplements can be used to relieve constipation for pregnant women. Products like Metamucil can be purchased over the counter if a woman’s doctor has given her permission to use them. There are also many homeopathic, herbal remedies for constipation that a woman can ask her doctor if they are safe for her to use. For severe constipation during pregnancy a woman can ask her doctor to decrease her iron tablet dosage if possible.
Most doctors recommend that women avoid using a stimulant laxative because of the risk of early labor. The best way to get constipation relief during pregnancy is by working with the doctor to find a healthy, effective solution.