The likelihood of constipation resulting in fecal impaction during pregnancy is rare, but serious. Debra Rose Wilson, Ph.D., MSN, R.N., IBCLC, AHN-BC, CHT. It is already a good idea to do this, even when you’re pregnant. All rights reserved. Glycerin suppositories are one type of lubricant laxative. For most women, constipation is worst during the first trimester and second trimester of pregnancy, with generally lower rates of constipation during the third trimester (Ref 3). By the third trimester, nearly half of women are constipated (Bianco 2017, Nazik & Eryilmaz 2013, NHS 2018a) . Examples of osmotic laxatives include polyethylene glycol and magnesium hydroxide. Examples of bulk-forming agents include psyllium, methylcellulose, and polycarbophil. Iron supplements, especially in high doses, can make constipation worse. Oranges are excellent sources of dietary fiber (2). constipation that lasts for longer than 1–2 weeks. Since insoluble … Hemorrhoids can be extremely uncomfortable, though they rarely cause serious problems. These products are unlikely to harm a developing baby because their active ingredient is only minimally absorbed by the body. It can also result in a feeling that not all the stool has passed. Exercises during pregnancy. Food and Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine, National Academies. Eat More Fiber. If your constipation is really botherin… Study finds that mindfulness does not actively reduce stress, COVID-19 live updates: Total number of cases passes 63.8 million. Constipation During Early Pregnancy. Constipation is more commonly experienced by women than men, according to research. Women can usually safely use the following types of laxative during pregnancy: Bulk-forming agents mimic fiber by adding material to the stool and helping it absorb more water. 2014. Oranges. Women are 2-3 times more likely to suffer from constipation during pregnancy and right after childbirth than at any other time in their life, a new study from the … If a person feels that … By drawing more water into the intestines, these laxatives help soften the stool. The stool softener that doctors most commonly recommend to pregnant women is docusate (Colace). Is constipation during pregnancy ever serious? There will be a dramatic increase in progesterone levels during your 9 th and 32 nd weeks of pregnancy, and that's usually the time when constipation will hit you hard. It is essential to always speak to a healthcare professional before using suppositories, especially when pregnant. The cause of constipation during pregnancy depends on the stage at which it occurs. The scientists studied 877 women having … Simply 20-30 minutes a day is enough, it can be a walk, swimming, doing yoga or Pilates. During pregnancy, the muscle contractions that normally move food through your intestines slow down because of higher levels of the hormone progesterone. Avoiding constipation. Progesterone is produced by a woman’s ovaries and adrenal glands, until the placenta is developed enough to take over the task. What causes constipation during pregnancy? Any medical information published on this website is not intended as a substitute for informed medical advice and you should not take any action before consulting with a healthcare professional, Gut bacteria can help rebuild the immune system. Why am I so constipated while I'm pregnant? There are a number of reasons that could be the cause of your pregnancy constipation. As a result, food is processed more slowly. However, if the pain is severe, or if you have rectal bleeding, call your provider. Your rapidly growing uterus, which compresses your intestines and pushes your stomach upward, also contributes to the problem. Problems of the digestive system. Resist refined. If you’re taking iron, talk t… During pregnancy, elevated progesterone levels cause smooth muscle to relax, which slows the passage of food through your intestines. Dietary fiber can help increase stool … Fill Up On Fiber. Hormonal changes during pregnancy can affect smooth muscle in the gastrointestinal tract and slow movement, or impact so-called motility, in the bowels. Cod liver oil. What causes pregnancy constipation When you become pregnant, rising levels of the hormone progesterone slow your digestive system to a snail’s pace, and for good reason: your body is absorbing the extra nutrients and fluids it needs to grow a healthy baby. Combine that with an increase in stress, anxiety, and getting less physical exercise than you’re used to, and that’s a recipe for constipation. During pregnancy, women can often relieve constipation using gentle, safe home remedies: If the home remedies above do not work, it may be time to discuss other options with a doctor. What birth control methods take the shortest and longest time to work? Constipation may be two to three times more common during and after pregnancy, Finnish researchers report. Learn how to choose the best mattress for…, Pelvic pain can affect both men and women, but its causes differ for each sex. The same hormones that help your body adjust to carrying a baby by expanding your uterus could also be relaxing your intestinal muscles and causing difficulties in the bathroom. These types of laxative can also cause cramping and bloating in the abdomen. It is best to speak to a doctor about the types of laxative to take and how often to take them. Possible causes include: In addition to infrequent bowel movements, constipation can cause bloating, stomach discomfort, and hard, dry stools that are painful to pass. Constipation is a very common symptom that many women experience during pregnancy. Constipation during pregnancy is a common problem. “So acid reflux is … Constipation can be particularly uncomfortable during pregnancy. (2) You may also be experiencing constipation during your pregnancy if your healthcare provider has prescribed you iron pills, which are known to cause constipation. Learn more here. In this article, we explain why constipation is common in pregnancy and discuss safe treatments and home remedies that women can use to relieve the discomfort. These types of laxative can cause some cramping or discomfort, so people should start with the lowest dosage and ensure that they drink lots of water. In most cases, they go away fairly soon after your baby is born. One of the main hormones of pregnancy is progesterone. The common causes of constipation during pregnancy include: Hormones - Changes in hormone levels cause constipation during pregnancy. Eat high-fiber foods, including whole grain cereals and breads, brown rice, beans, and fresh fruits … https://www.acog.org/Patients/FAQs/Problems-of-the-Digestive-System [Accessed May 2017], IOM. Not usually, but occasionally constipation during pregnancy can be a symptom of another problem. These drugs can also cause electrolyte or fluid imbalances in some people. Stool softeners, such as Colace, moisten the stool and make it easier to pass. The #1 app for tracking pregnancy and baby growth. Constipation is a common problem during pregnancy: Up to half of pregnant women get constipated at some point. What can I do to relieve constipation during pregnancy? Learn about the times for a range of…, Choosing the best mattress for kids requires research and comparison between different brands and products. Constipation is one of the first and most common symptoms of pregnancy, affecting up to 40-50% of all pregnant women (Refs 2, 3). As your belly gets bigger the pressure of your growing uterus on your rectum only exacerbates the issue. It is generally safe to use gentle laxatives, but it is best to avoid stimulant laxatives because they can induce uterine contractions. Such issues usually affect people who have other health problems, such as diabetes or kidney disease. During pregnancy, bloating is common and usually harmless. Eat high-fiber foods. For women taking prenatal vitamins that are high in iron, doctors may recommend trying a vitamin that contains less iron. 2,3 Constipation during pregnancy, although described as frequent or even as “physiologic” in obstetric textbooks, 4 has been poorly studied. Progesterone (a main hormone of pregnancy) is one of the reason behind constipation during pregnancy. The primary medical treatment for constipation in pregnancy is a medication called a laxative, which makes it easier and more comfortable to go to the bathroom. It is characterised by discomfort, excessive straining, hard or lumpy stools, a sensation of incomplete evacuation, and infrequent bowel movements. Continued use of certain types of laxative can cause the bowel to “forget” how to push stool through the intestines. The causes of constipation during pregnancy depend on the stages of pregnancy. Constipation is a common symptom experienced during pregnancy. This article looks at 8 home remedies, including…, © 2004-2020 Healthline Media UK Ltd, Brighton, UK, a Red Ventures Company. Fiber. Here are 4 main reasons for constipation during pregnancy: #1: Constipation Due To Reduced Food and Water Consumption. If you have severe constipation that's accompanied by abdominal pain, alternates with diarrhea, or you pass mucus or blood, call your doctor or midwife immediately. The term 'constipation' is defined as difficulty in passing stool and reduced frequency of bowel movements. If you vomit as well, you may become dehydrated, which can cause hard stools. Constipation can be quite unpleasant, but unfortunately extremely common during pregnancy – some reports say up to 44% of women experience it (1). By doing this, they make the stool larger, softer, and easier to pass. Also, straining during a bowel movement or passing a hard stool can lead to or worsen hemorrhoids, which are swollen veins in the rectal area. CONSTIPATION DURING PREGNANCY. It is also one of the most common gastrointestinal symptoms experienced during pregnancy … They also allow the bowel to contract more to move the stool along. Constipation . Fiber is found in natural sources like many fruits and vegetables, also in beans and … Fiber-rich foods help you eliminate waste; aim for 25 to 35 grams each day. If you suffer from extreme nausea in early pregnancy, you may struggle to eat and drink enough to move your bowels. It is vital that pregnant women speak with their doctor before taking any medication, including laxatives or other constipation remedies. Physical activity can also help. Last medically reviewed on February 6, 2019, Learn about vaginal pimples and what causes them. Cod liver oil is one of the most natural treatments for constipation in pregnancy and a … And the problem may be compounded later in pregnancy by the pressure of your growing uterus on your rectum. Lubricant laxatives add a slippery coating to either the stool or the inside of the intestinal tract to aid the passage of stool out of the body. COVID-19: Which interventions reduce transmission? Pregnancy constipation, defined as having fewer than three bowel movements a week, can be uncomfortable. This means that food passes through the intestines more slowly. Seeing a doctor is also advisable if any additional symptoms occur, including: As always, mention any other symptoms or concerns to the doctor for more specific information and advice. Exercises during pregnancy are very beneficial health wise. Constipation is a common problem during pregnancy: Up to half of pregnant women get constipated at some point. Some women have constipation at an early stage of their pregnancy, while it does not affect other women until much later on. One reason for constipation is an increase in progesterone, a hormone that relaxes the muscles in your digestive tract. Stool softeners add water to the stool to help make it softer and more comfortable to pass. 2005. Constipation is often the cause, and lifestyle adjustments can help prevent it. ACOG. https://www.nap.edu/read/10925/chapter/6#152 [Accessed May 2017]. In women, ovarian cysts, endometriosis, or uterine fibroids, as well as…, Many treatments are available for a yeast infection, some of which a person can administer at home. In most cases, constipation in pregnancy is short-lived and resolves with no or minimal treatment. Dietary Reference Intakes for water, potassium, sodium, chloride, and sulfate. Constipation can start as early as the first trimester and is more likely to affect you as your pregnancy progresses. Although many laxatives are available over the counter, it is important to check with a doctor which one is safe to use. MNT is the registered trade mark of Healthline Media. One reason for constipation during pregnancy is an increase in the hormone progesterone, which relaxes smooth muscles throughout the body, including the digestive tract. Pimples in the genital area may be embarrassing, but they are often other pimples and caused by an…, Some methods of birth control work at once, while others take time, even months, to become effective. If you are pregnant and constipated, chances are that you are just not consuming … Other than preventing and helping to combat constipation, they alleviate other discomforts, such as, back pain, help control weight, sleep better and fill you with energy. Constipation occurs in about 15% of North Americans, 1 and people with constipation have lower quality of life when compared with healthy populations. Limited information is available about using some of these medications during pregnancy. This increases water absorption from the bowel and results in constipation. Fight back with fiber. Almost fifty percent pregnant women complaints constipation during pregnancy especially in the second and third trimester. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Constipation during pregnancy You may have noticed, along with your glowing skin and silky hair, the uncomfortable feeling of constipation. Here are some tips for preventing and easing constipation when you're pregnant: If the measures above don't help (or it's hard for you to follow them), talk to your provider about taking an over-the-counter fiber supplement or a laxative or stool softener. Your pregnancy diet: The basics of eating well, https://www.acog.org/Patients/FAQs/Problems-of-the-Digestive-System, https://www.nap.edu/read/10925/chapter/6#152, All pregnancy, parenting, and birth videos >, Heartburn during pregnancy: Why it happens and how to get relief, the most helpful and trustworthy pregnancy and parenting information. What can I do about constipation when I'm pregnant? Add to that the extra iron you're getting from your prenatal vitamin, and the result is uncomfortable constipation and gas that can keep you feeling bloated throughout your pregnancy. First-line Treatment for Constipation in Pregnancy They may sound like simple solutions but the majority of moms-to-be will find relief from constipation by increasing their dietary fiber and fluid intake. During pregnancy, a rise in the progesterone hormone causes your body' muscles to relax, including your intestinal muscles. One reason for constipation during pregnancy is an increase in the hormone progesterone, which relaxes smooth muscles throughout the body, including the digestive tract. In the very early stages of pregnancy, hormones levels begin to surge. You may also have to deal with constipation towards the end of your pregnancy, and that's mainly when your uterus grows larger. In rare cases, however, prolonged constipation can cause fecal impaction, which may need removal by a doctor. To help prevent constipation, you can: eat foods that are high in fibre, such as wholemeal breads and cereals, fruit and vegetables, and pulses such as beans and lentils – read more about having a healthy diet in pregnancy Do SARS-CoV-2 mutations affect its transmissibility? The result, though, is harder stools that are more difficult to pass. Increase your fiber intake and drink extra fluids to keep things moving more smoothly. Fluid: Drinking enough water is important to keep stool soft and easy to pass. Fiber may be effective in the treatment and prevention of pregnancy constipation, according … The hormonal changes in your body may cause you to become constipated very early on in your pregnancy.