Constipation During Pregnancy
Constipation throughout the first, second and third trimester of pregnancy is a common complaint from pregnant women. Some women, however, do not know that you do NOT have to suffer through it, and that there are things that can be done to prevent it.
Early in pregnancy, constipation is caused by a change in your hormones which can make your digestive system sluggish and often uncooperative. Later in pregnancy, the constipation can be aided by the increased size of your uterus and the baby pushing down on the intestines and inner organs, not allowing as much room for food to pass.
What You Can Do
There are several things you can do to help ease or prevent the occurrence of constipation.
- Drink plenty of water. Staying hydrated has been proven to help keep your system regulated, both while pregnant and not pregnant. Doctors recommend that both pregnant and unpregnant women drink at least eight glasses of water a day.
- Get more fiber. Fiber in your diet will help your bowel movements remain loose and regular. You can get fiber in fruits and vegetables, as well as grains. If you don’t feel like you are getting enough fiber, ask your doctor about taking a fiber supplement.
- Watch the calcium. Too much calcium while pregnant can cause your bowels to harden and lead to constipation. Try to avoid eating more than the recommended amount of dairy foods.
- Keep active. Exercise can help keep your system regulated. Keep up a walking routine, swim if you can, or lift some light weights if your doctor says it is safe.
If you are trying all this and the constipation still is not letting up, ask your doctor or midwife about the possibility of taking extra supplements or laxatives. There may be additional remedies that your provider can recommend to help bring you relief.
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