Usually, constipation [causes of constipation]during pregnancy occurs when you feel abdominal pain or discomfort, infrequent and difficult bowel movements and the passage of hard stools.
Half of the pregnant women are affected by constipation at some point in their pregnancy.
Reasons behind constipation during pregnancy:
Usually, low fiber diet, anxiety, worry, lack of physical exercise can lead to constipation during pregnancy.
Also, constipation occurs due to the increased level of hormones that relax your intestinal muscles and pressure on the intestines because of the larger size of uterus.
Relaxing the intestinal muscles can slow down the movement of food and wastages through your systems, leading to constipation.
Iron supplements can also cause constipation. If you are taking iron supplements, ensure that you drink more and more water.
Preventing constipation during pregnancy:
Here are few tips that help in preventing constipation from occurring.
1. Consume the diet rich in fiber
You will get 25-30 grams of fiber per day, if you consume vegetables, fruits, whole grain bread, and breakfast cereals.
2. Drink plenty of water
Drinking more and more water and also other fluids is very essential, most importantly with your increase of fiber intake. At least drink 10-12 glasses of fluids per day.
The combination of more fluids and high fiber diet helps in eliminating the wastes from your body. Exercise, sweating and hot climates will increase your need for water consumption.
3. Regular exercise
Inactivity leads to constipation during pregnancy. Simple exercises like swimming and walking help your intestines work by stimulating the bowels. Do 20-30 min of physical activity for 2-3 days a week.
4. Over-the-counter remedies
Over-the-counter remedies like Metamucil helps in softening your bowel movements, thus reducing the constipation. Before taking any medication, it is better to talk with your care provider.
5. Reduce the intake of iron supplements
As you know that iron supplements can lead to constipation, reduce the intake. Proper intake of nutritious food can often fulfill your iron needs during pregnancy.
Take smaller doses of iron supplements during the day instead of the entire dose at once. Consult your practitioner and make sure that your iron intake levels are enough for you and your baby during pregnancy.
6. Stool softeners
It is safe to use simple stool softeners during any of your pregnancy trimester. But, taking any type of laxatives without discussing with your doctor is very harmful. Stool softeners like surfak, colace, etc. add moisture to the stools and make it easy to pass. The active constituents in these softeners are not absorbed by your body, so they don’t cause any adverse effects on your developing fetus.
7. Consume only enough amounts of calcium
Consumption of too much calcium during pregnancy can lead to hardening of the bowels, thus causing constipation. So, try to reduce consuming more than the suggested levels of dairy foods.