A pregnant woman often gets constipation with symptoms ranging between mild and serious at any stage of pregnancy.
Yet, constipation most commonly occurs at early pregnancy. So can it be one of the earliest signs of conception? As a matter of fact yes. Constipation can be considered as one of the first symptoms of pregnancy especially if accompanied by nausea, dizziness, food craving and mood swings.
If you’re worried you may get constipated during your pregnancy and you want to get informed about this condition, its causes, symptoms and how to deal with it so you can keep it under control, you just have to read on the details in the following article…
Signs of constipation during pregnancy
Signs of constipation during pregnancy range between:
- Passing stools 3 times a week.
- Difficulty passing stools and feeling of stools stuck in rectum.
- Rectum bleeding from time to time due to hard stools.
- Lack of appetite.
- Bloating, pain or cramps in the lower part of the abdomen.
It is to be noted that visiting the doctor may not be necessary in case of constipation, unless there has been a pain in the abdomen or repetitive bleeding from the rectum.
Causes of constipation during pregnancy
Causes of constipation during pregnancy are divided into 2 parts:
Causes of constipation in early pregnancy, and they include:
- Increased production of the hormone progesterone which relaxes the muscles of the intestinal wall and makes it less capable of passing stools.
- Ongoing iron supplementation.
- Lack of movement or exercise.
Causes of constipation in last stages of pregnancy, and they include:
- Same causes as in early stages.
- Extension of the uterus in a way that puts pressure on the intestine and the rectum.
- Lumbar back and posterior pelvic pain during pregnancy.
- Stress and anxiety.
So if you’re wondering about the right ways to deal with these annoying signs and symptoms, lessen their severity or even prevent them, we advise you to follow these tips:
- Make sure you consume between 25 and 30 mg of high-fiber foods per day, which you can choose from fruits, veggies, breakfast cereals, whole grain or bran bread, and prunes.
- Drink between 10 and 12 cups of fluids a day, for the mixture of extra fibers and extra fluids will give you a better chance to move your bowel and poop regularly.
- Stimulate your bowel movements by practicing some mild and safe pregnancy sports and exercises, like walking and swimming, around 3 times a week (between 20 and 30 minutes each time).
- Try your best to have a regular eating and sleeping pattern.
- Avoid eating (high amounts of) low-fiber foods, like French fries, white bread, cheese, chocolate, sweets and meat.
- Avoid consuming high-calcium foods, such as cheese, some types of mineral water, juices, and calcium-enriched cereals.
- Do not eat the kinds of foods that contain particles or fibers which can stick to your intestine, like sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, watermelon seeds and orange seeds, etc.
- Try to increase the period separating between the iron doses that has been prescribed to you and make part of your postnatal supplements, or at least, try to distribute your recommended dose throughout the day, and that’s by dividing the pill in two, taking one half in the morning and another half in the evening.
- Mix the juice of half a lemon in a cup of lukewarm water and try to drink the mixture on empty stomach every day to stimulate your bowel movement and make it easier on you to pass stools.
And above all, avoid at any price using any laxative pills that may cause you dehydration and uterine contractions. The same goes for the mineral oils known for their possible effects on the body’s nutrient-absorbing capacity.
At the end, we shall remind you that constipation is a very common problem during pregnancy, especially among women suffering from chronic difficulty to pass stools. So if you’re one of them, do not hesitate to follow the above mentioned tips and instructions, and spare yourself unwanted complications with constant care!
Read More: Pregnancy Changes: Trimester By Trimester
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