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Constipation during Pregnancy

During pregnancy, women's body undergoes many changes to prepare for the growth of the fetus and these changes can cause stomach disorders such as constipation and diarrhea. It can be experienced from the first few weeks of conception and constipation can be experienced anytime during the nine months of pregnancy.

Some of the common factors causing constipation in pregnant women are:

Release of pregnancy related hormones in the first trimester: During pregnancy women produces hormones called progesterone, in the first trimester, which is essential for the growth of the fetus. The hormone relaxes the muscles and the relaxing procedure reduces the flow of the bowel in the intestinal muscles. The slow movement of bowel promotes absorption of nutrients through the digestive tract as the woman needs more nutrition during this phase.
Constipation in second half of pregnancy is caused by the growing fetus: In the second part of pregnancy, women may feel excess pressure in the uterus, which increases pressure in the intestines and it slows the bowel movement.

Taking iron supplements: Iron supplements are taken by women to prevent anemia and it can have adverse effect on bowel movement. It can also cause constipation.

Stress: Stress can cause constipation and one should avoid stress and anxiety during pregnancy to prevent it.

Fluids intake: Reduced intake of fluid can cause constipation and during pregnancy one should take adequate amount of water and fluids.

Intake of certain vitamin and mineral supplements: There are certain minerals and vitamin supplements, which can cause constipation. You should take mineral supplement which are easy to digest. Take calcium which can dissolve in vinegar as it is easily to digest and antacid which contains aluminum should be avoided as it can cause constipation.

Hypothyroidism: Thyroid problem called hypothyroidism can also cause constipation during pregnancy.


1. Hard feces that cause pain

2. One feels bowel has not been completely eliminated

3. Blood in stool

4. Pain in lower abdomen and back

5. Bowel movement after a gap of few days

Prevention of constipation during pregnancy

1. One should take a diet rich in fiber to prevent constipation. Fruits, vegetables, wholegrain bread and cereals are high source of minerals and fibers. Take fruit juices that helps in digestion process.

2. Drink a lot of fluids.

3. Exercising is very important. Regularly walking for half an hour helps in proper digestion of food.

4. Take adequate sleep and avoid stress.

5. Constipation can be caused by lactose intolerance in the first trimester of pregnancy and to prevent it, one can reduce milk intake.

6. Avoid food products, which can cause constipation such as jelly, cake, ice cream and beverages.

7. Avoid processed food and food that has been cooked previously.

8. Stool softeners can be used to prevent constipation. One can take a low dose of stool softener but it is best to prevent constipation through natural process.

9. Taking alternate hot and cold food items helps in stimulating bowel. One can take cold fluids or tea and then take hot decaffeinated tea to stimulate bowel movement.

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