Pregnancy and constipation

Pregnancy and constipation

The inadequate bowel movements resulting in harder stools during the pregnancy period are referred to as constipation during pregnancy. Constipation is a very common condition that can be observed within the gestational period which can be managed successfully with home remedies and lifestyle changes. Constipation is very common during the very first trimester due to changes in hormonal levels. 

What causes make your stool hard during pregnancy?

 Your progesterone level increases during the pregnancy period. Progesterone makes your smooth muscles relaxed. As a result, the smooth muscles within the intestine also get relaxed causing to slow down the bowel movements. So it takes longer to pass the food within the gut and more fluids get absorbed making your digestion slower. The stools become hard to create infrequent bowel openings. 

Consumption of prenatal supplements containing iron can make the stools hard. Constipation is a very common side effect that is reporting after the consumption of iron supplements. 

In the later pregnancy/ during the third trimester, the weight of the fetus starts exerting pressure on the lower bowels. So it becomes difficult to open the bowels frequently. Stool stasis can make them hard and difficult to pass. 

How can I relieve constipation during pregnancy?

A diet rich in fibers can help in retaining more fluids within the bowels and ease the digestion process. Other than relieving constipation foods rich in fibers can provide essential antioxidants and vitamins to pregnant women. Consumption of adequate dietary fibers will help resolve the formation of hard stools. 

Intake of adequate fluids will help in making the digesting process healthy as usual. Consumption of 6 glasses of water will be adequate to relieve constipation. 

Consumption of small frequent meals will help your gut to move the foods smoothly within the intestine. It can prevent overloading of the digestive tract. 

Avoiding sedentary lifestyles and practicing regular exercises can help to regain bowel movements. Prenatal exercises can be practice within your scope to have an active gestational period. 

Consumption of foods containing probiotics can make a favorable environment for gut bacteria. So it helps in maintaining regular bowel functions. 

If the lifestyle changes do not work to relieve constipation, Pharmacological therapies can be used to overcome this condition. Stool softeners can be used to make the stool soft and make it easy to move through the digestive tract. Pregnancy is considered always a risk for the life of the mother and the fetus. So it is important to talk with your doctor before taking any additional medication. 

What is the safest laxative during pregnancy?

There are various types of laxative drug classes, but it is a must to avoid stimulant laxatives. Because they can induce uterine contractions. You must take advice from the doctor even before the use of over-the-counter laxatives. 

Bulk-forming laxatives increase the bulk of your stool. So it is important to consume a very lower dose from the bulk-forming laxatives. Consumption of water is essential after the consumption of bulk-forming laxatives. 

Stool softeners improve the water content within the gut and the lubricant laxatives make a lubricant coating around the stool and help in the stool movement within the gut. 

In the majority of cases, constipation within the pregnancy can be resolved without any serious issues. But there is a chance of building serious complications like fecal impaction. The chronic use of laxatives can result in electrolyte imbalances. So it is important to consult a doctor before usage of over-the-counter laxatives. 

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