Your bowel habits change during pregnancy. Many women notice some constipation. I think part of the reason for this is the prenatal vitamin and the extra iron in them. Increased hormones and blood volume increase also contribute to constipation during pregnancy.
Some ways to relieve constipation during pregnancy is to increase your fluid intake. Foods that contain a lot of water include frozen juice treats, watermelon or a slush made with fresh fruit juice and water. Foods with lots of fiber hold onto water longer, which helps soften your stools. Stool softener is also safe to take during pregnancy and helps to relieve constipation during pregnancy. Read more about good foods to eat to relieve constipation during pregnancy and avoid putting on too many extra pounds here
Exercise can also help. It shifts body position, which helps to stimulate your bowels and increase muscle contractions to help move food through your intestines.
Milk of magnesia and prune juice can also help.
Don't use laxatives without your doctor's approval. If constipation is severe or causing you extreme discomfort, discuss this with your doctor. Try not to strain when you have bowel movements as that can lead to hemorrhoids.
Here's a good article that I found that talks a lot about how to relieve constipation during pregnancy
How to Get Relief from Constipation during PregnancyAuthor: Sandra Wilson
If you find yourself experiencing constipation during pregnancy, you are not alone. Nearly half of all pregnant women experience constipation during some point during their pregnancy. Bloating and pain are often a result of constipation during pregnancy, and it has even been identified as a cause of pre-term labor. Pregnancy and constipation don’t have to go together, however. Fortunately, it is possible to find relief.
Your baby will need as many vitamins, minerals and nutrients as your body can give it while you are carrying it. Your body accomplishes this by increasing production of the hormone progesterone, which slows down the movement of food through the digestive system. This slowing allows your body to absorb the maximum of nutrients from the food before it is expelled as waste. Unfortunately, this slowing can also result in constipation during pregnancy.
Pregnancy and constipation can also occur because your body absorbs more water, so that blood flow to the fetus can be increased. This means that water is directed away from the bowel, resulting in a harder, drier bowel movement and this can cause constipation during pregnancy. Since food is staying in your digestive system longer, it is able to absorb more water than usual as well. In addition, just about all prenatal vitamins include extra iron, which is yet another source of constipation.
So, what can you do about this always uncomfortable and frequently painful problem? Making a few simple changes in your diet can make all the difference. Be sure to drink at least 8-10 glasses of water daily. This will help make up for the extra water being absorbed by your body. Also be sure to increase fiber in your diet. This is easily accomplished by including whole grains like brown rice. Eat a lot of fruits and leafy green vegetables. Prune juice has also been shown to be helpful in preventing constipation.
Mangosteen juice is another effective remedy for constipation. You may also wish to consult a homeopathic doctor who can help you find natural remedies for your problem. Be sure to avoid over-the-counter laxatives, as they can be very harsh and even stimulate uterine contractions, resulting in pre-term labor, or even a miscarriage.
Exercise is also an excellent way to fight constipation during pregnancy. If you are not accustomed to regular exercise, start slowly by walking for just 15 minutes a day. Even a little bit of exercise is beneficial in increasing blood flow and reducing stress. Since stress is yet another cause of constipation, you definitely want to keep it under control.
Pregnancy and constipation can be an unfortunate combination at a time when you really don’t need any further discomfort. Fortunately, if you follow even some of the steps above, you will find relief from constipation, and can probably keep it from happening in the first place. Simply by improving your diet, drinking more water and increasing your exercise, you will find that everything is working much more smoothly, and your baby will be getting all of the nutrition it needs.
Read more here on our pregnancy without the pounds website