Constipation during Pregnancy

Constipation is very commonly seen in pregnant women. This is mainly due to :

  • Influence of hormones secreted during pregnancy that cause relaxation of muscles of the colon and hence, less effective pushing of stools.
  • Excessive vomiting is some women specially in first three months of pregnancy, depletes them of liquids. This, along with poor intake of liquids, for the fear of vomiting aggravates constipation. In advanced pregnancy, enlarged uterus can press upon the colon and interfere with its emptying.
  • Relative inactivity in advanced pregnancy (due to back pain or increased weight) adds to the risk of constipation.
  • Iron and calcium supplements given from four months onwards can also cause constipation.

CAUTION:

KEEP CONSTIPATION AT BAY DURING PREGNANCY. Loaded bowel can even interfere with emptying of bladder and can lead to onset of urinary tract infections which can result in high blood pressure, a decreased growth of baby, high fever and even abortions  (if fever occurs early in pregnancy).


Management

Pay heed to these simple steps :

  • Try to include enough liquids in diet.
  • Whole fruit is better than just having fruit juice. Fruits with edible peeling e.g.. apples, guava should preferably be eaten whole (without peeling them off). Include plenty of vegetables and sprouts in your diet. They supply you essential nutrients and keep your bowel healthy.
  • Walking is the exercise advised in pregnancy. Go for long walks without causing extra strain on you.
  • If the problem persists see your doctor. Self medication in pregnancy can be detrimental to the baby, therefore always consult the doctor.