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Pregnancy and Constipation

It is not uncommon for pregnant women to have constipation and it can cause discomfort in an often lovely time.

What causes Constipation during Pregnancy?

During pregnancy, your hormone levels change

Progesterone causes the muscles to relax, reducing the activity of the intestines. Therefore, the body re-absorbs more water from the intestines, making the stool hard and dry.

Your uterus grows

Of course, a more obvious change is the size of the uterus. As it grows, intestinal activity comes under ever increasing pressure - and it can also lead to hard stools.

Iron Deficiency

In addition, during pregnancy, the body must produce more blood so that pregnant women often experience iron deficiency and therefore sometimes need iron supplements, as advised by a doctor. Some iron supplements may cause constipation.

How to prevent Constipation during Pregnancy?

  • Foods that are high in fibre, such as wholemeal breads and cereals, fruit and vegetables, and pulses such as beans and lentils.
  • Exercise regularly (at an appropriate level).
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • If you experience constipation whilst taking iron supplements, talk to your doctor to see if you can manage without them or about changing to a different type.

If you are pregnant or breast-feeding, consult your doctor or pharmacist before using any medicines for constipation.