Before you fell pregnant you probably thought pregnancy was all about baby shopping and eating ice cream without the guilt, but then you fall pregnant and realise there are so many symptoms and side effects that can make the reality a little less, sweet.
Unfortunately one of the most common side-effects of pregnancy is constipation thanks to those good old hormones, namely in this case progesterone, that are pumping through your body and helping to grow and develop your baby.
While it generally affects around 40 per cent of mums-to-be, there are some things that can make it more likely, such as:
- If you were prone to constipation before pregnancy
- You’re not getting enough fluids
- You’re not getting enough fiber in your diet
- You’re not exercising enough
- Some medications such as iron supplements which are often prescribed during pregnancy
How can I prevent constipation during pregnancy?
Ensure you maintain a healthy, balanced diet with lots of whole grains (bread, cereal, brown rice, pasta), fresh fruit and vegetables and also getting plenty of fluids every day, your main source of fluids should be good old fashion h2O – and avoid tea and coffee as these are diuretics.
Also ensure you are keeping as active as your pregnancy will allow you, going for daily walks or swims or practising yoga or Pilates are both great for keeping fit and keeping constipation at bay.
What can I do if I am still struggling?
If you have already addressed your diet, fluids and exercise and you are still struggling speak with your doctor about safe options to take during pregnancy, some medications or home remedies that treat constipation may not be safe to use during pregnancy so always check beforehand.
Let them know if you are taking any other medications or supplements that may be contributing to constipation.
Avoid forcing or straining when going to the toilet (using a stool or trying a squatting position may help) as this can then lead to hemorrhoids or piles, relax and try to give yourself plenty of time when you’re on the toilet so you don’t feel like you have to rush, and listen to your body when it feels like you need to go, don’t delay if you can.