Causes of Constipation During Pregnancy
Constipation during pregnancy is believed to be caused by hormonal changes. The hormone progesterone is responsible for relaxing intestinal muscles to relieve pressure on the expanding uterus. This in turn slows down the travel of food in the intestines.
Generally, pregnancy brings a mix of emotions such as joy, anxiety, and fear, which tend to trigger hormonal imbalances. Decreased water intake, minimal exercise, and low-fiber diet can also cause hard stool passing.
During pregnancy, you also need to increase your iron intake, and sometimes, iron tablets can also cause constipation. To counteract this, drink plenty of water. Talk to your health care provider if you have other concerns.
Risks for Constipation During Pregnancy
Constipation during pregnancy typically doesn’t last long. However, there are cases when chronic constipation may cause fecal impaction, which needs to be removed by a doctor.
Additionally, continued and recurrent use of laxatives may lead to dependency and electrolyte imbalance. If you have health problems like diabetes, speak to your doctor immediately.
How Is Constipation During Pregnancy Diagnosed?
Since constipation during pregnancy is not uncommon, there’s usually nothing to worry about. Constipation is caused by hormonal changes. Aside from changes in your weight, body form and other signs of pregnancy, constipation may also occur either in the earlier stages of pregnancy or in the later phases.
There are many constipation remedies which you can try so long as you have your doctor’s advice.
1. Drink Plenty of Water
Water is extremely important, especially now that you’re pregnant. As you increase your fiber intake, you should also supplement it with lots of fluid every day. High fiber plus plenty of water will help you eliminate waste faster and easier.
2. Maintain a High-Fiber Diet
Eat fruits and vegetables that are high in fiber daily. You can also add whole-grain bread and cereals into your diet.