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Pregnancy Constipation: What You Need to Know and How to Prevent It

Pregnancy & Constipation
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Pregnancy is a joyous time filled with new experiences. One of the more challenging aspects of being pregnant, however, is dealing with common side effects such as nausea, vomiting, and constipation. Thankfully, there are some preventative measures you can take to reduce your risk of experiencing constipation during pregnancy. With proactive planning, you can avoid or at least limit the amount of time you spend on the toilet while expecting. If you’re not ready to give birth just yet but know that your body is gearing up for it soon, then read on to learn all about prenatal constipation and how to prevent it from occurring.

What Is Pregnancy Constipation?

Constipation is a condition that affects many pregnant women at some stage of their pregnancy. The condition is characterized by infrequent bowel movements, difficulty passing stool, or an absence of bowel movements. While constipation isn’t a serious condition, it can cause discomfort and be an unpleasant experience for anyone, pregnant or not. Symptoms of constipation during pregnancy may include abdominal cramping, a bloated feeling, gas, an increased urge to urinate, and the passing of small amounts of hard fecal matter. Many women experience constipation during their first trimester of pregnancy. This is one of the most common pregnancy symptoms and affects approximately half of all pregnant women.

When Does Constipation Occur During Pregnancy?

As we’ve covered above, constipation is one of the most common symptoms that pregnant women experience. It can occur at any time during your pregnancy, but research has shown it is most likely to happen during the first trimester. The first three months of your pregnancy are an important time for your body as it goes through a lot of changes. These include an increase in progesterone levels, which can sometimes cause your bowel movements to become less frequent. The good news is that by the end of the first trimester, most women are able to return to their normal bowel habits. Prenatal constipation usually ends by the 12th week of pregnancy.

What Is the Cause of Constipation During Pregnancy?

There are a few factors that can contribute to constipation during pregnancy, including Increased progesterone levels – As mentioned above, increased levels of progesterone can cause your bowel movements to slow down – a common symptom of constipation. Changes in your diet – Your body needs extra nutrients while you’re pregnant, so you may be eating more than usual. This can cause certain foods that you may be eating more frequently to become harder to digest, which can lead to constipation. Hormonal changes – Your body is producing different hormones during pregnancy which can disrupt your normal bowel function. This can lead to constipation in some women, as there is often less movement through the bowels. Poor hygiene – Pregnant women may not feel like getting up to wash their hands as frequently as they should. This can lead to an increased risk of infection and, in turn, constipation. Lack of exercise – Sitting for long periods of time can slow down your bowels and make you more susceptible to constipation. Not getting enough exercise can lead to other pregnancy symptoms like swelling and varicose veins.

How to Prevent Pregnancy Constipation

There are a few steps you can take to help prevent constipation while pregnant. Make sure you’re staying hydrated and drinking plenty of water each day. This will help to soften your stool and make it easier to pass. Exercise regularly – Just as you should be staying hydrated, you should also be exercising regularly. This will help to keep your bowels moving and also help to manage other pregnancy symptoms like swelling. Get plenty of fiber – You can help to prevent constipation by increasing your fiber intake. Whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and beans are all great sources of fiber. Stay clean – Just as you should be drinking plenty of water, you should also be keeping your hands clean at all times. This will help to prevent infection and keep bacteria away from your intestinal tract.

3 Simple Ways to Relieve Constipation While Pregnant

If you find that you are experiencing constipation during your pregnancy, you can try these three methods to relieve the symptoms: Eat more fiber – As we’ve mentioned above, fiber can help to soften your stool, making it easier to pass. Drink plenty of water – Staying hydrated is a great way to help prevent constipation. Exercise regularly – As we’ve also mentioned above, exercising regularly can help to keep your bowels moving and prevent constipation.

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Conclusion

Constipation is a common symptom throughout pregnancy. It is usually caused by hormonal changes and a lower intake of fiber. Women can combat constipation by increasing their fiber, fluid, and exercise. Although constipation may be a common symptom during pregnancy, some women will experience it more severely than others. If you notice that you are experiencing constipation that is worsening over time, talk to your doctor about ways to combat it. You can prevent or reduce the severity of constipation during pregnancy by staying hydrated, exercising regularly, and increasing your fiber intake. Remember, all women experience pregnancy differently, so you may notice that your experience of constipation is different from that of your friend who is expecting.

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