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Consitpation In Pregnancy

Constipation is when you have trouble passing stools or poop. Everyone’s idea of “normal” when it comes to going to the bathroom can be different, but if you’re constipated, your stools might become hard, dry, and painful to push out. You might feel like you haven’t completely emptied your bowels, even after you’ve gone.

During pregnancy, constipation is pretty common, affecting up to 2 out of 5 people. Several factors can cause constipation during pregnancy:

  1. Hormonal Changes: The hormone called progesterone, which increases during pregnancy, can slow down your digestive system and make food move through your intestines more slowly, leading to constipation.
  2. Medications and Supplements: Some medications used during pregnancy, like those for nausea, heartburn, and pain, can make constipation worse. Additionally, supplements such as iron and calcium, or certain multivitamins, can also trigger constipation.

If you’re experiencing constipation during pregnancy because of these reasons, it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor. They may be able to adjust your medication or suggest different supplements to help ease your symptoms.

Diet also plays a role in constipation. Not getting enough fiber in your diet can lead to constipation, whether you’re pregnant or not.

If you had constipation before pregnancy, it’s possible that your symptoms could get worse or come back during pregnancy. It’s a good idea to try to establish healthy habits before getting pregnant, like eating a balanced diet, staying hydrated, and getting regular exercise.

To treat constipation during pregnancy, you can start by increasing your fluid intake and eating foods with more fiber, like whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Some good habits to have include:

  • Going to the bathroom as soon as you feel the urge, without waiting.
  • Trying to go about 20 minutes after meals, especially breakfast.
  • Using a footstool to help you sit in a better position on the toilet.

If these changes don’t help, your doctor might recommend fiber supplements or laxatives. However, it’s important to speak to your doctor before taking any medications during pregnancy.

While most cases of constipation aren’t a sign of something more serious, untreated constipation can lead to complications like anal fissures, hemorrhoids, or fecal impaction. In rare cases, it can be caused by more serious conditions like tumors, so it’s important to talk to your doctor if you’re concerned, especially if you see blood in your stools.

Constipation won’t affect your baby directly, as it’s a discomfort in your gut and bowels. Most laxatives aren’t absorbed into the bloodstream and can be taken safely during pregnancy and breastfeeding, but it’s always a good idea to check with your pharmacist or doctor before taking any medication while pregnant.

After giving birth, constipation can continue for a few reasons. If you had a C-section, you might experience constipation for a few days. Stitches after a vaginal birth can also make you hesitant to go, causing constipation. Pain medication you take after giving birth can contribute to constipation as well. It’s important to maintain a healthy diet and drink plenty of fluids to support bowel movements, even when you’re busy with a new baby.

If changes in your diet don’t relieve your constipation, don’t hesitate to reach out to your healthcare provider for guidance on using laxatives or other treatments. They can provide you with resources and support to help manage your constipation during and after pregnancy.

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