From the moment that you conceive your body kicks into overdrive increase the pregnancy hormone progesterone. Progesterone plays an important role during the first trimester to keep the uterus relaxed and helps prevent your immune system from attacking the foreign DNA (your growing fetus). The hormone also relaxes other smooth muscles, including your digestive system. The slow movement in the digestive system causes food to move more slowly and many pregnant moms complain about constipation.
Disclosure: We shared things that worked for us when we were pregnant and they may or may not work for you. Please talk to your doctor if you have ongoing pregnancy-related constipation.
Constipation is one of those not so fun ailments that can cause stomach bloating, stomach pains, hard stool, straining to have a bowel movement, needing help to pass stool, and painful bowel movements. Painful bowel movements can cause anal fissures and hemorrhoids which are another can of worms that you don’t want to have to deal with during your pregnancy. We want to share with you the best natural ways to deal with pregnancy-related constipation.
Drink Plenty of Water
Water helps keep your system working properly and helps flush toxins out of your body. If you aren’t drinking enough water to replace lost fluids, it is possible that dehydration is contributing to your pregnancy-related constipation symptoms. When your body is dehydrated, your body naturally pulls water from the colon. The longer the stool remains in the digestive tract your body will continue to draw any moisture out of the stool until nothing is left. You will likely notice that your stool is dry and hard by the time it exits the anus. Staying hydrated will help reduce the amount of water that is pulled from your stools. Experts recommend that you drink 6 to 8 glasses of water every day. If you are having trouble drinking the recommended amount, try slowly increasing your intake or try adding a slice of lemon, lime, or orange for added flavor.
Increase Your Fiber Intake
Pregnancy constipation symptoms can easily be resolved by adding more fiber to your diet. You can add fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, chia seeds, and flaxseed to your diet. Fiber can add more bulk to your diet and help move food through the digestive tract. Simply add two or three additional servings of foods that contain fiber to your diet.
Here are a few fruits and vegetables to add to your diet if you are struggling to go poop.
- Sweet Potatoes
- Brussel Sprouts
During pregnancy, obstetricians often tell expecting mothers to limit their daily caffeine intake. Many pregnant moms swear that drinking a cup coffee or two gets their bowels moving especially if they gave up their morning coffee when they found out that they were pregnant. Caffeine is a natural stimulant and in limited quantities, it isn’t harmful to your fetus or baby.
Exercise is one of the best natural cures for pregnancy constipation. Don’t worry you don’t have to spend hours exercising or doing intense exercises. Walking for 15 minutes a day can make a difference, even for moms who led a sedentary life prior to pregnancy. Walking or other gentle exercise helps increase the blood flow to your organs including your digestive tract. The extra blood flow helps stimulate the bowels.
Drink Prune Juice or Eat Prunes
Prunes are very effective at treating pregnancy-related constipation and has been recommended for several decades. If you notice signs and symptoms of constipation, simply eat around 6 medium sized prunes a day or drink 4 to 8 ounces of juice in the morning to help stimulate your bowels. Prunes contain sorbitol a natural sweetener that is a natural laxative.
It is better to eat prunes than to drink the juice because eating a serving of prunes contains more dietary fiber. Avoid using adding too much fiber including prunes if you feel that you are dehydrated. Eating too much fiber when you are dehydrated it may make you feel worse.
Pregnancy-related constipation is one of those ailments that many expectant mothers don’t discuss. Constipation can leave you feeling uncomfortable. Signs and symptoms of pregnancy-related constipation include stomach bloating, stomach pains, hard stool, straining to have a bowel movement, needing help to pass stool, and painful bowel movements.