Constipation is one of the common symptom in pregnancy. It can be due to hormonal changes, iron supplements, and due to change in digestion.
Constipation is common in pregnancy for several reasons, including:
- Hormone changes. An increase in the hormone progesterone during pregnancy slows the digestive process.
- Iron supplements. Often given to prevent anemia in pregnancy, iron supplements can make constipation worse.
- Changes in digestion. Your colon absorbs more water during pregnancy, which makes less water available for stool, resulting in harder stool.
Some tips for managing constipation during pregnancy include the following:
- Eat on a regular schedule. Small, frequent meals can help ward off constipation.
- Drink plenty of fluids, especially water. Aim for eight 8-ounces glasses a day.
- Exercise every day. Simple activities, such as daily walks, can be effective.
- Eat high-fiber foods, such as fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grains.
- Try fiber supplements, such as psyllium powder, Metamucil or Citrucel.
- If iron supplements are contributing to constipation, your doctor may adjust your dosage.
- A simple stool softener is safe to take in any trimester in pregnancy. But don't take any other type of laxative without first discussing it with your doctor.
- Stool softeners (Colace, Surfak, others) add moisture to stool, which makes stool easier to pass. The active ingredients in these products aren't absorbed by the body, so they're unlikely to have an adverse effect on the fetus.
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A good healthcare is must for one and all, specially women and children. Moreover, if you are expecting a baby or just stepped into motherhood, you would need to take extra care of your health. This is one of the phase of life where you would need to visit doctor regularly. More medical care, means more heavier bills, more expenses. But do not compromise on your health due to high cost of healthcare. Insure yourself under a good health insurance policy and get cover for both - prenatal and maternity care.