Constipation During Pregnancy

Marietta GA OBGYNs

Along with headaches and heartburn, constipation is one of the top complaints of pregnancy. Studies show that three out of four women will experience a bout with constipation during the course of the pregnancy. Constipation can occur during any trimester, but typically becomes more pronounced between 20 and 40 weeks. One of the main reasons that constipation worsens in pregnancy is due to increasing levels of the hormone progesterone, which relaxes muscles in the intestines, reduces peristaltic action, and slows down bowel transit time.

In addition to frequently recommended aids, such as drinking plenty of water, exercising, and increasing fiber intake, there are a few other lesser known but effective ways that expectant moms can relieve constipation due to pregnancy.

Supplement with probiotics
– whether through foods or a tablet, adding probiotics to your routine will help improve the flora of the intestines and may restore your intestinal terrain to normal.
Eat prunes or drink prune juice
– prunes are famous for their laxative properties that come from sorbitol. Adding a glass of prune juice or eating a few prunes each day can help produce regular bowel movements.
Include coconut oil
– unrefined coconut oil contains an abundance of medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs) that stimulate the bowel and soften the stool, increasing transit time. Coconut oil is easily included in salads, rice, eggs, and smoothies.
Epsom salts
– adding a scoop of Epsom salts to your bath will allow you to absorb magnesium sulfate, heralded for its laxative powers, into your body.

If you are experiencing constipation because of the increase in hormones and pressure from the womb on the bowels, try some of the remedies detailed here. If you need further help to relieve the symptoms of constipation and support your digestive health during pregnancy, please don’t hesitate to discuss them with us at your next appointment at Marietta OB-GYN Affiliates, P.A. Our team is here for you.