Go to any pregnancy magazine, article or book and you will find constipation listed as a common complaint of pregnancy. Ask any woman who is currently pregnant or has been pregnant if she has experienced constipation during pregnancy and you will have a difficult time finding someone who has not suffered from this annoying symptom at sometime during a pregnancy. Like so many other issues with pregnancy being constipated is just another reason to question what can safely be done to bring relief without causing possible harm to the developing baby. The concern is based on the fact that certain medications can pass through the mother’s stem and be absorbed by the developing young life that might have negative consequences for the baby.
Medical professionals and nutritionists told me during my 3 pregnancies that there are many remedies a pregnant woman can do to bring relief from constipation including using a doctor approved stool softener to moisten stool making it easier for the woman to pass it, increasing the amounts of fluids she consumes each day, increasing the fiber in her diet and getting plenty of physical exercise.
It is important to note that if a woman is taking a stool softener that she understand that she must follow dosing directions carefully.
One cause for constipation in pregnant women is too much iron. Typically prenatal vitamins include iron and if the woman is getting plenty of iron in the foods she eats it is possible for her to be getting too much iron, which can cause constipation. Her medical provider can switch her to a prenatal vitamin supplement that does not contain iron.
According to Americanpregnancy.org laxative pills are not recommended to pregnant women because they may stimulate uterine contraction as well as possible dehydration both conditions would pose health risks to the mom and developing baby.
During all 3 pregnancies with my daughters I was advised to stay away from any over-the-counter remedies and to strive to stay as natural as possible when seeking relief from constipation. This left me the choices of increasing my water intake, being more diligent about getting enough daily exercise and paying more attention to the fiber in my diet to be sure I was getting the recommended amount told to me by the staff nutritionist. Luckily I like drinking water but getting between 8 to 10 glasses of water in each day soon became boring if I didn’t flavor the water with lime or lemon slices. Freshly made lemonade or iced tea without caffeine was also a favorite drink for me.
Mayo Clinic Pregnancy week-by-week Question; Pregnancy constipation: Are stool softeners safe? http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/pregnancy-constipation/AN01103
American Pregnancy Association; Pregnancy and Constipation http://www.americanpregnancy.org/pregnancyhealth/constipation.html