Healthy Pregnancy

What to do about constipation during pregnancy

Your heightened progesterone level will cause the smooth muscle of your body, such as that of your digestive system, to relax and become sluggish. The slower moving digestive tract allows more water to be reabsorbed leaving a harder, drier stool. The pressure on your intestinal tract from the growing uterus compresses the digestive system making movement of stool more difficult. Iron supplementation can increase constipation.

Some Women Have Tried…

  • Try pelvic rocking or going for a walk. Both will stimulate the digestive system.
  • Check your diet, are you getting enough fiber and water?
  • Put a low stool under you feet in the bathroom. This will put you in more of a squat position which opens the outlet of the pelvis by as much as 15%.
  • Try eating raw fruits and veggies.
  • Drink prune juice or eat prunes daily.
  • Be sure you are eating whole grains and complex carbohydrates. Refined and simple starches can be constipating.
  • Maintain a regular toileting schedule. Trying to “hold it in” allows more water to be removed from the stool making it more difficult to empty the bowel.
  • If constipation is a problem in early pregnancy, apply an oil to the abdomen in a clock-sice circular pattern to stimulate a bowel movement.
  • Try relaxing in an aromatherapy bath that combines three drops of lavender and four drops of rose.
  • Aromatherapy using ginger, mandarin, bitter orange and rosemary may help. Add the oils of your choosing to a bath or make a compress by adding a few drops to warm water used to dampen a cloth. The cloth can then be placed on your lower abdomen.
  • Avoid taking stool softeners or laxatives or other drugs which may give temporary relief but compound the long-term problem.
  • Either cut out caffiene completely or choose a level you feel comfortable with and consume that daily. Caffiene is a diuretic (pulls water out of the body) and may cause constipation. People who drink caffiene regularly seem to expereince less of an effect.
Jennifer (Author)