immediate constipation relief during pregnancy home remedies

immediate constipation relief during pregnancy home remedies

“There are many simple joys in life that you don't appreciate until they are gone - like being able to poop regularly.“



Constipation is a common symptom during pregnancy, with an incidence of 11% to 38%. Don't underestimate constipation, the discomfort shows on your face as a "constipated look."

Causes of Constipation During Pregnancy


Hormonal changes: Increased levels of progesterone, somatostatin, and decreased motilin during pregnancy slow intestinal transit time.


Mechanical factors: The enlarging uterus can cause intestinal motility disorders. Impaired abdominal and pelvic muscle mobility also weakens the forces needed for bowel movements.


Increased colonic water absorption: Increased renin, angiotensin, and aldosterone during pregnancy slow intestinal peristalsis and increase colonic water absorption, resulting in hard stools.


Medications: Most pregnant women take supplements. Iron supplements are commonly used to treat anemia. Calcium supplements are also common. Both can contribute to constipation.


Dietary and lifestyle factors: Some pregnant women do not get enough vegetables, resulting in inadequate fiber intake. Decreased activity levels also hinder colonic motility.

Treating Constipation

Constipation may seem like a minor problem, but it can be troublesome to deal with. While medication can help, lifestyle changes should be tried first:


- Eat a balanced diet with adequate fiber and fluids - aim for 25-35 g of fiber and 1.5-2 L of fluids daily. Fiber supplements may help if diet alone is inadequate.

- Get moderate physical activity, especially if on bed rest. Complete bed rest is not recommended as it can increase the risks of blood clots and constipation, without benefits to the pregnancy.

- Establish good bowel habits - try to poop in the morning or within 2 hours after a meal when colonic motility is highest.


Medications for Constipation

If lifestyle measures fail to relieve constipation, medications can be considered:

- Lactulose is an osmotic laxative that is not absorbed into the bloodstream. It does not interfere with nutrient absorption or fetal development, and is safe for breastfeeding. It also does not cause blood sugar fluctuations.

- Compound licorice acid suppositories containing glycyrrhizic acid provide lubrication to ease passing of stools. The zinc oxide and calamine also have anti-itch, anti-inflammatory, and healing effects.


Avoid herbal medications containing asafoetida. Use lubricant laxatives like glycerin cautiously only under medical supervision due to risks of miscarriage and preterm birth.

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