During pregnancy, women often experience a range of side effects such as nausea, vomiting, bloating, heartburn, fatigue and constipation. Most often, these issues disappear post-pregnancy. If you are experiencing constipation during pregnancy, there are several treatments you can try to alleviate, or even avoid, the issue.
Increase fiber intake. Fiber helps to encourage stools and aids the digestive process. Fiber occurs naturally in a range of food sources such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains. While pregnant, aim to consume between 20 and 35 grams of fiber daily to effectively avoid constipation.
Drink lots of water daily. Dehydration can lead to constipation. When you consume plenty of water, your stools should remain soft and be easily passed. Drink at least 64 ounces of water daily to keep your body hydrated and alleviate constipation.
Exercise. Cardiovascular exercise aids the digestive process, encouraging the body to pass bowel movements. Walking, yoga, swimming and cycling are all effective means of exercise to avoid constipation.
Try natural over-the-counter products. Most natural products that encourage bowel movements contain concentrated amounts of fiber. While pregnant, you should not take laxatives. Also, avoid anti-constipation products that contain caffeine.
Eat several small meals throughout the day. This keeps the digestive facilities working all day. When you only eat three large meals daily, your body goes long periods of time without digesting food. By keeping the digestive process moving, you reduce the likelihood of constipation.
Go to the bathroom as soon as you feel the urge. Do not put off passing a bowel movement, as this can often lead to constipation.