Suffer from constipation especially when you are close to your due date? Due to hormonal changes, you are more prone to constipation. As the growing baby presses down on your intestines, it is more difficult and slower for the stool to pass. That’s why you may start feeling bloated, constipated and even have hemorrhoids.

If you have less than 3 bowel movements in a week, you may have constipation. Even if you have bowel movements every day but you may have constipation too if you have the below condition:

  • Your stools are dry and hard.
  • You stay in toilet for a long time as it is difficult for your stools to pass through.
  • You may not fully empty your bowels.

Causes of pregnancy constipation

  1. Hormonal change
    When your progesterone level rises, you may start to have constipation at the second or third month during pregnancy. Your muscles become lazy and slow down to help move food along when progesterone makes your muscles in your bowel relax.
  2. Enlarged uterus
    Constipation becomes worse when your uterus enlarges to provide a place for a growing baby and occupy the space for bowel movement. As a result, stools are difficult to push out.
  3. Prenatal vitamin
    Make sure that you do not take too much iron supplement. Iron may contribute to hard black stools and constipation. Talk with your doctor if you are not sure whether your iron supplement may cause constipation.

Treatments & Remedies of pregnancy constipation

  1. Take more high-fiber foods
    High-fiber foods such as whole-grain bread, beans, fruits, vegetables help eliminate waste and keep food moving through the digestive tract. If you prefer fiber supplements, you may talk with your doctor first.
  2. Drink more water
    Water actually plays an important role for pregnant moms. Make sure you drink up at least 2000ml a day of water, tea, soup or other fruit juices. It helps soften your stools and let them pass through easily. If you feel that you want to go to the toilet, please go as soon as possible and avoid “holding” it.
  3. Stay active
    Exercise regularly can help with your digestion. You can start with a simple brick walk or some moderate exercise to help stimulate your intestines and regular bowel movements. Also, you can try some Kegel exercises to improve circulation at your rectum.
    You might feel round ligament pressure when engaging in physical activity in the third trimester, a support band can be especially helpful for active mums-to-be. It sits securely around your hips and lower back to cradle your growing bump.
  4. Avoid laxatives
    Laxative pills are not recommended to treat constipation as they may cause dehydration and uterine contraction. It is encouraged to talk with your doctor before taking any laxatives or stool softeners.

About the Hemorrhoids

More than 50% of pregnant women may suffer from hemorrhoids. Hemorrhoids are painful, itchy and cause bleeding during and after bowel movement. If you seek the doctor, you may be provided topical cream to treat the hemorrhoids. Don’t worry, your hemorrhoids may disappear after delivery without treatments. If you have hemorrhoids at your first pregnancy, you are more likely to have it at your following pregnancies.