Because of hormone-related relaxation of the intestinal muscles, reduced physical activity, a low-fiber diet and anxiety, constipation is a common side effect of pregnancy. Although lifestyle changes, such as drinking more water and improving your diet, are the preferred method of treatment, over-the-counter laxatives -- such as Metamucil -- are safe for occasional use during pregnancy.
What is Metamucil?
Metamucil, or psyllium, is a bulk-forming laxative that works by drawing water into stools, making them softer and easier to pass. Although psyllium works well for occasional constipation, it can also be habit-forming. In other words, you may become dependent on Metamucil to produce a bowel movement if you take the medication for an extended period of time.
Metamucil has a category B classification for pregnancy, which means that there were no adverse effects found in animal studies, but no controlled studies exist for pregnant women. The American Pregnancy Association recommends Metamucil as a treatment for constipation -- with a physician's approval.