You probably expect nausea and exhaustion during your pregnancy, but constipation is one of those symptoms that not all women know about. The cause of pregnancy constipation is hormonal: Your changing hormones relax your intestinal muscles as your uterus expands, thus causing constipation. Although constipation is not a serious issue, it is an uncomfortable one during pregnancy. Tackle that uncomfortable feeling with some home remedies.
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High-fiber foods are your best way to relieve constipation during pregnancy. Since you want to avoid unnecessary medications while you are pregnant, this option is ideal, as you can improve regularity through your diet. You can find fiber in many foods, from fruits to high-fiber cereals. Include leafy green vegetables in your diet, as well as bran. The American Pregnancy Association recommends consuming 25 to 30 g of fiber every day.
What you drink is as important as what you eat when it comes to pregnancy constipation. Increase your water intake to up your regularity. Drinking lots of water during pregnancy is essential to keep your body hydrated and has the added effect of relieving constipation. Drink at least six to eight glasses of water a day. You can add an additional glass of water for every hour of light activity, according to BabyCenter.
Prune juice is a common solution for constipation and safe to take during pregnancy. Add one 8 oz. glass of prune juice to your daily diet and you'll see a change in your bowel habits. If you don't like the taste of prune juice, you can dilute it with water or mix it with a juice you do like, such as orange juice.
A little bit of exercise goes a long way in relieving pregnancy constipation. Moderate exercise like walking or swimming keeps your body -- and bowels -- active. Avoid strenuous exercise, and don't start a new exercise program during pregnancy. Talk to your obstetrician about what exercises are safe for you, but unless you're having complications with your pregnancy, regular walking can help with constipation.
Change Your Vitamin
Your provider probably told you to take a prenatal vitamin when you found out you were pregnant. Some prenatal vitamins include an iron supplement, and iron can cause constipation. If you're experiencing constipation, try switching your prenatal vitamin to one that doesn't include iron.