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The Ties Between Constipation and Pregnancy

Pregnancy does a lot of things to a woman's body. The body is completely changing its function. It started as just an operational vessel for one person. But, as soon as you become pregnant, it switches gears. Now it becomes a place for two beings to live, you and the baby that is forming inside of you.

In addition to getting a much bigger belly, having morning (and sometimes afternoon and evening) sickness, there are other things that may change in your body. One of these may be your bowel movements.

Almost two thirds of women who are pregnant say they have to search for constipation relief to some extent.

Hormonal Changes

One of the reasons for this is some of the hormone changes that are happening in the body. Once a woman gets pregnant, her body starts making large amounts of the hormone progesterone. This particular hormone has a slight muscle relaxing effect on the body. Often the digestive system is where this effect is seen, as it slows down the processing done by the intestines and digestive system, and leads to constipation.

While this is an inconvenience for the woman, it does happen for a reason. The body's logic is this. It has a new life growing inside and has to feed that life as well as the one it's normally feeding. To do this, the body wants more time to pull nutrients from the food that the mother is eating. The progesterone slows down the movement of food through the digestive tract, allowing more nutrients to be absorbed into the system.

While there is a natural cause, it can get out of hand and leave you needing a source of constipation relief.

Water Absorption

Adding to this problem is the fact that the body doesn’t just need more nutrients to take care of the new baby, but it will also need a lot more water. During pregnancy the body has to produce much more blood to feed the pregnancy. This takes water and that means the body will be pulling even more water out of all the things you eat and drink.

Removing more water from your meals means that there will be less left behind to keep your stools soft as they continue through your system. This leads to constipation.


All mothers-to-be are recommended to take a number of supplemental vitamins that are specially formulated to give the body what it needs to grow another life. At the same time many of the items in these vitamins, like iron, can lead to constipation.

Battling Pregnancy Constipation

There are a few things you can do to find constipation relief during pregnancy.

If your constipation is especially bad, you may want to talk to your doctor about a colon cleansing option that will help to alleviate it.

Once you have managed to find constipation relief, you need to try and adjust what you take in to keep it from happening again. This includes a diet that is much higher in fiber, as fiber is able to move more smoothly through your digestive tract. Additionally, mothers-to-be should always try to drink at least 8 - 10 glasses of water a day to make sure the body has the water it needs to keep working without becoming constipated.

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