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Why Do I Have Constipation During Pregnancy?

It can be difficult enough dealing with all the changes that come with pregnancy:  added weight gain, cravings for odd foods, and even dramatic hormone shifts.  But while most expectant moms are prepared for such things, few are prepared for the constipation during pregnancy.  Although not all women reported bowel problems, many do find that constipation during pregnancy seems to be worse and very noticeable.  But why exactly would constipation be worse during pregnancy?

Physical Causes of Constipation During Pregnancy

 During pregnancy, the muscles in a woman’s intestines will relax.  This is actually caused by the hormone progesterone and it will slow the movement of food through the digestive system—hence, constipation.  The reason for the constipation during pregnancy due to hormones is because slowing food through the digestive tract will cause two problems:  First, the stool will harden and become more difficult to evacuate from your body.  Secondly, the stool may compact in the intestines leading to blockages. 

Even if the hormones do not substantially affect the intestines, it is still possible for increased risk for constipation during pregnancy due to fetus itself.  During the final trimester, the fetus begins to exert pressure upon the lower intestines.  This can lead to blockage and ultimately constipation.

Other Causes of Constipation During Pregnancy

 Constipation during pregnancy can also be caused by the vitamins and medications given to women prior to giving birth.  Iron and calcium supplements are commonly prescribed to pregnant women and both can cause constipation so be sure to consult with your physician if the onset of constipation closely follows beginning a new medication or supplement.

Lack of physical exercise and sudden changes in diet are both known causes of constipation.  Cravings, while fun to indulge in, are actually possible causes of constipation during pregnancy.  Plus, it is no secret that physical activity will continue to diminish as the due date approaches, so just be aware of how common factors of a pregnancy can naturally increase outbreaks of constipation.

Unfortunately, short term constipation relief in the form of laxatives made from chemicals is not an option during pregnancy as they may have adverse affects upon both the mother and fetus.  It may, however, be necessary to use a colonic cleanser to flush out the intestines and colon in order to relieve constipation during pregnancy.  For any expectant mother looking for a cleanser that will give them relief from constipation during pregnancy, be sure to find one with only natural ingredients.  Cleansers, laxatives, or any constipation remedy made from chemicals can lead to side effects or worse for both the mother and unborn child.  Be sure to consult with your pediatrician before taking any medication for constipation during pregnancy to be sure it is safe to use.

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