Some adults normally go to the toilet more than once a day, whereas it's normal for others to go only every three or four days. What’s normal for someone else might not be normal for you. Constipation happens when you have trouble moving your bowels, so much so that you start to feel uncomfortable.

While that “backed-up” feeling is an unpleasant experience for you, it’s great to know it won’t affect your baby. However, in severe cases, it can lead to conditions for moms-to-be, such as hemorrhoids, rectal bleeding, and rectal fissures.

 

What causes constipation during pregnancy?

Pregnancy hormones relax and slow down the muscles in your intestinal tract, causing food to move slower through your body, resulting in constipation. This unwelcome but common symptom can occur at any time during your pregnancy, but it may worsen during your third trimester, as your baby grows bigger and presses against your stomach and rectum. Constipation may also worsen if you’re taking iron supplements.

 

How can I deal with constipation?

Eat:

  • At least 28 grams of fiber in your diet each day. High-fiber foods include wholegrain bread, dried fruits such as prunes, plus fresh fruits and vegetables. In particular, green leafy vegetables such as spinach can also boost your iron levels naturally.

Do:

  •  Drink plenty of water to keep things moving, especially warm water in the morning.

  • Exercise can help with indigestion and prevent constipation, but do check with your doctor first about which prenatal exercises you can do.

  • Talk to your doctor about your iron supplement intake and its possible link to your constipation. Ask for alternatives.

 

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