Constipation during pregnancy, it is not a fun thing. Are you frustrated right now? I want to share five tips about some pregnancy, constipation relieving tips, ways that you can feel better during your pregnancy. Constipation affects 15% of people. In pregnancy, it increases even more; up to 50% of pregnant women struggle with constipation. So, what can we do during pregnancy to help relieve some of this? Because if you’re constipated, you’re uncomfortable, it may set you up for hemorrhoids, it may set you up for more significant risk for a pelvic organ prolapse, so you want to be smart about what you do.
Be smart because pregnancy and medication are different than when you were not pregnant.
Tip Number 1 – Drink a cup of hot water in the morning.
It seems very simple, but pregnant or not; this is an excellent thing to do. We get dehydrated at night, and we need that hot temperature to start everything moving. Even more beneficial is taking that cup of hot water in the morning before that cup of coffee. Coffee and hot tea can be beneficial, to relieve constipation during pregnancy, but even for myself, I’ve tried to discipline myself to drink that cup of hot water in the morning first. And if it’s too dull and you just can’t handle it, put a drop of lemon essential oil, or a little bit of fresh lemon or mint in there so that you can get a little bit more flavor. But start with that cup of hot water in the morning.
Tip Number 2 – Increase your fluid intake.
Eight to 10 cups of water a day is the minimum, and when you’re pregnant, sometimes the guideline goes up to 10 to 12 cups of water a day. Constipation during pregnancy can be caused for many reasons, but a common cause is not enough fluid. If the stool is dry and hard and more pebbly, then that tells you that we’ve got to get more fluid in. So, be pushing that water throughout the day and keep your water bottle near you at all times.
Tip Number 3 – Fiber.
In a world of processed foods and fast-food restaurants, we’re on the go; we end up leaving fiber out of our diet. So, what can you do? Aim for 25-30 grams of fiber a day. Where is fiber? Let’s think about some of the fruits: apples, pears, prunes, prune juice, pineapple, peaches are great!
What about some vegetables? Let’s think about the broccoli, the brussels sprouts. Even oatmeal and whole-grain bread have fiber and help as well. Avoid some of the things like dairy and cheeses, things that may lead to constipation during pregnancy.
Your body is going to be different from anybody else because your gut is different from anybody else’s, but keep watch on that. I know that for me, also steaming spinach has been beneficial, so check that out as well. Be sure to check out these 22 Fiber-filled foods!
Tip Number 4 – The Squatty Potty.
I just made a video on this, so check that video out about the magic of the Squatty Potty. But don’t overlook this. How we sit when we poop is essential. This can make a big difference when you get those knees higher than the hips, and it can change how you poop. This position relaxes the pelvic floor muscles and makes bowel movements easier.
Tip Number 5 -Diaphragmatic breathing.
We lose a lot of our movement here when we’re pregnant because everything grows, expands, and gets tight. We lose this trunk rotation in the middle, and our ribs are moving out to the side. Diaphragmatic breathing is a rest for the digest system, so let’s not overlook that. The power of diaphragmatic breathing where you take a deep inhale, expand the ribs out and then exhale, slow breathing, rather than shallow breathing is critical. Check out this full blogpost on “Is Diaphragmatic Breathing Really That Important” I did a while back!
Final Thoughts to remember.
Constipation during pregnancy sometime requires medication. Medicines are available, but you need to talk with your doctor. You don’t need to just go to the drug store and get some laxative or fiber or anything like that. You want to discuss your symptoms with your doctor and find the best and safest medicine for you in your pregnancy. Some of the laxatives and some of them over the counter stool softeners can cause more dehydration and set you up for more risk for premature contractions. Be smart because pregnancy and medication are different than when you were not pregnant.