Constipation During Pregnancy – Causes and Preventions

5 min read

Written by Editorial Team

Editorial Team

constipation during pregnancy
Constipation is a very common problem in most pregnant women. More than half of pregnant women have to bear constipation that leaves them gassy, bloated, cranky, miserable, and irritated. Some women deal with the problem daily till they are pregnant, while some simply go unaffected by constipation. Read on to know more about constipation during pregnancy.

Usually, it is treated with natural remedies, some light syrups, or medicines. But if it is severe, you may feel strained while passing the stool, and it is advisable to see the doctor. Let’s read about the causes and methods to prevent constipation during pregnancy in this article.

In This Article

Causes of Constipation During Pregnancy

The pregnancy hormone progesterone causes the muscles of the bowel to relax and lets the food hang in there for longer times. Though it also means that more nutrients are being extracted, it just congests your colon – leaving you desperately wanting to shake a move there. Even the growing uterus plays its game as it occupies more space, leaving little for the bowel.

Other probable causes for colon congestion are:

1. Prenatal Iron Supplements

Vital for you and the baby, but slows down the bowel movement.

2. Dehydration

Since you are producing so much blood for the baby, water does not aid the bowels.

3. Diet Lacking Fiber

If you are still munching on a diet that is all carbs and fats, you will face the problem of constipation.

4. Lack of Exercise

women yawning when reading

Sitting there the whole day because you are pregnant will not help, get yourself moving.

5. Morning Sickness

Probably because you do not feel like eating, you could suffer from constipation and may not be getting the essential nutrients – slowing things further.

During pregnancy, all these factors contribute to inhibiting the movement of waste products in a regular manner. The digestive system works slowly, the hormones relax the entire digestive tract, and the frequency of bowel movement decreases.

[Read: Morning Sickness During Pregnancy]

Top 7 Preventive Methods to Get Rid of Constipation During Pregnancy

women in abdominal pain

It is wise to take preventive measures before constipation becomes a regular problem. There are many home remedies that can be tried to avoid it. Some of them are as listed below:

1. Increase Fiber in Your Diet

Intake of a fiber-rich diet will help you hold the water and pass things through the intestine. Make sure your diet comprises fresh fruits, cereal, beans, and green leafy vegetables. If you can’t get fiber from food, then try fiber supplements.

2. Exercise

Do some pregnancy exercises, a walk, some yoga, or any other physical activity (which is not harmful in pregnancy). This is a sound way to avoid gas and constipation problems. You will feel more fit and healthy, as well.

[Read: 12 Simple Exercises During Pregnancy For Every Trimester]

3. Water, Water, Water

Drink plenty of water, and ensure you have at least 7-8 glasses of water every day. You can even have warm or coconut water.

4. Increase Your Fluid Intake

Increase fluid intake

Have a glass of fruit juice and try prune juice, which is a mild laxative. Having warm liquids like lemon and water or honey in water also helps some people to get things moving.

5. Smaller Meals

Try taking your meals in small portions. Do not take big meals, as it may worsen your digestive system. Divide meals into five-six portions a day.

6. Schedule Toilet Times

By scheduling your toilet timings, you will have a fair chance to be in the vicinity of one when the mood strikes.

7. Try Yoghurt

Yogurt is a good source of bacteria. Regular intake of yogurt helps to relieve constipation as the probiotic acidophilus in it stimulates intestinal bacteria to break down food better.

[Read: Home Remedies For Gas And Bloating During Pregnancy]

Constipation During Pregnancy First Trimester

Constipation first trimester

The first trimester is the time when your body is still getting used to being pregnant, and add to it the pregnancy hormones playing havoc on your digestive system. Constipation, gas, and bloating are all a result of progesterone causing the bowel muscles to relax and not moving them through the intestine. Have a fibrous diet, keep the water coming, and be physically active so as to deal with pregnancy constipation in the first trimester.

Constipation During Pregnancy Second Trimester

Apart from pregnancy hormones, your uterus is also starting to increase in size, leaving little or no space for the bowels to go about their business. Try eating a smaller portion of meals and having food that is rich in fiber. You would also be given some iron supplements which would worsen constipation – watch out for it as well.

Constipation During Pregnancy in Third Trimester

Constipation worsens during the third trimester, and it is harder to manage because the uterus takes all the empty space in the stomach, making the bowels much, much slower. Watch your diet closely, and take a walk every day.

Hemorrhoids And Constipation During Pregnancy

women holding a toilet paper

Though rare, too much straining while trying to pass a stool or passing a hard stool can cause hemorrhoids, which are the swollen veins in the rectal area. They are rarely serious but can cause you a great deal of discomfort, pain, itching, and sometimes slight rectal bleeding as well.

If you are still not able to poop, speak to your doctor or midwife about it. You may even try a few homeopathic medicines for constipation problems after consulting with the experts. Go to the bathroom when you feel urges. Adding oatmeal, pears, plum, and peaches to your diet can help in the smooth passing of stool. This phase gets over once you deliver the baby in most cases.

However, in some instances, the problem may persist after pregnancy, which can be cured with the help of doctors. Discuss with the doctor before you decide to take any laxatives. After having a meal try to take a walk for a few minutes, do not sit, or lie down immediately after having a meal.

Read Also: Swollen Vagina During Pregnancy – Causes, Symptoms, And Prevention


1. Can Being Constipated While Pregnant Hurt The Baby?

No, being constipated does not hurt the baby. However, it’s natural to worry about the health of your unborn child if you experience constipation because of the pressure it puts on your abdomen. Try not to worry. Though constipation is uncomfortable, it poses no risk to your unborn baby.

2. Are Poop Cramps Normal During Pregnancy?

Yes, poop cramps are normal during pregnancy because constipation can be really painful at times. People often compare the sensation to cramps or to something intense and stabbing.

3. Can Constipation Cause Labor?

Constipation can produce abdominal cramping and shooting pain that resembles a contraction. This mimics labor. Constipation during pregnancy can induce increased pushing and straining, but it won’t cause labor.

Editorial Team,

With a rich experience in pregnancy and parenting, our team of experts create insightful, well-curated, and easy-to-read content for our to-be-parents and parents at all stages of parenting.Read more.

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