Goodbye Potty Problems – Proactive Prevention and Remedies for Pregnancy Constipation
Of the list of terrible pregnancy symptoms, constipation ranks pretty high up. Pregnancy constipation can be caused by a number of things. Increase in the hormone progesterone relaxes smooth muscles, including the ones within your digestive tract, which slows bowel movements. Vitamins, such as calcium and iron supplements also contribute to constipation. While prevention’s the main goal, most of us don’t take it seriously until we’re stuck on the pain and discomfort potty train to nowhere.
But constipation prevention doesn’t have to be difficult. A few minor adjustments to your diet and lifestyle is usually all it takes.
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How to Prevent Pregnancy Constipation
Include fiber with every meal
Prepare a simple salad with every meal. You can add vegetables to your meal, or as a side.
*Add chia seeds to beverages and meals. These tiny powerhouses pack healthy omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, protein, iron and magnesium. Stir them into smoothies, juice, and milk.
Eat oatmeal regularly
Oatmeal not only contains fiber, it’s also rich in folic acid, iron, and B vitamins. Oatmeal and chia seeds are the key to regularity. I swear by it.
Eat a fresh mango every 2-3 days
Mangoes contain fiber as well as cancer-fighting antioxidants, folate, and vitamins C, A, and B6. Have one in the morning with breakfast or save half for an after dinner snack.
Eat in moderation, because, like any fruit, mangoes contain a lot of sugar. Consuming too much fruit in your diet can cause gestational diabetes, which according to Mayo Clinic can lead to:
- Excessive birth weight
- Preterm birth and respiratory distress syndrome
- Mom having low blood sugar
- Mom developing type 2 diabetes later in life
Eat dried or frozen fruit as a snack (in moderation)
I have a bag of frozen berries in my freezer that I eat every day. I haven’t had problems with constipation ever since!
Make yourself a fruit and vegetable smoothie or juice
Kale, cucumber, spinach, celery, and beets are just a few vegetables you can add into your fruit smoothie for added fiber. Spinach and kale have less of a taste when blended so if you’re new to vegetables in your smoothie, give these a try.
When juicing, set your pulp control to medium/high or spoon some pulp into your juice.
I love Bloody Mary’s but obviously can’t partake when I’m pregnant. However, Kate Jones has a delicious, spicy virgin Bloody Mary recipe that is delicious. It’s also the perfect drink to satisfy salty and sour cravings 🙂
Get at least 30 minutes of full-body exercise every day
Exercise is super important during pregnancy. Regular exercise lowers your risk of gestational diabetes, prevents constipation, and prepares you for an easier labor. It’s also healthy for the baby because when you exercise, so do they!
30 minutes of brisk walking, swimming, or indoor cycling will help you stay fit and promote regular bowel movements.
If you’re looking for an extra fun way to complete your daily exercise, I wrote a post on hula hooping and why it’s the best pregnancy workout. Check it out!
Drink the recommended 10 cups of water a day
10 cups is the equivalent of about five (16.9 oz) water bottles.
It’s hard to drink that much water without a plan and accountability. Lindsey over at Mother Rising straps 10 rubber bands around her water bottle and removes one whenever she refills her bottle.
Another way you can keep track of your water intake is with the Daily Water app. The app also lets you set reminders to drink water.
Constipation is easy to prevent, but oftentimes we think it just can’t be that bad to skip vegetables today. Or the next day. Or the next. We’re optimistic until we wind up on the toilet morphing ourselves into abstract shapes to induce a bowel movement. Yeah. I’ve done it. Lots.
Freak-outs happen when you wipe and see blood, thinking something’s wrong with the baby, but then realize it’s due to the battlefield that just occurred in your backside. Yeah. That too.
Anyway, if you’ve gotten to the point of no return, there are some remedies to relieve your discomfort.
Remedies for Quick Pregnancy Constipation Relief
For a natural remedy, drink prune juice
Eating prunes work too, but it might not be your sort of thing.
Eat a bowl of oatmeal and chia seeds
Try a fiber supplement
Fiber supplements such as Benefiber, can be added to any food or drink. It’s tasteless and completely dissolves in anything. Benefiber also has an added benefit of a probiotic, which promotes digestive health.
Take a gentle laxative, like milk of magnesia
Use a laxative as a last resort and remember to ask your doctor before use.
If you decide to take a laxative, Phillip’s milk of magnesia does a really good job.
Milk of magnesia works almost instantly but can lead to upset stomach, cramping, and diarrhea if taken in excess. Take the bare minimum to start, wait a few hours, then take a tiny bit more. Do not take more just because you’re feeling extra constipated. I’ve learned the hard way…
Pregnancy constipation doesn’t have to be a thing
It just takes a bit of proactiveness.
Best of luck ladies. You got this!
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