Just when you thought pregnancy symptoms couldn’t get anymore gnarly, there’s another. When you’re so used to going and flowing every morning after that cup of tea, you suddenly realize that desire to go is nowhere to be found. Yep, constipation is one of those rarely-discussed symptoms of pregnancy that affects just about everyone. It’s thought to be a result of hormones that relax the intestinal muscle and make food and waste move slower through the system, and by the pressure of a growing uterus on your intestines. Here are a few ways to reduce constipation:
- Eat A High Fiber Diet: We’re talking 25-30 grams per day. Fruits, veggies, bran, prunes. You know it. Spirulina is also generally considered pregnancy safe.
- Drink Fluids, Lots of Them: 10-12 cups per day!
- Get Moving: Walk, swim and do anything moderately to keep everything flowing.
- Use Certain OTC Remedies: Metamucil is Category B and Colace, a stool softener, is also pregnancy safe to use. Tums during pregnancy are also safe. Laxatives + Mineral Oil are pregnancy no-no’s.
- Eat Smaller Meals More Often: Break up your daily food intake into five or six smaller meals to help with constipation relief. This will let the stomach digest food easily and allow it to transfer food to the intestine and colon smoothly.
The good news is that constipation will likely ahem, work itself out after the second trimester when your body begins to adjust to pregnancy. In the meantime, if things get super severe, contact your medical provider.