Constipation in Pregnancy

Constipation in Pregnancy and Birth

How a baby affects digestion

During pregnancy

No matter how happy you are to be pregnant, some of the things pregnancy does to your body can be pretty troublesome. Like constipation. When you’re pregnant, your body produces more of the female hormone progesterone. Progesterone helps to relax the womb, but also the bowel muscles – which are also increasingly squeezed by the growing womb. Combined with iron supplements and the stress of pregnancy, this can soon lead to constipation and even pain on the toilet.

If possible, try to add some fibre to your diet and drink fluids regularly. You could also ask your partner for a gentle stomach massage. If all of these efforts are unsuccessful, speak to your doctor about a laxative suitable during your pregnancy. You should be enjoying the experience of having a baby, not worrying about discomfort on the toilet!

After giving birth: constipation

If you continue taking iron supplements after giving birth, constipation is not uncommon. Speak with your doctor regarding whether its appropriate to switch to an alternative product or stop the iron supplements altogether.

If you are taking painkillers or other medication, you can find out more about possible side effects for your digestion and constipation here. Even when breastfeeding, you can still get your digestion moving with a laxative. Speak to your doctor or pharmacist for an appropriate laxative that can be taken during breastfeeding.

After giving birth:pain

If, after you have given birth, you experience pain when going to the toilet that shows no signs of improvement, visit your doctor. It might be that you have developed haemorrhoids by pushing while giving birth.