Constipation

Constipation, difficulty having regular bowel movements (BM), is a very common symptom of pregnancy. This does not mean that you have to suffer from constipation or irregular, hard bowel movements and the pain associated with them. There are things you can do to help things move along and prevent hemorrhoids.

  • Eat a high fiber diet: Ideally, you will consume 25 to 30 grams per day of dietary fiber from fruits, vegetables, breakfast cereals, whole grain breads, prunes and bran.
  • Drink a lot of fluids: Drinking plenty of fluids is important, particularly with your increase of fiber. Drink six to eight- 8 oz cups (or 2 Liters) of fluids each day . It is the combination of a high fiber diet and lots of liquid that best help you eliminate your waste. Sweat, hot/humid climates, and exercise may increase your need for additional fluids.
  • Exercise routinely: If you are inactive, you have a greater chance of constipation. Walking, swimming and other moderate exercises help the intestines work by stimulating your bowels. Schedule exercise a minimum of three times a week for 20-30 minutes each.Medication: There are over-the-counter products such as Metamucil which may help soften your bowel movements and reduce constipation. Colace or Surfak are stool softeners which are also safe in pregnancy.
  • Reduce or eliminate iron supplements: Iron supplements may contribute to constipation. Good nutrition can often meet your iron needs during pregnancy. Taking smaller doses of iron throught the day rather than taking it all at once can reduce constipation.

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