How to Treat Constipation in Pregnancy: Safe Over the Counter and Natural Remedies

How to Treat Constipation in Pregnancy: Safe Over the Counter and Natural Remedies

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Well, it’s unfortunately true.  Pregnancy constipation can be a real pain in the rear!  Constipation occurs more frequently in pregnancy because in pregnancy our intestines slow down and don’t move the way they usually do.  Many pregnant women are unsure what is safe to take when dealing with constipation.  Rest assured many treatment options are considered safe in pregnancy.  Read on to see how you can prevent and treat that dreaded pregnancy constipation.  

  1. Fluids

Start by making sure you are drinking plenty of water each day!  You need to be well hydrated to help prevent constipation.  It is especially easy to get dehydrated in pregnancy.  It is generally recommended to drink 8-12 glasses of water per day.  So be sure to keep a water bottle close by during your 9-month journey!

  1. High Fiber Diet

Fiber is another natural treatment for constipation.  Foods high in fiber include fruits, vegetables, beans, and lentils.  Not only are they nutritious, but they can help keep you going to the bathroom regularly.  So, be sure to incorporate these into your regular diet.  

  1. Stay Active

Stay active in pregnancy!  Sometimes this is hard to do as our bodies change and we feel an increase in fatigue.  You don’t have to run a marathon, even a daily walk is good for your body. Other exercises to help constipation in pregnancy include light yoga, barre or pilates – ask your instructor about prenatal modifications or take courses designed for pregnant mamas. Maintaining an active lifestyle will keep your body and your bowels moving!  

  1. Stool Softener

If you are still not going to the bathroom regularly despite doing all the things mentioned above, you should consider taking a stool softener.  Docusate, also known as Colace, is a stool softener that is generally considered safe in pregnant and breastfeeding mothers.  It is available in pill form and as a liquid.  It does not work immediately. It is a good option if you need something to take daily or as needed to help keep you regular.  As always, discuss with your doctor before starting any new medications.  

  1. Laxative

Polyethylene Glycol is a laxative and is the generic form of Miralax.  It is sold as a tasteless powder that you dissolve and drink.    This is also considered safe in pregnancy.  At the usual recommended dose, it is unlikely to provide immediate relief. It is another good option if you want something to take daily or as needed to help keep you regular. 

  1. Fleet Saline Enema 

If things get really bad, mama, you may need to take an enema to flush you out.  An enema is gently inserted directly into the rectum and generally provides relief within minutes.  Fleet Saline Enemas are safe in pregnancy when used as directed.  Saline is just salt water!  If you are very pregnant, it can be difficult to give yourself an enema.  So if necessary, consider asking your partner, a relative, or a close friend to help!  

You now have some simple solutions for how to treat constipation in pregnancy.  While all of these options are considered safe in pregnancy, you should talk to your doctor about any new symptoms you are having and any new medications you are thinking of starting.  

Have you tried any of these to manage your pregnancy constipation? Feel free to share your experience in the comments.

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