Constipation During Pregnancy

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Constipation during pregnancy is really common, affecting around 40% of women at some point during their maternity.

Your body goes through dramatic changes during the course of your pregnancy and constipation is one of the most common digestive issues experienced by mothers-to-be.

Fortunately, there are many ways to treat constipation in pregnancy that are safe for both you and your baby.

Our GPs can discuss your symptoms, advise on the best course of treatment and get you started on the path to feeling better.

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What Causes Constipation During Pregnancy?

As your baby develops, your body is flooded with hormones that help you accommodate the growing foetus. These hormones stretch muscles in your bowel, causing them to relax and slow down and making it more difficult to pass stools (poo).

Expecting mothers also often take nutritional supplements that can contain high levels of iron, which can contribute to the development of constipation.

There are several other factors that may increase your chances of getting constipation during pregnancy, including:
  • If you’ve already got a digestive condition like IBS (irritable bowel syndrome)
  • If you’re experiencing nausea or morning sickness and not eating as much
  • You’re already prone to constipation
  • You don’t get much in the way of exercise, particularly during the latter stages of pregnancy
  • While there’s a big difference in bowel habits from person-to-person, you should keep an eye out for any major changes that may indicate constipation.

These can include issues like:

  • Stomach cramps
  • Nausea
  • Bloating
  • Loss of appetite
  • Difficulty passing stools
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Treating constipation in pregnancy

Fortunately, there’s a range of ways to treat constipation during pregnancy that are perfectly safe for both you and your baby.

In more severe cases, you may be prescribed laxatives, but you should speak to a doctor before taking any medication.

Our GPs can talk through your symptoms and advise on the best course of treatment to ensure a comfortable and safe pregnancy.

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