Constipation during pregnancy
Tips and tricks to get things moving again when pregnant:
Yay! You’re pregnant! You’re growing a life. Your body is changing. Your organs are getting squished. Everything is moving slower. Including… your bowels.
Real life here: constipation is a very normal part of pregnancy. Why? A few reasons: you may be struggling with morning sickness or HG and unable to eat or keep down fiber-rich foods and water. The amount of time you spend up and moving around or exercising may have decreased. Plus, your prenatal contains iron, which definitely is known to stop things up. And not only are there are a ton of hormonal changes going on. As baby grows, your gastrointestinal areas are being squished and moved around.
Signs of constipation?
I feel like this is always worse between 3 and 10 weeks pregnant. You are bloated AF and look huge, but you know it’s not all just baby. Okay, let’s be honest – 99% of it isn’t baby. It’s gas. Bloated and feeling really full? Yep. I remember it feeling like my belly felt so full I was a balloon that was about to burst under pressure.
Is your poop hard? Are you going what feels like days in between pooping? Does it feel impossible to poop because it hurts or it’s hard to go, even when you know you have to? You’re constipated.
So let’s talk about pregnancy constipation, and ways to relieve your constipation while pregnant.
The following are all tried, tested and true ways to clear your system out while pregnant. Suggestions from my OB, midwives, and other moms who have been where you’ve been. I’m not a doctor, so always double check any supplements / etc with yours. But the following list is (mostly) natural ways to relieve that “WHY CAN’T I GO POOP?!” feeling while pregnant:
Obviously, we know fiber gets things going. But most fresh foods don’t come with nutrition labels. And the foods that do, don’t always give you the full story. Keep your sugars low, up the roughage, and increase your liquids. By liquids, I mean water and any of the drinks in the below.
A quick note – DO NOT GIVE YOURSELF AN ENEMA. It can cause contractions and complications. In the first trimester, it can lead to miscarriage, and in the third trimester, it can lead to premature labor.
Foods that combat constipation:
- Apricots – dried or fresh!
- Bone broth! Like chicken or beef – will definitely help regulate and get you going!
- Bran Cereal. I love the Smart Bran, this Cracklin cereal (that’s a huge hit with the boys too), or this surprise from Fiber One that I like to mix with the others, add to oats, or even top my pancakes with. Add some blueberries and coconut milk and you’ve got a breakfast trifecta.
- Chia seeds.
- Fiber bars
- Flax seeds
- Frosted mini wheats
- Prunes! My secret weapon for keeping me regular on the daily. Seriously. I eat about 4-5 a day, every day, but while pregnant I bump that up to 8-12. Can’t handle just eating plain prunes? No worries! Chop and add to your cereal. Try adding to oatmeal, or my best trick is adding them to smoothies. Although I LOVE them. To me, they’re nature’s candy. YUM. Plus, they’re the number one antioxidant super food. And they’re full of awesome for you magnesium and potassium. Both of which are super beneficial in pregnancy. Read more HERE.
- Spinach, kale – think green leafy vegetables.
Beverages that will help you poop:
- Apple Cider Vinegar – try a shot in a cup of water!
- Apple juice
- Beet juice
- Coconut water
- Coffee – my OB and midwives all ok’d 1-2 cups of coffee each morning. And let me tell you – I can tell when I haven’t had my daily cup.
- Green smoothies! Check here for the best green smoothies.
- Natural Calm. I make a warm cup every night and by morning things are… ready to start moving, ha. PLUS, it’s also great for restless legs and combats pregnancy insomnia. Cherry is my favorite flavor! But it also comes in Lemon, Raspberry Lemon, Original (flavorless), and Orange.
- Pear juice
- Pickle Juice
- Prune Juice
- Water, and lots of it! And try a cup of warm water with a little lemon first thing in the morning.
Supplements to get things moving:
- Colace. A note – you need to drink a TON of water to make the colace effective. My OB suggested two right before bed.
- Fiber gummies
- MagnaCalm – this is what I shared in my Amazon Favorites post. It not only helps with staying regular, but also restless legs, anxiety and sleep!
- Magnesium citrate
- Milk of magnesia
- Psyllium husk
Other ideas to combat constipation:
- Chiropractic care
- Epsom salt baths
- Exercise – get up and move to get things moving below!
- Pressure points on your feet
- Squatty Potty
What worked for you? Anything you did to stay regular?