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Q&A: Constipation during pregnancy?

Why do I have such bad constipation and what can I do about it? Are there any medications or natural remedies I can take while pregnant?

Re: Why do I have such bad constipation and what can I do about it? Are there any medications or natural remedies I can take while pregnant?

The Bump Expert

Constipation during pregnancy

During pregnancy, elevated progesterone levels cause smooth muscle to relax, which slows the passage of food through your intestines. This increases water absorption from the bowel and results in constipation. Your rapidly growing uterus, which compresses your intestines and pushes displaces your stomach upward, also contributes to the problem. Although for the most part constipation is mere nuisance, in some cases it does lead to serious medical problems such as hemorrhoids, rectal bleeding and rectal fissures.

First steps in treating constipation

The first step in treating constipation is making sure that you are drinking lots of water (at least 8 glasses a day), consuming enough fiber (as in fruits and vegetables), and getting ample activity (try walking 20-30 minutes daily. If the constipation persists, Metamucil or a mild stool softener such as Colace can help. If you are taking iron supplements, these may be contributing to  your constipation -- talk with your doctor about possible alternatives. In general, mineral oils, oral laxatives, enemas and rectal suppositories should be taken only after discussion with your physician, because they may stimulate labor.

watch: more on constipation during pregnancy

Dr. Ashley Roman

re: Q: Handling constipation?

I am taking 1 teaspoon of psyllium seeds soaked in a glass of water for about 10 minutes each morning. It is keeping me regular which no amount of water or fiber intake was able to do. Hope that helps!

cyndiathma |

re: Q: Handling constipation?

....so far chocolate once in week, lots of walking around, and if desperate stool softeners helps me out. Sometimes I need a day just to intake lots of milk then that helps too. hope this helps you too.

vbears17 |

re: Q: Handling constipation?

Kashi cookies always seem to work for me.

mdepping |

Q&A: Constipation during pregnancy?

I had that problem - I started drinking tonnes of water and other healthy liquids and it's all fine now!! I had to make myself do it at first but now I crave that much liquid.

northernkate |

Q&A: Constipation during pregnancy?

2 glasses of metamucil a day (morning and evening) works wonders for me. If I miss even one dose I regret it the next day.

jelam913 |

Q&A: Constipation during pregnancy?

I having a horrible time with this! I have tried eating foods with fiber and extra fiber, eating and drinking prune juice, taking stool softeners and exercising and nothing seems to work. I was convinced for a while that my body was holding onto my poop as long as possible and squeezing as many nutrients as it could. I had all day sickness for a few weeks and hardly ate anything. I read a few things here and I think I am going to force myself to drink more. I tend to drink less because I am a teacher and I can't get to the bathroom when I want to. Thanks for the advice yall!  Pregnancy Ticker

biancawhite |

Q&A: Constipation during pregnancy?

Try eating sweet potatoes! They have worked for me great. Good luck and drink plenty of water.

vgriffin02 |

Q&A: Constipation during pregnancy?

I had this problem too but started eating a Fiber One granola bar for my morning snack and added a serving of fruit to lunch and a serving of vegetables to dinner and the problem was gone within a week. I think just increasing your fiber inake really made the difference!

rsbaker |

Q&A: Constipation during pregnancy?

Prunes. I swear by them. They are higher in antioxidants than blueberries and have more potassium than bananas, so they also help with leg/foot cramps. The contain fiber and sorbitol so they naturally relieve constipation. I buy the flavored orange and cherrry essence varieties and try to eat five every day. You can't go wrong with prunes.

titania9 |

Q&A: Constipation during pregnancy?

I was in tears for a few weeks with this problem, even tho I eat an apple a day! I started drinking Metamucil...and so far it seems to work okay. Gotta drink a ton of water with it...but then again, you should be drinking a lot anyways!

dobbslv |

Q&A: Constipation during pregnancy?

I had major problems with this for a while. Couldn't go for days and when I did it was painful and hard. I take a stool softener everyday and try to eat fiber one ceral or a bar every day in addition to eating fiber rich foods and drinking lots of water and liquids. It has helped so much. I stay fairly regular and everything "moves" much better.

wandonita |

Q&A: Constipation during pregnancy?

I have been battling this for weeks. My doctor put me on Miralax and stool softeners. When I do go it is much easier but right now I am on day 5 with "no movement". I drink tons of water, eat prunes, add flax seed to my oatmeal, eat trail mix as my snack....nothing. It is making my sickness worse and keeping me up at night, not to mention I look 6 months preggo!! Anyone else having this? Help!!

preggorunner74 |

Q&A: Constipation during pregnancy?

yogurt , yogurt , yogurt! I have tried water, fiber drinks, Greens that you find in health food stores. Nothing worked until I started eating plain yogurt every morning with a little bit of granola . What a relief! Also as far as meals go , eat no more than you can cup into your hands and then eat again all day long. Less food going through the system takes the stress off your digestion ! I am on my 21st week , and I feel great now.

teresasullivan |

Q&A: Constipation during pregnancy?

How can you deal with comstipation during pregnancy? Right? I was very constipated the first trimester on my pregnancy, I drink a lot of prune juice and eat a lot of prunes too, plus I didn't have the chose to drink Metamucil every morning after breakfast and every 2 days I needed a suppository (any pleasure at all). But it got me so much better! If you need any advice from what I told you, you can contact me my sending me a msg or ask about this advices to your gynecologist. Trust me it works! Good luck into your pregnancy.  Pregnancy Ticker

marionleroy |

Q&A: Constipation during pregnancy?

I have been severely constipated since the begininng of my pregnancy. I also have Type C IBS, which means I can go either way at any time. Exercise, fiber, water, stool softners, glycerin supositories, reduced my iron intake... nothing worked. I finally talked to the pharmacist, and I am so happy I did. We went through the standard list, but where this was a problem in the past I had checked them all off before talking to someone. She called an organization that's sole purpose is to determine what is safe and unsafe for expectant mothers to take. They reccomended Lactulose, which is a sugar water. For those whole know the risk scale its a B. It worked! Obviously it won't be safe for everyone, and its my understanding in some of the states (I live in Canada) you may require a perscription. But ladies, it worth a go, if you have reached the end of your rope.

jaclynlfry |

Q&A: Constipation during pregnancy?

plumsmart juice...

azcarter4 |

Q&A: Constipation during pregnancy?

TAKE MAGNESIUM PILLS!!! I don't know why magnesium pills are not recommended. My mom, a pharmacist, told me to take them. I wasn't sure, so I asked my OBGYN about it. My dr. confirmed that it is great for getting rid of constipation AND it will help with LEG CRAMPS! My bowel movement gets messed up very easily, with stress, or change of daily routine. Constipation got worse for me in first trimester...there were times when I couldnt poo for 5 days. I bought a bottle from Costco and I took them every other day. Now I go very regularly.

monkeychi |

Q&A: Constipation during pregnancy?

Im so relieved Im not the only one with this problem!! I'm currently to the point where I start to go and have to stop because i cant push it out! Ive made my butt bleed on more than one occasion and Im always making my tummy hurt! im now almost 18 weeks and im glad i cant miscarry because id be terrified all that strenuous pushing would make me lose the baby. definitely going to be talking to my baby doctor!

angsetts |

Q&A: Constipation during pregnancy?

Plain yogurt every morning before any other kind of meal for 2 weeks. That was the only think that worked for me.

Loryc |

Q&A: Constipation during pregnancy?

My doctor had prescribed me Miralax, as much as I needed. However, too much and I had the opposite problem and was bloated. I tried fiber bars and had horrible gas. I tried activia, but had to have 2 or 3 per day and it would sometimes give me gas too. Then I ended up eating apples for a snack for a week and was regular. The following week, I didn't have an apple and was miserable. Now, once I started eating them again, I am regular again. I will not go a day without from now on. They are awesome due to the cheap price, nutritional content, and wide variety.

kbgregoire |

Q&A: Constipation during pregnancy?

hi mommies! I've been struggling with this for about a week now :( After trying exercise, more water, etc, I started eating some the the things suggested above (prunes- check, bran muffins- check, fruit- check and psyllium fiber- check!!) into one sure fire super cure! so far so good....so much less crabby now :)

messemom11 |

Q&A: Constipation during pregnancy?

Whole grains! try to avoid white bread and eat things like granola and other whole grains. I personally love whole grain bagels, mulit-grain cheerios and chocolate dipped granola bars!

aclark92 |

Q&A: Constipation during pregnancy?

Oh my goodness - I am relieved to see so many on here with the same issue. You know misery loves company ; ) From a person who is very regular to go to days without....it was a nightmare. I was drinking benefiber, eating prunes, high fiber bread, and activia. Well needless to say it really didn't do much but give me gas...NOT FUN. However, I forced myself to drink more water, move around more and VIOLA I'm more regular, not to mention I FEEL better!!! Hope this helps.....

Sevenlove |

Q&A: Constipation during pregnancy?

If you're looking for a way to kickstart your system, get a salad from Cracker Barrel!

katewoggs |

Q&A: Constipation during pregnancy?

Magnesium is the answer! My naturopath put me on it. At 300 mg per day, my problem was solved (but she advised that I could go up to 450 if necessary). Much safer than some other choices and trust me - it really works!

sunshineincolor |

Q&A: Constipation during pregnancy?

I had this problem even before getting pregnant :) Every morning, m y honey makes me a bowl of instant oatmeal, which alreayd has fiber in it, but then he adds some fiber supliment with milk. 2 minutes in the morning solves the problem!

Mazaliauskaite |

Q&A: Constipation during pregnancy?

Prunes! Prunes! Prunes!!! Sunsweet makes some delicious flavored ones and I try to eat them a few times a week to keep things moving freely! I also drink a ton of water, basically because I've always been a fan of eating my calories rather than drinking them, and since diet soda pop is out, I always have water in my hand! Good luck, everyone!

mungrrl |

Q&A: Constipation during pregnancy?

This is my first time having such a big problem with trying to go, ive tried colace, prune juice, more water, fruits and veggies, salads and milk of magnesia and so far nothing has helped, i don't know what to do im uncomfortable starting to feel sick because of it, i feel horrible, Anyone know of anything else?

H21eather |

Q&A: Constipation during pregnancy?

Did anyone experience pain in their abdomen because of constipation? I get these sharp little pin pricks of pain but whenever I am finally relieved, I don't feel them. Just hoping this is normal and not something I should be concerned about.

kelangel06 |

Q&A: Constipation during pregnancy?

I tried so many different things--not to mention that I eat a ton of fruit and veggies and very little meat! I tried: Metamucil, prune juice, lots of water...none of those worked! Then I had a bowl of yogurt and the little buggers in the yogurt helped me pass everything through. Ahh!

manresaclara |

Q&A: Constipation during pregnancy?

Kelangel - I was having those pains and went in to see the OB, it was def from the colon she said, even did an US to be sure!! Still working on my perfect food match to get me regular!!

Laydeebug578 |

Q&A: Constipation during pregnancy?

I was miserable this past Saturday when I started a BM and then couldn't push out (sounds disgusting - and it was). I was in pain (and in the bathroom) for 2 hours and finally called my doctor. I am increasing my water intake and eating more fruits and veggies... I NEVER want to go through that again.

tanad85 |

Q&A: Constipation during pregnancy?

Prune juice gets things going for me. It's awful tasting but I would rather taste prune juice for a few moments then be all stopped-up for longer!

DeviantMuse |

Q&A: Constipation during pregnancy?

I don't know about you guys but taking fiber in the stir in form or pill just isn't appealing to me. I eat Frosted Mini Wheats, fruits and veggies, milk, yogurt, and try to drink as much water as I can. Even though I still have setbacks, diet has really made a difference.

pezaholic |

Q&A: Constipation during pregnancy?

I am 15 weeks and I had bad constipation my Dr said to take metamucil wich I did bt I was completly blocked.. Yesterday I sat on the toilet for 4 hrs crying like a baby cause I couldnt go finaly my Ob said to use a supository wich worked but I pushedd so hard that I had a vaginal wall prolapse ,, I hurts so much so im keeping my fiber next to mecause they.told me no more pushing .. And now I have to wait till I givre birth to get that prolapse fixed.. :(

jenith05 |

Q&A: Constipation during pregnancy?

since finding out i was pregnant, i gave my diet a complete make over. i eat junky food still for lunch, but dinner is always accompanied by a salad and veggies. i have fruit snacks throughout the day, and i treat myself to a peanut butter treat also. nothing is working, i am more constipated than ever before. i have always had a high fiber diet and still only had bowel movements here and there. before i got pregnant, i was taking a laxative once a week to keep my regular. now it has just worsen.

tdc23 |

Q&A: Constipation during pregnancy?

OMG! Nothing is working....I have gone 12 days without going. There is no room at the inn. I can't eat much bc I feel full all the time. I am 34 weeks. I eat high fiber cereal and Activia with Fiber for breakfast, have a kiwi as a mid morning snack, eat a slice of high fiber wheat bread with peanut butter for lunch, have an apple for a mid after noon snack, and only eat veggies or a salad and a small amout of a meat for protien at dinner. I take metamucil in everything I can drink, I take a fiber gummy every morning. I drink like a gallon of water a day. Two days of eating prunes instead of the kiwi and apple yeilded nothing. Colace and milk of magnesia made me throw up! I'm out of options!!!! Any suggestions?

babyonthecheap |

Q&A: Constipation during pregnancy?

I had a horrible time for weeks, trying to force myself to eat prunes, drink prune juice, and even occasionally supplementing with a laxative. Nothing worked NEARLY as well as drinking about 12-16 cups of water a day AND sipping hot water twice a day. That has actually been very effective for me.

bromios |

Q&A: Constipation during pregnancy?

My MIL suggested hot water and lemon juice... here goes nothing!

mrsallieb |

Q&A: Constipation during pregnancy?

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watson012 |

Q&A: Constipation during pregnancy?

I am having this problem, I'm only 8 weeks and I look like I am 5 months! :( I have a very small BM every couple of days, but I know it's not right. I'm going to try the prune juice and tons of water. We'll see how this goes, I hope it helps =/

monjon_86 |

Q&A: Constipation during pregnancy?

Had this problem with my first pregnancy and now I am 6weeks and look 3months along! I am so uncomfortable and from what I remember nothing worked for me last time but time. Hoping lots of water and buying some metamucil will help. Just glad to know that my looking so big is probly from bot being table to really poop in weeks.

benjanina |

Q&A: Constipation during pregnancy?

6 weeks and same issues! Have always been regular, and was super bloated and gained several pounds in one week. Am convinced its the constipation. I already drink water (though not 8 glasses) and walk every other day, so I am going to try some of the remedies above and hope they work!

Brina182 |

Q&A: Constipation during pregnancy?

I am 7 weeks pregnant and in so much pain from not being able to go to the bathroom. i have tried fiber pills and laxatives. the laxatives helped however when it was time to go to the bathroom it would not come out... worst pain ever i had to use a enema just to get some relief. now i am back in the same situatution. i am going to try some of the thing that were said from about and hopefuly that will help!

Amber8469 |

Q&A: Constipation during pregnancy?

I'm 20 weeks pregnant and I've always had constipation and GI issues that doctors can't figure out. The only thing that works for me (and before pregnancy I'd tried EVERYthing) is having a coke in the morning. If I have one in the afternoon, it doesn't work the same. I stopped drinking Coke when I found out I was pregnant, but after suffering for quite some time, I finally asked my doctor, who said one Coke a day was fine and wouldn't hurt the baby. I don't know if this trick works for anyone else, but it works great for me. I had a week where I couldn't go to the bathroom for 6 days, so I'm happy to not question anything that works.

emmiandjames |

Q&A: Constipation during pregnancy?

I tried Metamucil, didn't work. Tried Milk of Magnesia, didn't work...or at least not to my level of patience. So, I went to the store and bought a box of Kashi cereal. Now THAT does the trick! I had a bowl in the morning, a bowl in the afternoon, and in the evening I had some Blue Bunny frozen yogurt and put a few pieces of Kashi on top. I went twice yesterday and again right away when I got up this morning! The benefit is, it's just food so you don't have to worry about stool softeners, etc. (even if they are category A).

courtneyfirst |

Q&A: Constipation during pregnancy?

My doc said it was perfectly fine to take milk of magnesia... Cleared me ALL THE WAY out! Just make sure you're drinking plenty of water with it!

missdee1435 |

Q&A: Constipation during pregnancy?

Handling Constipation I've taken a suppository, upped my fiber intake, drank prune juice, taken stool softeners, etc, and I have indeed made bowel movements, but the sharp, awful pains that make me feel like I have to go,and the pain of the gas rolling around are still here. They wake me up at night sometimes and all I can do is curl up until they pass. Is there anything I can do about this?

Dodger25 |

Q&A: Constipation during pregnancy?

A very simple solution against constipation is doing some home colonic irrigation. If you do it once in a week you will not be constipated again.

deanjohnson |

Q&A: Constipation during pregnancy?

Prune juice! It may not taste that great, but it really works.

mrshudnall |

Q&A: Constipation during pregnancy?

I love all the responses here. I'm 9 weeks pregnant, and I heard that this is the time your uterus is expanding, and you can have more constipation due to your bowels having to share space (add to that, my barely being able to hold anything down but bread for the past few weeks, and the bed rest... It was a bad constipation recipe waiting to happen.) I would try and have a bowel movement, feel it pushing out, but it was blocked. I would eventually give up out of frustration, and not wanting to push too hard. I was confused when I had a clean wipe, because it felt so much like something was there. This lasted for a couple of days. I know this sounds gross but I was desperate. I had previously dealt with my moms impacted colon, and saw how the nurse BY HAND had to unblock her. I didn't want to get like that. I took a mirror to the toilet to see if anything was poking out. I saw a little was, so I pressed on the sides of my sphincter on the skin all around to aid the big hard blockage to move with each push. It totally relived me. I know it's gross, but it's worse having to go to a hospital and having someone else clear the blockage. I am now diligent with my diet, now that I can stomach food. I hope this helps for the girls who are blocked and feel like they are ready to have a bowel movement but it just won't come on it's own - but it's right there trying to get out. Sorry for the TMI...

BowH00 |

Q&A: Constipation during pregnancy?

I have been so constipated during my second pregnancy that I broke down and bought fiber gummies. I know you should consult your doctor before taking a supplement, but I did it anyway. Well, it contains chicory root, which I know have read can cause miscarriage. WTF? This is a primary ingredient in Fiber One bars, too, which some women associate with having had a miscarriage. I'm not terrified that I will (8 weeks, with a great ultrasound 2 days ago). I've stopped taking them and am just going to drink my weight in water every day to help the problem. Why isn't there more out there about chicory root? Craziness.

eddswat |

Q&A: Constipation during pregnancy?

I was so constipated and took magnesium, fiber pills, Benefiber (you name it, I took it!) and drinking almost a gallon of water! Then I received a "mommy" bag from my OB/GYN with samples of prenatal vitamins. BINGO! Once I switched from the One A Day to Similac, I immediately got relief! My suggestion is to try some different vitamins. Good luck, Mommys!

KordsKokie |

constipation-during-pregnancy

Wow, this is so great, I mean knowing that you are not d only one goin tru this. I had constipation for a week. I found out I was blocked and couldn't pass out anything no matter how hard I pushed. Its really painful. In d end, I started drinking blended fruits(apple, oranges,pineapple etc),drinking more water(thou most of it come out as pee :|, ate metamucil wafers and I was able to use the toilet again, thou I had to wear gloves and force out the blocked ones with my finger(yeah gross).I have bEen fine since then. I will prob try wat you had mentioned to help cuz I want to avoid constipation @ all cost especially since I have had problems of hemorriods in the past.. Just hang in there. Its a phase..prayer also works..:)

atinuke1ng |

constipation-during-pregnancy

I went two weeks without going to the bathroom. I tried all of the above and nothing worked. I was about to go to the ER, when I remembered something that is used in the Lemonade Diet. A salt water flush! Two tsp of sea salt mixed with 32 oz of water. It is horrible to taste but drink up and feel the relief within 1-2 hours (sometimes faster)! I feel so much relief and hope you do too.

aaborst |

Q&A: Constipation during pregnancy?

wow thought I was thee only one. am 7weeks 2 days and am hurting from it as well. my doctor prescribed me to lactulose its a liquid syrup. am from the Bahamas so if u guys csn find this it helps. good luck mommies :)

babyjas13 |

Q&A: Constipation during pregnancy?

Drink a cup of decaf coffee or hot lemon water. Warm liquids help me.

Ashleynh5 |

Q&A: Constipation during pregnancy?

My mom works for an ostomy company so often advises patients on natural ways to soften stool. She gave me a commonly used recipe they call "power pudding" it consists of equal parts prune juice, unsweetened apple sauce and unprocessed Millers bran. Millers bran can be purchased at Natural foods stores, whole foods, etc. I use a 1/2 cup f each and keep in the fridge. You only need o eat a couple teaspoons as needed. The result is natural not like a laxative. I was miserable before I started this, now I am as regular as I was prior to my pregnancy. I highly recommend trying it. Make sure you drink lots of water too! Good luck!

goin720 |

Q&A: Constipation during pregnancy?

I eat a tiny bowl of raisin bran each night, without I'd be a wreck!

Ambbrio |

Q&A: Constipation during pregnancy?

oh my gosh,,....happened to me, and thought i was going to call 911...my doctor said take colace and or dolcalax on a regular basis...along with plenty of water and excercise

Whisperscloset |

Q&A: Constipation during pregnancy?

I take a stool softener twice a day. So far, so good.

rharvey1201 |

Q&A: Constipation during pregnancy?

I sympathize w/ all of you. I am now 25 weeks. This past weekend, I was constipated so bad, I didn't sleep for four days, couldn't sleep, sit, or stand, and could barely walk. I was near tears the whole time, and finally broke down at my appointment on Monday. It turned out, the pain was a combination of dehydration ( pretty bad) and constipation. He said I could do an enema treatment ( I chose Fleets), and to drink a TON of water, even more than is recommended. I also switched from One a Day prenatal( I suspect the iron in it was a contributing factor as I have been taking them from the beginning and have had trouble w/ constipation) to a prescription one w/ a stool softener. And.....so far things have been more regular. I also am trying to eat more fruits, especially apples, and salads. I was also told by the nurse pear juice is high in fiber. I can only speak for myself, but I have not had further problems,s for the past week. Good luck to all of you!

Kerstin2100 |

Q&A: Constipation during pregnancy?

100% cranberry juice - NOT cranberry juice cocktail - about 1/2 a cup mixed with a very big glass of water if you don't like the tartness. This takes several hours to work - but trust me, it works!

stephwilliams7 |

Q&A: Constipation during pregnancy?

I read but haven't tried it for natural relief Pregnancy POOP Cocktail Published July 6, 2012 Relieve constipation during pregnancy with this easy to make and very tasty little poop cocktail . Blend together 4 pitted stewed prunes ( soak prunes in water or apple juice over night ) 2 cups ( or more depending on thickness you desire ) of Apple juice 1 tablespoon of psyllium husk or bran ( if bran soak in apple juice or water until soft before blending ) 1 teaspoon of spirulina 1 teaspoon of flax seeds Drink an 8-12 oz glass of water right away after drinking … *You can also add less juice and make it more of a mush that you eat and if you want try heating up the juice and prunes

momma2adiva |

Q&A: Constipation during pregnancy?

I'm jumping on the Fiber One cereal bandwagon here. If I skip a day I regret it; if I have it as part of my (increasingly large) breakfast, I'm fine all day.

BanannaL |