Constipation during pregnancy

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Gastro

Constipation

Constipation during pregnancy

If you’re a Mum-to-be and you think you might be constipated, you’re not alone. Up to 40% of women can experience symptoms at some point during pregnancy. Constipation can also affect new Mums, with almost 1 in 4 still experiencing constipation three months after their baby has been born.15

There are many reasons why constipation is common during pregnancy:

  • Changes in hormone levels during pregnancy can slow the natural movement of the gut, and reduce the water content of the stools, making them hard to pass5,16
  • The presence of the baby in your tummy may also increase the possibility of constipation5
  • Reduced exercise or ‘bed rest’ may increase the risk of constipation31
  • Not eating enough fiber16
  • Not drinking enough fluid16
  • Some supplements taken in pregnancy such as iron tablets, can cause constipation15

DID YOU KNOW?

Almost 1 in 4 new Mums still suffer from constipation three months after their baby has been born.15

References
5. Cullen G, O’Donoghue D. Constipation and pregnancy. Best Pract Res Clin Gastroenterol 2007; 21(5): 807-18
15. Bradley CS, Kennedy CM, Turcea AM et al. Constipation in pregnancy: prevalence, symptoms and risk factors. Obstet Gynecol 2007; 110(6): 1351-7.
16. Body C, Christie JA. Gastrointestinal Diseases in Pregnancy: Nausea, Vomiting, Hyperemesis Gravidarum, Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, Constipation, and Diarrhea. Gastroenterol Clin N Am. 2016;45(2):267-83
31. Padhy SK, Sahoo S, Mahajan S et al. Irritable bowel syndrome: Is it “irritable brain” or “irritable bowel”?. J Neurosci Rural Pract. 2015 Oct-Dec; 6(4): 568–577.