Constipation can be a real pain in the butt during pregnancy, more so than at other times! It’s incredibly common with greater than half of all expectant mothers reporting the condition. Pregnancy hormones relax the muscles that surround the gastrointestinal tract and this in turn means that your food takes longer to pass through your digestive tract. The end result is constipation. Also, many women feel quite ill with morning sickness and as such, don’t feel like eating as per normal. Ingesting less dietary fiber than usual is bound to have a negative effect. Another contributing factor is iron pills that your doctor may prescribe to keep your iron levels adequate. These are renowned for causing constipation. Consider also that your growing baby will restrict the space that your organs have inside of you to do their job.
There are things you must and mustn’t do to prevent constipation during pregnancy.
Remember to drink plenty of fluids to help flush out the waste products from your digestive system. When you’re pregnant, your body’s need for fluids increases. Make sure you get plenty of exercise to keep your body’s systems firing on all cylinders. Exercise is wonderfully beneficial in maintaining all your systems in excellent working order. It helps with circulation, digestion, cardiac health and definitely works to improve state of mind.
Eat plenty of fiber-rich foods; that means lots of fruit (fresh or dried) and vegetables, plus whole grain breads and cereals.
Never postpone going to the bathroom for a bowel movement. Always go whenever possible because the longer you hold out, the more chance of constipation catching up with you. Passing stools is your body’s way of clearing out all those waste products; you certainly don’t need them clogging up your insides, and especially when you have enough going on in there!
If you really find yourself struggling with constipation, you must consult your doctor before taking any kind of laxative. The makers of Dulcolax say that the product has been used for a long period of time and in that time, there has been no evidence of undesirable or damaging effects during pregnancy.
Dulcolax is a stimulant laxative. It encourages peristalsis, which is the contraction of the colon to pass waste products out of the body.
Dulcolax should not be taken within one hour of drinking milk or taking an antacid because these substances degrade the coating on the outside of the tablets which protects the tablets from dissolving until they reach the colon.
As with any medication, be aware and informed about what you’re taking, most particularly during pregnancy.