Pregnancy constipation: What to do at home?


Pregnancy constipation

Pregnancy constipation: what to do at home?

Penetration is the state in which the normal bowel emptying is disturbed. More than 70% of all pregnant women complain about the discomfort caused by stooling. Why constipation during pregnancy and how to cope with it?

Norm and pathology

Based on WHO criteria, it is considered normal for the intestine to be empty 3 times a day to 3 times a week. A decrease in the frequency of defecation is called constipation.

A difficult removal of faeces, even when the intestines are regularly emptied, also falls under constipation.

Defecation problems are accompanied by abdominal pain and other unpleasant symptoms associated with fecal pressure.

The World Health Organization considers constipation to be an independent disease. This pathology is awarded a separate code in the International Classification of Diseases. Russian gastroenterologists hold a different opinion.

They believe that constipation is not an independent disease, but only a symptom of digestive problems. The World Organization of Gastroenterologists also adheres to this version.

Find out the exact cause of constipation and decide on the treatment after a complete examination of the patient.


Normally developing pregnancy itself is the cause of constipation. The following processes in the body lead to such a problem:

Hormone changes

In the first few weeks after conception, a woman's body undergoes significant hormonal changes.

For a favorable foetal hatching, it is necessary to increase the level of progesterone, one of the key female hormones.

Against the background of increased synthesis of progesterone, the myometric tonus is reduced – all to ensure that the fertilized egg is well fixed in the uterus. Without these processes it would be simply impossible to carry the fetus.

The problem is that progesterone doesn't work only on myometrics. Decrease in muscle tone is observed both in the pelvic organs and in the structures of the digestive tract. Decreases intestinal activity, slows down the progress of food, worsens peristalsis. Constipation is the natural result of high levels of progesterone in a pregnant woman's body.

Low motor activity

With the onset of pregnancy, many women experience drowsiness and loss of strength. Toxicosis is a typical complication of the first trimester of pregnancy.

This condition is considered to be perfectly normal for the expectant mother, but does not affect her well. Low levels of motor activity can lead to slower bowel movement and constipation.

This condition is often accompanied by nutritional errors (especially at late gestational ages).

International nutrition

These products can cause constipation:

  • multi>multiple products (made of flour);
  • meat;
  • ris;
  • pasta;
  • meat and canned fish;
  • bananas and some other fruits;
  • potatoes;
  • vorog;
  • cheese;
  • kefir, milk and yoghurt (with frequent use due to high casein content);
  • caffeine.

All these products slow down intestinal peristalsis and disrupt its normal emptying, which leads to constipation.

Lack of fluid

Lack of fluid is another common cause of constipation. The problem occurs mainly in late pregnancy, in the development of edema. In an attempt to get rid of swelling, many women limit the use of water, which violates the intestinal peristalsis. In normal kidney function, pregnant women are advised to drink at least 1.5 litres of liquid per day.

Pelvic organ displacement

After 12 weeks, the uterus goes beyond the bone arch and presses the abdominal organs with all its weight. The baby grows up, and the uterus gradually displaces the intestine, taking up all the free space.

In these conditions, the full functioning of the intestine is not possible. Constipation, heartburn, belching, meteorism, and other unpleasant symptoms occur.

A marked discomfort occurs after 28 weeks of pregnancy.

Moving fetus

In the last weeks before delivery, the fetal head falls into the small pelvis, squeezing the rectum and adjacent organs. Constipation during this period becomes prolonged, persistent and often accompanied by pain in the umbilical cord region and lower abdominal areas.

Gut pathology

Latching occurs in some diseases of the digestive tract:

  • Chronic colitis;
  • pathology of the gallbladder;
  • hemorrhoids;
  • anal cracks;
  • irritable bowel syndrome;
  • anomalies of colon development;
  • tumors.

Explain the cause of constipation only after examination by a gastroenterologist.

Taking medicines

Some medicines (iron-containing anemia, calcium, etc.) slow down intestinal peristalsis and cause constipation. In case of undesirable side effects, you should stop taking the medicine and see a doctor.


Acute constipation is the absence of independent defecation for 3 days or more.

This condition can be caused by intestinal obstruction due to tumor constriction, trauma or abdominal inflammation.

Acute constipation occurs after childbirth, especially during caesarean section surgery. If no bowel emptying has been achieved within 3-4 days, it is necessary to consult a doctor.

The Roman criteria are applied for the diagnosis of chronic constipation:

  • rare defecations (less than 3 times a week);
  • hard stool;
  • strong naturopathy for bowel emptying;
  • sensation of incomplete bowel emptying;
  • sensation of the block in the anorectal region.

The occurrence of two or more of the symptoms on the list more often than every fourth defecation indicates the occurrence of chronic constipation.

Penetration during pregnancy may be accompanied by other symptoms:

  • blood pain in the umbilical cord region;
  • stomach severity;
  • stomach blowing;
  • meteorism;
  • burn.

In persistent constipation, the general condition of the woman deteriorates, there is weakness and apathy. Prolonged presence of faeces in the intestine can lead to intoxication and inflammation in the abdomen.

Complications of pregnancy and consequences for the fetus

Systematic constipation results in the accumulation of faeces in the intestinal lumen, which can lead to infection and inflammation. In the future, this condition provokes serious complications:

  • intestinal dysbiosis;
  • violation of normal vaginal microflora;
  • inflammatory diseases of the pelvic organs;
  • general intoxication of the body.

In case of infection in the uterine cavity, the placenta and fetus may become infected. At an early stage, intrauterine infection can lead to congenital malformations and miscarriages, and at a late stage it can cause premature births. Infection of the placenta prevents its normal functioning, which leads to the development of placental insufficiency and concomitant hypoxia of the fetus.

Long-term constipation at late gestational ages can lead to increased uterine tone and, in itself, cause premature birth. In the accumulation of faeces in the intestines, births do not always go well. Slowdown of labor activity and prolongation of the first period of labor is possible.

Treatment methods

Short-stop constipation is possible at home. If all recommendations are followed, it is possible to get rid of the problem quickly enough and prevent the development of a relapse. If the woman's condition does not improve, it is necessary to consult a doctor. In some intestinal diseases, you can't do without the help of a specialist.


Containment treatment begins with a change in diet. To improve bowel emptying, the table of the expectant mother must have the following products:

  • porridge: Wheat, pearl, buckwheat;
  • brush bread made of flour;
  • fermented milk products (in moderate quantities);
  • fruits: apples, apricots, peaches, melon;
  • vegetables: beetroot, carrot, broccoli, cauliflower, colored and white-fronted cabbage, pumpkin, turnip, radish, zucchini, cucumbers;
  • green;
  • berries: cherry, cherry, red currant, honey.

Vegetables and fruits can be consumed fresh, baked or boiled. Berries can be used to make morsels and compotes.

The following products are restricted for constipation:

  • strong tea and coffee;
  • soups on strong meat broths;
  • fatty meats and fish;
  • /li>

  • white bread;
  • ris;
  • pastacara;
  • hard cheese;
  • fruits: bananas, pears, quince, pomegranate;
  • berries: hawthorn, blackcurrant, blueberry;
  • vegetables: potatoes;
  • beans;
  • Greek nuts.

To fix the effect and improve intestinal function, it is recommended to drink 1.5-2 liters of liquid per day. Both simple water and all drinks (tea, mors, compote juice) as well as soups are counted. In some kidney diseases, the volume of fluid is reduced to 1 liter per day.

In most cases of dieting is enough to facilitate bowel emptying and to get rid of constipation during pregnancy. If the change in diet does not have the desired effect, it is necessary to consult a physician to select a drug therapy.

Motor activity

Motor activity

Motor constipation during pregnancy helps to increase motor activity. The expectant mother can sign up for special classes for pregnant women (yoga, gymnastics).

Training is allowed from 14 weeks in good health. Outdoor walks, walking, swimming, etc. will benefit.

Regular load on the body will help the intestines to function in a full-fledged mode and prevent the appearance of constipation.

Medicinal therapy

Vegetable drugs are given priority during pregnancy. Such means act slowly but carefully, allowing the intestines to gradually return to the full-fledged mode. The effect of most herbal preparations comes after 2-3 days. Before taking the medicine, it is necessary to read the instructions and consult a doctor.

Constipation drugs allowed during pregnancy:

  • Duphalak;
  • Defenorm;
  • Mucofalc;
  • Forlax;
  • Phytomucil;
  • Guttalax and others.

Pregnant women are prohibited from using magnesium sulfate, castor oil and senna. These drugs can lead to increased uterine tone and other complications of pregnancy.

The microlactic enema are very popular during pregnancy. The drug is injected into the rectum. The effect comes after 5-15 minutes. Against the background of application of the drug, faeces are softened, intestinal peristalsis is activated and the process of defecation is facilitated. Microclysters can be used for prenatal and post-natal intestinal cleansing.

People's drugs

People's drugs

In case of constipation during pregnancy, folk medicine can be avoided in mild cases. The following products have a good effect:

  • mixture of apricots and prunes (in the ratio of 1:1);
  • conversion of prunes and beetroot (in equal proportions);
  • dry fibre (mixture of pumpkin seeds, bran and germinated wheat);
  • decoction of figs in water or milk (2 tablespoons per 1 cup of liquid);
  • Milk with honey (1 tablespoon of honey per 1 cup of milk);
  • Vegetable oil.


Rarely do any pregnant women manage to avoid constipation. This condition occurs in 70% of all expectant mothers and is considered to be common at late gestation periods. The following recommendations will help reduce the risk of constipation:

  1. Rational nutrition throughout pregnancy.
  2. Optimal all-day fluid intake.
  3. Motor activity (taking into account the duration of pregnancy).
  4. Prescribing medication only.
  5. Time treatment of any intestinal disorder.

If the bowel is emptied, treatment should begin as soon as possible. The sooner the problem is solved, the easier it will be to cope with the consequences of constipation and prevent the development of complications during pregnancy.

Physician-gynecologist Ekaterina Sibileva


How to get rid of constipation during pregnancy: candles, foods, folk remedies

Constipation during pregnancy:

Only one in two expectant mothers complaining about emptying their intestines. Constipation during pregnancy causes changes in the hormonal status, the situation is aggravated by eating errors and reduced motor activity. The problem can be solved by dieting. In complicated cases, women are prescribed laxatives that do not affect the course of pregnancy.

When constipation can be said to occur in pregnancy

The normal defecation rate in an adult is between 3 times a day and 3 times a week. If a woman consumes normal amounts of food and the bowel has not been emptied for more than 3 days, and it is still not possible to go to the toilet, we can talk about constipation.

The option of constipation is too small a quantity of faeces, which comes out with significant nudity. The kal looks like a hard, excessively dry mass, no relief after defecation. Often, a feeling of defective colon emptiness is accompanied by abdominal pain and severity, gases.

Long-term (more than 5 days) constipation leads to intoxication of the mother and baby at early and late stages of pregnancy. She shows nausea, apathy, drowsiness, loss of appetite. Anus can be painful due to local inflammation, hemorrhoids, cracks. Blood sometimes appears in the feces.

Chronic constipation during pregnancy is considered periodic (at least once a week) difficulties in defecation, long emptying, even if the result is successful. Treatment should begin at this stage, as the problem is progressing rapidly and after a couple of days there is a risk of acute constipation, that is, the complete absence of stools for a few days.

Cause of constipation during pregnancy

Risk of constipation during pregnancy higher in women who have had this problem before, have irritable bowel syndrome, or have been forced to dramatically change their lifestyle and eating habits, for example, due to toxicosis or the threat of termination of pregnancy.

Single constipation can be removed with medication. Repeated constipation can only be dealt with by removing the cause of the constipation. At the beginning of pregnancy and at a late stage, the causes of defecation problems are different.

Early exposure

The main reason for early constipation is the rapid change in hormone levels. Progesterone promotes uterine growth, its relaxation, prevents rejection of the embryo. The side effect of this hormone is relaxation, or atony, and in other parts of the body: vessels, gastrointestinal tract.

In pregnancy, there is a high risk of circulatory disturbances in the pelvis due to compression of the uterine vessels. It's a dangerous condition for the development of hemorrhoids. Atony under the influence of progesterone can be considered as protection of the body from this problem. On the other hand, atony slows down digestion and excretion.

Progesterone begins to grow immediately after conception, even before menstruation is delayed. Interestingly, folk signs consider constipation as a sign of pregnancy, as well as drowsiness and swelling of the breast. They are all right: all these symptoms are caused by hormonal rearrangement.

Deterioration of intestinal motor skills during pregnancy also contributes to:

  1. Slight decline in activity. If there is a lack of movement, the intestinal activity decreases and the abdominal wall muscles lose their tone.
  2. Anemia. If a reduced hemoglobin is diagnosed at the time of registration, the woman is prescribed iron medications, most of which constipation is a side effect. Refusing to take these drugs can be dangerous, as the child will experience oxygen deprivation. In addition, untreated anemia itself is one of the reasons for constipation in the first trimester of pregnancy.
  3. The need for bed rest due to the high risk of miscarriage. The bowel motor slows down in the
  4. In hospital. Failure to empty in time, uncomfortable toilet, constant exposure to people, stress – all these factors provoke constipation during pregnancy.
  5. Toxicosis at an early stage leads to constipation. It develops when the digestive system is not able to digest properly: insufficient liquids, small amounts of food, coarse food shortages.

Late in life

p>In 3 trimester, the above reasons for constipation are supplemented by uterine pressure on the internal organs and vessels. The stomach moves up and back, the pressure in it increases and the tone decreases even further. In these conditions, all digestive problems, including constipation, become more acute.

If a woman has severe swelling, she may limit daily fluid intake or take diuretics, which leads to dehydration and additional difficulties in defecation.

Motor activity of the woman is even lower during childbirth, the head of the child squeezes the intestine through the uterus. In addition to these factors, stool retention is exacerbated by prenatal anxiety.

What is the danger of constipation during pregnancy

To put up with periodic constipation during pregnancy means to condemn yourself and your baby to a number of unpleasant consequences:

  1. In digested food remains bacteria actively reproduce, which can lead to inflammatory processes in the gastrointestinal tract and genitals.
  2. Long stool delay leads to intoxication of the mother. Toxins also penetrate the baby's bloodstream from the mother's blood.
  3. In case of severe constipation, you have to push for a long time, which can lead to premature rupture of the bladder.
  4. In case of untimely excretion of faeces, the intestinal microflora is disturbed, and therefore the entire digestive process. At the same time, the appetite is getting worse. As a result, the woman ceases to receive the same amount of nutrients.
  5. Pure nesting significantly increases the risk of hemorrhoids and anal fissures.

What to do and how to get rid of constipation

Fixing a defecation problem is often only possible with a diet correction. Products that eliminate constipation can be used extensively during pregnancy. The use of drugs is limited, as for many of them pregnancy is a contraindication to taking them.

Application of medicines

Pregnancy is a key requirement for laxatives to be safe. Only products with a soft action are allowed, which allow to bring the consistency of the feces closer to normal, thus facilitating its removal. The drugs of choice are drugs with osmotic action:

ActiveOperative principleTrademarks/strong>
Oral LactuloseLactulose is a polysaccharide that is not absorbed in the intestine. It induces fluid into the intestine, which changes the consistency of the faeces and helps to eliminate them. Lactulose creates an acidic environment in the large intestine that prevents the propagation of pathogenic flora.Lactulose, Evikt, Dufalak, Goodluck.
Macrole orally or as a microclimate Other name – polyethylene glycol, PEG. These polymers are considered to be completely safe for ingestion, causing almost no allergies and no effect on pregnancy. Macrogol isn't digestible. Like lactulose, it holds water, liquefies faeces. There is no irritating effect on the intestine.Lavacol, Osmogol, Microlax, Tranzipeg, Forlax.
Glycerol suppositoryIn local use (glycerol candles) has a mild irritant effect, lubricating effect, helps soften feces.Glycerin candles, Glycelax.

Buckthorn candles can be used to eliminate rectal inflammation after constipation. They accelerate the healing of minor mucosal damage, can be prescribed for hemorrhoids, cracks. Use in pregnancy is completely safe.

Containment rules

The first thing to correct for constipation is water consumption. Minimum for pregnant women is 1.5 litres, excluding liquids in products. It is advisable to drink a glass of warm water with lemon before each meal. Mineral water will also be useful. Drinks with diuretic effect should be excluded. These include coffee and tea, including green tea.

The measures to prevent chronic constipation during pregnancy also include:

Nutritional regimeDetailed. The daily ration is divided into at least five meals. Dinner should be no later than 2 hours before bedtime.
Food temperatureProducts should be neither cold nor excessively hot.
Slowly digestible foodsProtein-rich foods and other heavy foods are eaten in the morning.
FiberTo remove constipation will help to consume enough fiber products: vegetables (especially greens and cabbage), cereals, black bread. They're increasing the amount of feces. During pregnancy of vegetables and fruits per day it is necessary not less than 600 g, mainly in a fresh kind.
Fermented milk drinksStimulate intestinal motility, normalize its microflora. A glass of sour milk or kefir before bedtime is the best way to get rid of pregnancy constipation without using drugs. To enhance the effect in kefir you can add a spoon of any vegetable oil.
Laxative productsNatural laxatives contain plums and prunes, apricots and apricots, peaches, nectarines, figs. Prunes are used for constipation during pregnancy more often than others, as it produces the strongest laxative effect. When pregnant, you can use it in its natural form (up to 10 pieces a day), and in the form of mashed potatoes or broths. A good remedy for constipation – seaweed. It is added to vegetable and meat dishes.

Undesirable products when constipated during pregnancy: all viscous and wiped dishes (kissels, mashed potatoes, boiled rice and pasta, manca), food with tannin (tea, blueberry, cocoa, persimmon, cherry), mushrooms, whole milk. Products that enhance gas production (legumes, apples and grapes) will also have to be temporarily excluded.

What kind of exercise can help

Emportant tool for preventing constipation during pregnancy – active movement. The most useful are long walks, cycling simulator, swimming and aqua aerobics. Yoga and pilates for pregnant women also have a good effect. Classes should improve the tone of the body, strengthen the abdominal wall, but do not lead to fatigue.

Pregnancy constipation exercises:

  • pull>
  • pull abdominal relaxation in standing position;
  • very slow squats. At a later date, they should be abandoned or carried out by holding the wall;
  • Lifting the hips in the lying position, the legs are bent. The body is held on its feet and blades;
  • lying on the back, the legs are bent, and the knees are moved sideways;
  • movement of the legs in the lying position: circular (bicycle) or oncoming (scissors);
  • walking with the knees raised.

All these exercises are prohibited if there is a risk of not carrying a pregnancy.

People's constipation aids

Some people's aids are safe but quite effective. In 2/3 of women, they help to avoid the use of drugs. What to do at home to get rid of constipation:

  1. Laxative breakfast: brew oat flakes, add cubes of boiled beetroot, soaked and finely chopped prunes.
  2. Semyon plantain grind into powder. Take in raw form: half a teaspoon before each meal, drinking water. Already shredded seeds are sold as psillium or isphagulas. It has been established that this product does not affect the course of pregnancy, so it can be used for a long time.
  3. Otvar of plantain seeds. Pour half a glass of seeds into a glass of water. To spend an hour on low heat under the lid. Drink 50 g before meals.
  4. Flax seed can be consumed in kind during pregnancy. Every morning, they eat 1 tablespoon, chewing it up. They can also be added to fermented milk drinks, salads, porridge. Recipe with kefir: add a teaspoon of ground seeds to the glass and leave it for half an hour for swelling.
  5. The broth of flax seeds is a stronger remedy for constipation. Boil a tablespoon of seeds in a liter of boiling water for 1 hour, stirring regularly. You can drink up to four glasses of that kind of broth a day. Seeds of plantain and flax have a mild, rather slow effect. Cleaning of the intestines during pregnancy occurs 1-2 days after the start of treatment. For the best effect, they are consumed with a large volume of water.
  6. Full prunes. In the evening put 100 g of prunes into the thermos, pour 2 glasses of boiling water, insist until morning. During this day, the infusion is completely drunk and the steamed plums are eaten.

For the normalization of stools at constipation, one of the above recipes is chosen

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