As the hormone progesterone increases in your body, your digestion slows down. Plus, you're probably getting extra iron in your prenatal vitamins. Together, these increase your risk of constipation. What's more, constipation contributes to hemorrhoids -- another not-so-pleasant perk of pregnancy. While your body shifts gears to focus its energy on your baby, give it a helping hand. Eat a high-fiber diet and drink a lot of water to ease pregnancy constipation.
Call Doctor If:
- Constipation is causing you to have abdominal pain or rectal bleeding.
- You are considering a stool softener. Don't take laxatives without your doctor's OK.
- Iron supplements are contributing to constipation. Your doctor may be able to recommend a different iron supplement.
- Drink plenty of liquids throughout the day.
- Gradually eat more foods with fiber: Fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
- With your doctor's OK, get at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day. Walking and swimming are activities that are gentle on your pregnant body.