It is estimated that one in five women get constipation during pregnancy, many of whom have never had constipation before. There are a variety of reasons for this.
Hormonal changes affect bowel movements. During pregnancy, the body produces more progesterone, which relaxes the muscles to allow the baby to grow. However, the wall of the intestine is made of muscle, too. As the progesterone makes it relax, it can become less efficient at moving along food and waste.
Many women take iron supplements during pregnancy which can also be a contributing factor to constipation. Tastes can change at this time and many women alter their diet. This change in eating habits can also affect bowel activity, particularly if it means a reduction in fibre-rich foods.
The growing baby puts pressure on the bowel, while the discomfort of its weight and general tiredness may lead to a lack of exercise. Both can slow down bowel movements.
Even after pregnancy, some 29% of women continue to get constipation.
- A simple way to help maintain regularity is by taking Senokot Hi-Fibre which is also suitable for use during pregnancy. Senokot Hi-Fibre granules are dissolved in a glass of water and just one sachet in the morning and one at night gives one third of the recommended daily amount of fibre. As a convenient drink, it’s easy to take and speeds up the passage of waste through the bowel the passage of waste through the bowel (contains ispaghula husk – always read the label and consult a doctor before using any medicines in pregnancy).
- Senokot Tablets contain senna, a natural plant extract which works by stimulating the bowel in a similar way to figs and prunes (always read the label). Always consult a doctor before using any medicines in pregnancy.
For more information go to the ConstipationAdvice.co.uk website.