Constipation in pregnant women: what to do?
Do you suffer from constipation, just like 50% of pregnant women? Don’t worry, there are many solutions compatible with pregnancy that can help relieve transit disorders. Changing your diet is often enough to notice an improvement.
Constipation and pregnancy: What medical treatments can be used?
For safety, you should avoid self-medication throughout your pregnancy. As such, avoid directly resorting to laxatives as several are not recommended for pregnant women. Stimulant laxatives in particular can cause abdominal cramps, dependency and even irritable bowel syndrome… It’s best to check with your doctor. If necessary, your doctor will be able to prescribe a mild laxative that has been shown to be safe (for both you and your baby).
Constipation and pregnancy: What natural remedies can be used?
Essential oils, herbal teas... There are many natural remedies available on the market. However, bear in mind that “natural” does not necessarily mean “without risk”. In reality, many plants and essential oils are not recommended throughout pregnancy or during parts of it. For example , pregnant women can drink artichoke herbal tea to regulate their bowel movements. It’s all the more beneficial given that artichokes are a good source of vitamin B9, which is essential to the baby’s development. By contrast, buckthorn and rhubarb infusions should be avoided. When in doubt, consult a doctor or pharmacist.
Constipation during pregnancy: What to do from a dietary point of view?
To relieve and prevent constipation during pregnancy, you should:
• Drink plenty of water (at least 1.5 litres per day)
• Eat a balanced, varied and high-fibre diet.
To get enough fibre, which is good for your intestinal transit, prioritise fresh fruit, dried fruit, greens, legumes (e.g. lentils) and whole grains in your diet. Prunes in particular are among the best laxative foods.
You can also use plant-based laxatives, such as OptiFibre®. It is composed of partially hydrolysed guar gum that helps supplement your fibre intake. Tasteless and odourless, it goes unnoticed in yoghurt, soups and smoothies. Moreover, it is safe to consume during pregnancy and breastfeeding. However, be sure to follow the product’s directions for use and your doctor’s recommendations.
Extra tip: In addition to dietary changes, do prenatal yoga, sophrology exercises or a “gentle” sport (e.g. swimming) to stimulate bowel movements.