If you’re having toilet troubles, you’re in good company – one in four pregnant women will find it tough to clear their bowels at some point during their pregnancy. And it’s all to do with those attention seeking hormones giving your nether regions grief.
Why am I so bloated and constipated?
It’s really common to feel bloated, gassy and blocked up during early pregnancy. The increased progesterone hormone floating around your system is relaxing the muscles along your bowel. This is great news, your body is starting to accommodate for bub, but it’s also making your bowels a little sluggish. And when food stays in your intestines for a long time it loses water, making your number twos harder to pass.
These same changes also cause increased wind and even make it a little painful to pass gas (that’s just a fancy way of saying fart!). Usually, constipation is to blame for increased wind, so tackle the constipation first and you should see a decrease in the amount of wind.
Taking iron supplements can also cause constipation, so talk to your doctor if this relates to you.
How can I treat constipation?
- Make sure you eat heaps of fibre – things like whole grains, fresh fruit and vegetables
- Drink plenty of water (at least double what you currently are)
- Eat several smaller meals rather than one big one
- Go for a long walk
- Drink lemon and hot water to help with the wind
- Stay clear of gas producers: onions, cabbage, fried foods, sugary sweets (sorry!)
- Don’t rush when you’re on the toilet, take your time
- Talk to your doctor or midwife about prescribing a stool softener
Constipation in pregnancy is very common and something that shouldn’t be left untreated. Constant straining while on the toilet can lead to another common pregnancy condition, haemorrhoids. But we’ll leave that for another article.