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Constipation in Pregnancy

Are you feeling a bit blocked up, gassy or struggling to pass a bowel motion during pregnancy?

40% of all pregnant women will experience constipation at some point during pregnancy. A painful poo is never nice to do, even when you are not pregnant! Avoiding straining at this point in the motherhood journey is very important, so to not overload the pelvic organs and the pelvic floor. We don’t want those haemorrhoids to rear their ugly heads!


Why do you get constipated during pregnancy?

The most common causes of constipation during pregnancy are due to iron supplements, the growing uterus that compresses the bowel and slow gut transit from the pregnancy hormone progesterone.


What can I do about constipation when I’m pregnant?
  • Drink at least 1.5L of water or clear fluid during the day
  • Ensure that you eat an adequate amount of fruits, vegetables and wholegrain fibres
  • Exercise at least 30min a day
  • Resist refined food, it can tend to back you up (e.g.white bread, pasta)
  • If you are still constipated even after following these steps speak to your doctor or midwife about some fibre supplements to help with your constipation


How to complete a bowel motion without straining…

It is essential that when you complete a bowel motion you avoid straining!

Straining on the toilet puts extra pressure on the pelvic floor and over time can lead to weakening of the connective tissue and muscles and could lead to pelvic floor dysfunction.


Steps to the perfect pregnancy poo…

  1. Sit feet shoulder width apart. Place feet on a footstool so that your knees are higher than your hips.
  2. Lean forward and relax your forearms onto your thighs.
  3. Relax your tummy and let it hang out!
  4. Take a breath in and relax/bulge your tummy out and at the same time breathe out slowly making a mooooo sound or a shhhhhh sound to allow the stool to pass. Make sure your pelvic floor and anus is completely relaxed as you breath out the stool.
  5. Repeat steps 2-5 until you have completely emptied your bowels.

Don’t put up with a painful poo or a poo that is hard to do! Best get onto it asap, so that the bowels are in tip top shape before going into labour. Good luck and power to the poo that is soft, silky and slides on out with no fuss at all!

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