Early Pregnancy Constipation: Why It Happens And How To Find Relief

  • Home
  • /
  • Blog
  • /
  • Early Pregnancy Constipation: Why It Happens And How To Find Relief
Is White Cheddar Cheese Healthy? A Nutritional Breakdown

Are you in the early stages of pregnancy and struggling with constipation? You are not alone.

Constipation is a common yet often overlooked issue that affects many women during their first trimester. It’s one of those unspoken realities of pregnancy that can cause discomfort and stress, but why does it happen, and what can be done about it?

Hormonal changes, dietary shifts, and physical adjustments in your body during early pregnancy can all contribute to this uncomfortable condition. If left untreated, it can lead to complications such as hemorrhoids or anal fissures, making an already challenging time even more difficult.

But here’s the good news: understanding and addressing constipation early on can significantly improve your pregnancy experience. Not only can it alleviate discomfort, but it can also reduce risks for certain health problems for both you and your baby.

In this blog post, we will delve into the ‘why’ behind early pregnancy constipation and, most importantly, provide clear, well-researched strategies for finding relief. We’ll explore everything from dietary tips and lifestyle changes to safe, effective products to ease your symptoms.

So, if you’re ready to find relief and make your journey through early pregnancy a bit smoother, read on. Let’s tackle this together!

Why Constipation is Common in Early Pregnancy

Feeling a bit ‘backed up’ during the early stages of pregnancy? It’s not just you. Constipation is a common occurrence for many women in their first trimester. But why does this happen?

The primary culprit behind constipation in early pregnancy is hormones—specifically, an increase in progesterone. This hormone helps to relax your muscles and prepare your body for pregnancy. However, it also slows down your digestive system, leading to constipation.

In addition, dietary changes can contribute to constipation. Iron supplements, often recommended during pregnancy to prevent anemia, can exacerbate constipation. On the other hand, a fiber-rich diet can help alleviate constipation, but many women struggle to get enough fiber during pregnancy.

Physical changes in your body can also play a role. As your uterus expands, it can pressure your intestines, further slowing digestion.

Here’s a quick breakdown of why constipation is common in early pregnancy:

  1. Hormonal shifts: An increase in progesterone slows down digestion.
  2. Dietary changes: Iron supplements can worsen constipation, while lack of fiber can lead to it.
  3. Physical changes: The expanding uterus can put pressure on the intestines.

Don’t worry, though. While constipation can be uncomfortable, there are numerous ways to manage it and find relief.

Common Remedies for Constipation During Pregnancy

Constipation during pregnancy can be an uncomfortable experience, but don’t worry; it’s a common issue, and there are plenty of remedies to help you find relief.

Here are some tried-and-true methods that can help ease your symptoms:

  1. Increase Fiber Intake: Consuming 25 to 30 grams of fiber-rich foods daily can help ensure softer stools. Add raspberries, apples, bananas, figs, strawberries, and sweet corn to your diet.
  2. Stay Hydrated: Drinking plenty of fluids is crucial when increasing fiber intake. Aim for 10 to 12 cups of fluids daily.
  3. Regular Exercise: Staying active can stimulate your intestines and speed up digestion.
  4. Try Stool Softeners: Docusate (Colace) is a commonly recommended stool softener during pregnancy.
  5. Consider Over-the-Counter Treatments: Fibercon (calcium polycarbophil), Metamucil (psyllium), Milk of Magnesia (magnesium hydroxide), and Miralax (polyethylene) are all safe options for pregnant women.
  6. Prune Juice: If you’re dealing with a particularly tough case of constipation, it can provide some relief as it acts as a mild laxative.

Remember, it’s always a good idea to discuss any new treatment with your healthcare provider. Everybody is unique, and what works best for you will depend on your specific needs and circumstances. With the right approach, you can effectively manage constipation during pregnancy and focus on the joy of this special time.

The Benefits of Managing Constipation Effectively

Are you feeling a bit ‘blocked up’? You’re not alone. Constipation is a common condition that many people experience, but don’t worry – managing it effectively can significantly improve your quality of life. But what are the benefits of doing so?

Firstly, effective management of constipation can bring immediate physical relief. It can alleviate discomfort, bloating, and pain associated with this condition. No more feeling sluggish or dealing with persistent abdominal discomfort!

Secondly, it can prevent complications such as hemorrhoids or anal fissures, which can occur due to straining during bowel movements.

Thirdly, managing constipation effectively can also have a positive impact on your mental health. It can reduce anxiety or stress related to irregular bowel movements.

Here are some strategies for managing constipation effectively:

  1. Increase Fiber Intake: A diet high in fiber can help soften your stool and make it easier to pass.
  2. Hydrate: Drinking plenty of fluids can aid digestion.
  3. Regular Exercise: Physical activity can stimulate your intestines and speed up digestion.
  4. Consider Medication: Certain medications like polyethylene glycol, sodium picosulfate, or emollient laxatives can be effective for chronic constipation.

Simple, Actionable Steps for Managing Early Pregnancy Constipation

Let’s dive into some simple, actionable steps to help you manage it effectively.

  1. Boost Your Fiber: Foods high in fiber can help soften your stool, making it easier to pass.
  2. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate: Drinking plenty of fluids aids digestion.
  3. Get Moving: Regular light exercise, like walking or prenatal yoga, can stimulate your intestines.
  4. Embrace Prunes: Prunes are a natural laxative and can be a great addition to your diet.
  5. Consider Safe Medications: If natural remedies aren’t cutting it, certain over-the-counter treatments can help.

Remember, it’s all about finding what works best for you. These strategies might take a little time to show results, but stay patient and consistent.

Answering Common Questions About Early Pregnancy Constipation

We’ve answered some of your most pressing questions.

Why does constipation occur during early pregnancy?

During early pregnancy, hormonal changes can slow down your digestive system, leading to constipation. Additionally, iron supplements, often recommended during pregnancy, can contribute to constipation.

What can I do to alleviate constipation?

There are several steps you can take:

  1. Boost Your Fiber Intake: Foods high in fiber can help soften your stool.
  2. Stay Hydrated: Water aids digestion, so drink plenty of fluids throughout the day.
  3. Get Moving: Light exercise like walking or prenatal yoga can stimulate your intestines.

Are there any safe medications to take for constipation during pregnancy?

Yes, stool softeners such as docusate sodium (Colace) and docusate calcium (Surfak) are safe and can make it easier to pass stools. Always remember to consult with your healthcare provider before starting any new medication.


In conclusion, constipation in early pregnancy is a common but manageable condition. The hormonal changes your body undergoes during this time can slow down your digestive system, leading to constipation. However, there are many effective strategies to help you find relief.

Staying hydrated, incorporating fiber-rich foods into your diet, and engaging in regular exercise can all contribute to alleviating constipation.

While it may be tempting to reach for laxative pills, these are not recommended during pregnancy as they could stimulate uterine contractions and cause dehydration. Instead, consider stool softeners, which moisten the stool and make it easier to pass.

Remember, every pregnancy is unique, and what works for one person might not work for another.

If you’re struggling with constipation, don’t hesitate to discuss it with your healthcare provider. They can provide guidance tailored to your specific needs and circumstances.

About the Author

Hey, I'm Jared and I'm a writer by heart. I call myself a Food-Conscious Journaling Coach, which is means I help foodies end emotional eating for a healthy, peaceful, and normal relationship with food. Just so happening journaling is both my heart and career!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}