It is very common to become constipated while you are pregnant. The pregnancy hormones which soften all your muscles and ligaments make the muscles of your intestines relax so that they cannot move food through your intestines as quickly as usual.
Another reason for constipation is that as your pregnancy progresses and your womb gets bigger, it puts pressure on your bowel which can make it difficult for it to work properly.
Constipation can happen at any time during pregnancy and can be caused by the iron tablets that are prescribed for anaemia.
What can I do about it?
- Make sure that you have lots of fibre (wholemeal bread, cereals, jacket potatoes) and plenty of fruit and vegetables in your diet
- Drink as much as you can, especially water and fruit juice. Some women find that drinking tea makes constipation worse
- When you are opening your bowels, try and relax as much as possible. Take your time
- Take regular exercise
- Get someone to massage your tummy firmly in a circular clockwise direction
If it becomes a serious problem see your doctor, who may prescribe a laxative.