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Pregnancy is a wonderful time in a woman’s life, but it sometimes has certain drawbacks. Constipation in one of them.
It is estimated that about 40% of pregnant women experience constipation at some point during pregnancy. Furthermore, mothers-to-be who already experienced constipation before becoming pregnant are likely to continue having it, or having it more, during pregnancy.
It is healthy to have bowel movements when the urge is felt and to pay attention to their frequency. However, some people worry unnecessarily about the frequency of stool evacuation. They may get the impression that decreased regularity is a sign of illness, yet, in most cases, it is not.
How exactly is constipation defined? This can be difficult, as defecation habits (having a bowel movement) can greatly differ from one person to the next. In general, intestinal transit is considered normal when a bowel movement occurs between twice a day to once every three days.
We speak of constipation when the following signs and symptoms are present:
Pregnant women are more prone to constipation. This can be explained by a range of factors, such as:
The prevention and treatment of constipation during or after pregnancy is based above all on non-medicinal measures. Making simple lifestyle changes can really help to reduce symptoms. Here is some advice to this end.
If lifestyle changes are insufficient to eliminate constipation, you can use medication. Several over-the-counter medications sold at the pharmacy have proven safe and effective in relieving constipation in pregnant women. Others must be avoided for various reasons, such as the concern that they will trigger contractions (e.g., castor oil).
The medications considered to be safe come in various formats: powder, tablets, capsules, liquid, suppositories, etc. The range of products available is so wide that it can be difficult to choose from. The best thing to do is to speak to your pharmacist. They can recommend the best-suited product for you (and your baby), and explain how to use it properly.
You should see a doctor if:
Don’t hesitate to speak to your pharmacist for additional information about constipation during pregnancy and its treatment.
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