Even if you’ve never had a problem with it before, it’s likely you’ll deal with constipation during your pregnancy. More than half of all pregnant women experience it, and it might be caused by a few different things. When you are pregnant, progesterone levels in your body are increased. Progesterone relaxes many muscles in your body, so it takes longer to digest your food than usual. As your pregnancy progresses, your baby will also be pressing down on your rectum, which could inhibit the passage of stool. Whatever the cause, constipation during pregnancy is extremely uncomfortable, and many women don’t know which remedies are safe.

Some home remedies will lessen the likelihood of getting constipated during pregnancy and can make it go away more quickly once it has set in. Make sure you consistently eat foods that are high in fiber, and drink even more than the recommended amount of water each day. Exercise regularly, and always use the restroom as soon as you feel the urge. Taking less iron supplements will also help relieve constipation.

For some women, constipation is so serious that these remedies will not help. If your constipation is not relieved after you try these remedies, speak with your health care provider about trying a Senna laxative. It is herbal and has been proven safe for pregnant women. A recent study checked the likelihood of congenital abnormalities in children born to mothers who took Senna, and there were no associations. Senna does not have any side effects that relate to embryonic development. This is good news for women who suffer from severe constipation, as living with it can be a painful inconvenience and lower the quality of the overall pregnancy.

If you are pregnant and experiencing some constipation, first try the home remedies that have been proven to lessen the effects and likelihood of constipation. If these remedies don’t work, you should ask your health care provider about trying a Senna laxative. Senna is safe for use during pregnancy. Living with constipation while pregnant could lead to other more serious complications, as stool should not sit in the digestive tract for too long. Constipation during pregnancy is extremely common, so many methods of relief are tried and true. After your delivery, your digestive health should go back to normal and you will not experience any more constipation that you did before you got pregnant.

Source: Nándor Ács et al: No Association Between Severe Constipation With Related Drug Treatment In Pregnant Women And Congenital Abnormalities In Their Offspring. Congenital Abnormalities Volume 50 Issue 1 pp. 15-20 March 2010