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18 Effective Home Remedies To Relieve Constipation During Pregnancy

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18 Effective Home Remedies To Relieve Constipation During Pregnancy December 7, 2017

Morning sickness, mood swings, and cravings. As if these weren’t enough, you realize that things down there need your attention too. When it becomes a tad bit difficult to eliminate certain substances from your body, it could mean that you are constipated. Your body undergoes many changes when you are pregnant, and constipation is a condition that occurs as a result of such changes. If you are pregnant and feel constipated all the time, well, you are in luck. Read on to find out how you can use home remedies to find relief from this tiring condition.

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What Causes Constipation During Pregnancy?

Constipation during pregnancy is mainly caused by hormonal changes. Pregnancy is often accompanied by an increase in the progesterone hormone that causes the relaxation of all the muscles in your body, including your intestinal muscles. Relaxed intestinal muscles mean slower digestion, and this can lead to constipation.

In addition to this, the pressure on your womb because of the growing fetus and the iron in prenatal vitamin supplements are also associated with constipation during pregnancy. Iron supplements are believed to slow down digestion by sticking to the undigested substances in your body, thus triggering constipation.

Now that we are well aware of what triggers constipation during pregnancy, let us look at the common symptoms that accompany this condition.

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Symptoms Of Constipation During Pregnancy

Some of the most common symptoms of constipation during pregnancy include:

  • Reduced bowel movements
  • Feces become hardened, making their passage difficult
  • A decrease in your appetite
  • Abdominal bloating and pain
  • Blood splotches in the stool as a result of rectal injury due to hard feces

Constipation is a tiring condition in general, and during pregnancy, it can take a toll on your health. Read on to find out when it occurs so that you are prepared to deal with it.

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When Does Constipation Occur During Pregnancy?

Constipation is found to affect a whopping 3 out of 4 pregnant women. It usually occurs in the first trimester, but can also appear as soon as you conceive. However, the hormone that triggers constipation is found to increase its levels in the 9th and 32nd weeks of pregnancy, and this is usually the period when it can hit you real hard. Constipation can also develop during the end of your pregnancy, owing to the enlarged uterus and the consequent pressure on your intestines.

This tiresome condition has the potential to cause adverse effects on your pregnancy and hence must be treated as soon you notice its onset. Read on to know about the best possible natural treatments that can help provide relief.

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How To Treat Constipation During Pregnancy Naturally

  1. Lemon
  2. Oranges
  3. Prune Juice
  4. Flaxseeds
  5. Ispaghula Husks
  6. Lemon Or Peppermint Essential Oil
  7. Kiwifruit
  8. Vitamin C
  9. Yoghurt
  10. Apple Juice
  11. Apple Cider Vinegar
  12. Coconut Oil
  13. Chia Seeds
  14. Cranberry Juice
  15. Epsom Salt
  16. Green Tea
  17. Grapes
  18. Banana

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Immediate Remedies To Get Rid Of Constipation During Pregnancy

1. Lemon

1. Lemon

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You Will Need
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1 glass of warm water
  • Honey (optional)
What You Have To Do
  1. Squeeze half a lemon into a glass of warm water.
  2. Add honey to taste and consume this daily.
How Often You Should Do This

Do this 1-2 times daily.

Why This Works

Lemon exhibits antioxidant properties and has high vitamin C content. It is one of the most commonly used remedies to treat constipation as it increases the production of bile in your body. This, in turn, increases the contractions of the bowel muscles and helps you to pass stool easily (1).

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2. Oranges

2. Oranges

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You Will Need

1-2 oranges

What You Have To Do

Have an orange or two on a daily basis.

How Often You Should Do This

Do this once daily.

Why This Works

Oranges are a rich source of vitamin C and are thus beneficial for promoting your overall health. Additionally, they are also excellent sources of fiber, the deficiency of which leads to constipation (2), (3).

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3. Prune Juice

3. Prune Juice

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You Will Need

1 cup of prune juice

What You Have To Do
  1. Consume a cup of prune juice.
  2. Alternatively, you can also eat prunes instead of drinking the juice.
How Often You Should Do This

You must do this at least 4 times a day.

Why This Works

Prunes contain a compound called sorbitol that exhibits laxative properties, which can be highly effective against constipation (4), (5).

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4. Flaxseeds

4. Flaxseeds

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You Will Need

1/2-2 tablespoons of pre-ground flaxseeds

What You Have To Do
  1. Consume half a tablespoon of ground flaxseeds via your daily diet.
  2. Gradually increase the intake to two tablespoons.
How Often You Should Do This

Do this once daily.

Why This Works

Flaxseeds are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids that help to retain the fluids in your body. Additionally, they also contain a slimy compound called mucilage that forms a protective layer around your digestive tract. It also adds bulk to the stool and makes it soft (6). These properties make flaxseeds one of the best remedies to relieve constipation.

Caution

Drink ample amounts of water while including flaxseeds in your diet.

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5. Ispaghula Husks

5. Ispaghula Husks

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You Will Need
  • 1 sachet of ispaghula husks
  • 1 glass of water
What You Have To Do
  1. Add one sachet of ispaghula husk granules to a glass of cold water.
  2. Mix well and consume this immediately.
How Often You Should Do This

You must do this twice daily.

Why This Works

Ispaghula husk (psyllium) is a rich source of dietary fiber, and when mixed with water, it acts as a mild laxative and helps to soften the stool (7), (8). This, in turn, relieves constipation and its symptoms.

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6. Lemon Or Peppermint Essential Oil

6. Lemon Or Peppermint Essential Oil

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You Will Need
  • 1 to 2 drops of lemon/peppermint essential oil
  • 1 teaspoon of any carrier oil (olive or almond oil)
What You Have To Do
  1. Mix the essential oil with a carrier oil of your choice.
  2. Massage this mixture on your abdomen.
How Often You Should Do This

You can do this once daily.

Why This Works

Aromatherapy massage using peppermint or lemon essential oil can help to soften your fecal impaction and help in treating constipation (9).

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7. Kiwi Fruit

7. Kiwi Fruit

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You Will Need

1 kiwi

What You Have To Do

Have a kiwi daily.

How Often You Should Do This

Eat this fruit once a day.

Why This Works

The high water and fiber content of kiwis can get your bowels moving and functioning smoothly, making them one of the best remedies for constipation (10), (11), (12).

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8. Vitamin C

8. Vitamin C

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The intake of citrus fruits and juices for treating constipation has one reason in common – their vitamin C content. Vitamin C, when consumed in larger doses, was found to exhibit laxative activities. Hence, it might also be suitable for the treatment of constipation.

Caution

The bowel tolerance for vitamin C usually varies between 2000 and 4000 mg. However, it is to be noted that pregnant women must not exceed 6000 mg of vitamin C daily. Hence, it is better to consult your doctor before going ahead with any additional vitamin supplements, especially during your pregnancy.

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9. Yogurt

9. Yogurt

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You Will Need

1 cup of plain yogurt

What You Have To Do

Consume a cup of plain yogurt.

How Often You Should Do This

You must do this once daily.

Why This Works

Yogurt is a rich source of probiotics that aid digestion by altering the microbiota in your bowels. This proves to be beneficial in the treatment of constipation (13). This fact is also backed by a study that tested the effect of probiotic yogurt on constipated pregnant women.

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10. Apple Juice

10. Apple Juice

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You Will Need
  • 1 apple
  • 1 cup of warm water
What You Have To Do
  1. Cut an apple into small pieces and blend it with a cup of warm water.
  2. Consume this juice.
How Often You Should Do This

Do this once daily.

Why This Works

Apples contain a naturally occurring fiber called pectin that promotes bowel movements by bulking up your stool (14). They also contain sorbitol, which is known for its laxative properties. The combined activities of these constituents can help relieve constipation (15), .

Tip

Do not peel the apple.

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11. Apple Cider Vinegar

11. Apple Cider Vinegar

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You Will Need
  • 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 1 glass of warm water
What You Have To Do
  1. Take a glass of warm water and add a tablespoon each of honey and apple cider vinegar to it.
  2. Mix well and consume this solution.
How Often You Should Do This

Drink this every morning and night until you see an improvement in your condition.

Why This Works

Apple cider vinegar contains pectin and acetic acid that help improve digestion (16). It also contains magnesium that eases bowel movement and relieves constipation.

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12. Coconut Oil

12. Coconut Oil

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You Will Need

1-2 tablespoons of coconut oil

What You Have To Do
  1. Consume a tablespoon of coconut oil on a daily basis.
  2. You can either add it to your salads or consume it directly.
How Often You Should Do This

Do this at least twice a day.

Why This Works

Coconut oil is an excellent natural remedy for constipation. It contains medium-chain fatty acids that energize the intestinal cells and boost metabolism, thus stimulating bowel movement (17).

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13. Chia Seeds

13. Chia Seeds

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You Will Need
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of chia seeds
  • 1 cup of juice or milk
What You Have To Do
  1. Let the chia seeds soak in water for 30 minutes.
  2. Add the soaked chia seeds to your favorite drink and have it.
How Often You Should Do This

Do this once daily.

Why This Works

Chia seeds are a rich source of dietary fiber (18). This fiber adds bulk to your stool and aids bowel movement. Additionally, when chia seeds absorb water, they attain a gel-like consistency, which eases the movement of the stool through the intestine, thus relieving constipation (19).

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14. Cranberry Juice

14. Cranberry Juice

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You Will Need

1 glass of unsweetened cranberry juice

What You Have To Do

Consume a glass of cranberry juice.

How Often You Should Do This

Drink this juice once daily.

Why This Works

Cranberries are a good source of dietary fiber, which makes the juice an effective natural remedy for curing various digestive problems, including constipation.These fruits also have a high water content that can help you stay hydrated and ease bowel movement (21).

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15. Epsom Salt

15. Epsom Salt

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You Will Need
  • 1 cup of Epsom salt
  • Water
What You Have To Do
  1. Add a cup of Epsom salt to your bath.
  2. Soak and relax in it for 15 to 20 minutes.
How Often You Should Do This

Do this at least thrice in a week.

Why This Works

Epsom salt, also known as magnesium sulfate, is quite popular for its ability to relieve sore muscles. The magnesium in Epsom salt exerts a laxative action and treats constipation (22), (23).

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16. Green Tea

16. Green Tea

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You Will Need
  • 1 teaspoon of green tea leaves
  • 1 cup of water
  • Honey (optional)
What You Have To Do
  1. Add the green tea leaves to a cup of hot water and a
  2. llow them to steep for 5 to 10 minutes.
  3. Strain and consume the tea before it turns cold.
  4. You can also add honey for flavor.
How Often You Should Do This

You must drink this 1 to 2 times daily.

Why This Works

Green tea has been used for ages due to its wide range of benefits (24). The caffeine present in it exhibits mild laxative properties and relieves constipation (25).

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17. Grapes

17. Grapes

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You Will Need

1 cup of grapes

What You Have To Do

Consume a small cup of fresh grapes.

How Often You Should Do This

Do this once daily.

Why This Works

Grapes are a rich source of pectin, which can help in bulking up your stool and ease constipation. In addition to this, they contain a variety of beneficial nutrients and antioxidants that promote your overall health (26).

Caution

Pregnant women are advised to eat grapes in moderation due to the presence of resveratrol in them. It is best to avoid grapes altogether in the last trimester of pregnancy.

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18. Bananas

18. Bananas

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You Will Need

1 banana

What You Have To Do

Have a banana.

How Often You Should Do This

Eat it twice a day.

Why This Works

Bananas are a rich source of dietary fiber that bulks up the stool and makes it easy to pass (28), (29). Hence, they are a good option to treat constipation and its symptoms during pregnancy.

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The appropriate use of these remedies will surely bring about a positive effect and relieve constipation. Nevertheless, as constipation is quite common in pregnant women, it is wise to take some additional precautions to avoid its recurrence. In fact, the following preventive tips might help you prevent the occurrence of constipation during pregnancy altogether.

Preventive Tips

  • Increase your intake of fiber-rich foods.
  • Keep yourself hydrated by drinking lots of fluids in the form of water and fresh juices.
  • Keep moving and indulge in gentle exercises and yoga.
  • Avoid using laxatives as they might trigger uterus contractions along with bowel contraction.

These tips will undoubtedly help relieve constipation. But if nothing seems to help, it is best to get medical help immediately to avoid severe side effects.

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Side Effects Of Constipation During Pregnancy

Given below are the side effects that may occur when you are pregnant and constipated. In some cases, these may even call for a medical emergency.

  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Repetitive rectal bleeding
  • Hemorrhoids

The complications that surface with constipation during pregnancy can be very irritating and painful in the long run. If you are among those who have developed constipation during pregnancy, start using the remedies described here to obtain relief. Also, if you find that any of these remedies have worked exceptionally well for you, don’t forget to share it with us in the comments section below.

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Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions

What to eat for constipation during pregnancy?

Pregnant women should try and include fiber-rich foods like cereals, fruits, vegetables, and beans in their diet to combat constipation.

What medicines are safe for constipation during pregnancy?

Pregnant women are strictly advised against taking laxative medications as they might cause uterine contractions, which, in turn, might lead to a miscarriage. However, they can consume stool softeners to combat constipation.

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