Pregnancy can be a time of many surprises, and for many expectant moms, one of those surprises is constipation. This guide will explore why constipation is common during pregnancy and what is safe to take for constipation while pregnant.

Why Do Pregnant Women Experience Constipation?

When it comes to pregnancy discomfort, constipation is often at the top of the list. Thanks to hormonal upheavals and a growing baby bump, digestive challenges are par for the course. 

Many pregnant women experience constipation during their pregnancy and seek out remedies for pregnancy constipation, yearning for natural relief. Amidst prenatal vitamins and baby planning, dealing with bowel irregularities can be daunting. 

If you’ve found yourself pondering over digestive health during pregnancy, you’re not alone. Let’s delve into the reasons and what is safe to take for constipation while pregnant for this common prenatal predicament.

What Causes Pregnancy Constipation

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Embarking on the journey of pregnancy presents its share of quirks. Beyond the baby glow and adorable bump, there’s a frequent visitor: digestive discomfort. 

So, if you’ve found yourself grappling with bowel irregularities, let’s dive into what causes constipation during pregnancy:


Amidst the whirlwind of pregnancy changes, there’s a significant surge in the hormone progesterone. While it’s diligently ensuring a healthy environment for the baby, progesterone tends to be a bit of a party pooper for the intestines. How? By slowing down your digestive flow, leading to those unexpected pauses in bowel movement.

Physical changes

As your baby grows, space inside becomes a bit of a squeeze. The enlarging uterus presses against the intestines, occasionally causing constipation. Picture a traffic jam, but with food and nutrients.


Prenatal vitamins, champions of maternal health, do come with a tiny asterisk. The iron content in iron supplements, essential for keeping anemia at bay, may have some drawbacks. The high iron levels in iron tablets sometimes put the digestive system in slow motion. It’s no surprise then that women find themselves on the hunt for safe constipation relief during this pivotal phase.

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Recognizing Symptoms Beyond Infrequent Bowel Movements

Pregnancy brings with it a symphony of changes, and sometimes, it’s more than just the occasional hiccup in your digestive routine. But how do you differentiate the usual from the unusual?

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  • Bloating, abdominal pain, or something else? It’s not just about the waiting game at the bathroom door. There are other signs that your system might be off-kilter. Bloating and abdominal pain often join the ranks, leaving you feeling like you’ve overindulged, even if you haven’t. Recognizing these can be the first step to addressing digestive disturbances during pregnancy.
  • What other symptoms can signify a more serious issue? While infrequent bowel movements are a common guest during pregnancy, sometimes the symptoms hint at broader digestive tract issues. Persistent pain, blood in stools, or dramatic weight loss shouldn’t be ignored. These might indicate conditions like IBS or, in rare cases, more severe digestive disorders. When in doubt, always consult a healthcare professional.
  • Can certain dietary choices lead to digestive woes? Absolutely. Your dietary choices play a pivotal role in how your digestive system responds. Overconsumption of processed foods or lack of fiber can exacerbate symptoms. It’s essential to understand the link between diet and digestive health to navigate these waters smoothly.

What is safe to take for constipation while pregnant?

Navigating the rough waters of constipation-during-pregnancy challenges can be daunting. But, as they say, every problem has a solution. Let’s explore safe ways to address these hiccups and keep the digestive train moving!

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Stool softeners

Ah, the gentle approach to a hard problem. Stool softeners, such as docusate sodium, work by increasing the water content in the stool. They’re widely recognized as safe during pregnancy and can be a good solution for those looking for relief without the aggressive push.


Stepping it up a notch, we have laxatives. Not all are created equal, especially during pregnancy. It’s vital to be informed about which ones are safe. Polyethylene glycol is one such osmotic laxative that retains water in the stool, making it easier to pass. However, always discuss with your healthcare provider before diving into the world of laxatives.

Fiber supplement

Fiber, the unsung hero of digestive health. This natural remedy not only aids in regular bowel movements but also contributes to overall gut health. Introducing a fiber supplement can be a great tool to relieve constipation during pregnancy. 

Speaking of champions in the fiber world, ColonBroom is one such example that’s been garnering attention for its effectiveness and an all-rounder approach. It’s a psyllium husk supplement powder that has ingredients able to manage constipation, bloating, and ease digestion. The best part? It can help reduce cravings, and it also comes with a diet guide and a workout plan (free of charge!) for those looking to enhance their overall wellness. 

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Side Effects of Over-the-Counter Treatments

Taking a trip down the pharmacy aisle to look for something to treat pregnancy constipation can be a lesson in decision-making. With a plethora of digestive relief options available, it’s crucial to be informed about the potential pitfalls of some choices.

Let’s talk about laxatives. Not all laxatives are cut from the same cloth. While they promise bowel regularity, some can come with a side of unwanted effects. Many laxatives pose a threat for common issues, such as dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, or dependence when used for extended periods. It’s always best to read up on any laxative before incorporating it into your routine.

What about stimulants? Stimulant laxatives, like bisacodyl or senna, come with their own set of concerns, especially during pregnancy. Their modus operandi involves triggering bowel movements by irritating the intestine’s lining. While effective, they can inadvertently cause uterine and intestinal contractions. And in the world of pregnancy, that’s a potential red flag.

Navigating pregnancy health is like charting unknown territory. When it comes to digestive dilemmas, or if you’re unsure about a medication, always consult a doctor. They can provide guidance on the safest path forward, ensuring both mother and baby’s well-being.

Natural Approaches to Relieve Constipation

Steering clear of chemicals and embracing mother nature? There’s plenty of wisdom in natural remedies, especially when addressing the tricky territory of pregnancy constipation.

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When it comes to keeping things moving, dietary fiber is your go-to hero. Acting as a natural bulk-forming agent, it increases stool size and softens it, making passing stools easier. This makes it a trusted ally in treating constipation during pregnancy.

So, eating right is half the battle won. Incorporating a high-fiber diet, chock full of whole grains, fruits, and veggies, can be a game-changer. Not only does it help maintain digestive health, but it also supports overall well-being.

Sometimes, food alone might not cut it. That’s where fiber supplements come in. They offer an extra dose of fiber, ensuring that your digestive system has all the tools it needs to work efficiently.

Preventive Strategies to Reduce Constipation During Pregnancy

Navigating the highs and lows of pregnancy doesn’t have to include a showdown with constipation. By implementing some tried-and-true strategies, soon-to-be moms can promote smoother digestive journeys.

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Dietary lifestyle changes

Central to any preventive approach is a keen focus on dietary lifestyle changes. To keep things moving, it’s recommended to up the ante on fiber intake. Delve into whole grain bread, indulge in dried fruits, and perhaps, consume less iron.


Liquids play a pivotal role in the digestive dance. Sipping on warm beverages, especially hot water or prune juice, can be a gentle nudge for the bowels. But it’s not just about what you drink; it’s also about how much. Emphasizing the importance of adequate fluids is key, while also watching that iron intake, which can sometimes throw a spanner in the works.

Physical activity

No, you don’t need to run a marathon, but keeping active can be your secret weapon against constipation during pregnancy. Regular exercise aids in stimulating peristalsis and strengthening pelvic floor muscles. It’s a double win! Establishing habits like carving out exercise time and ensuring you’re well-hydrated can make all the difference.

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Constipation While Pregnant: Key Takeaways

Pregnancy is a transformative journey, with its unique set of highs and lows. To keep digestive troubles at bay, prioritize a balanced diet rich in fiber so you can treat constipation safely. Don’t forget the importance of regular check-ups and doctor consultations. Remember, staying informed and proactive ensures a smoother ride through the waves of pregnancy.

Pregnancy is a time of change, growth, and heightened awareness. Prioritizing care throughout pregnancy is more than just a responsibility; it’s a commitment to the beautiful journey of bringing life into the world.

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