2. Normal Discomforts of Pregnancy
Constipation during Pregnancy
1) Definition: Hard, infrequent
stools; may occur throughout pregnancy.
2) Physiological basis
(a) The smooth muscle of the bowel
relaxes due to increased progesterone.
(b) Increased absorption of water from
the bowel contributes to hard stool.
(c) The bowels are compressed by the
(d) Iron supplements can also lead to
(e) Decreased activity is another contributor.
(a) Expectant mother should drink
8 to 10 glasses of water each day.
(b) Daily exercise, as permitted by the
OB care provider.
(c) Increase roughage foods in your diet,
apples, salads, whole wheat and bran cereals, and prunes.
(d) Use stool softeners only as prescribed
by the OB care provider.