Constipation – a Common Pregnancy Problem


Pregnancy is a special time for good reason. Every pregnancy is different, but most pregnant women encounter similar problems, such as fatigue, nausea, irritability, heartburn, and constipation. These problems are normal during pregnancy.

Constipation is also a common occurrence. It is estimated that 11 to 38% of pregnant women experience constipation, which is usually defined as bowel movements that are irregular or hard to pass. Constipation in pregnancy can be caused by physiological or anatomical changes in the digestive tract. For instance, higher levels of progesterone and lower levels of the hormone motilin result in food taking longer to pass through the digestive system. During pregnancy, intestines absorb more water, which causes the stool to dry out. Reduced physical activity and the increased need for minerals, such as iron, also contribute to the likelihood of constipation. In late pregnancy, stool movement can further slow down due to the pressure on the bowels from the enlarged uterus. Constipation may cause serious complications; however, this occurs only rarely. We should keep in mind that constipation has a negative impact on daily life and is the second most common pregnancy problem after nausea.

The first step in treating constipation is increasing your fibre and fluid intake along with moderate daily exercise.

In most cases, constipation can be alleviated and prevented with a nutritious, balanced, and varied diet. Certain foods can also be of great help in reducing constipation. Apples, pears, prunes, apricots, pumpkins, and flax seeds are rich in fibre that improves digestion.

(1)Safety and effectiveness assessment of Donat natural mineral water with regard to bowel function; randomised, placebo-controlled, double-blind clinical trial – the data has been published in the European Journal of Nutrition; 2015.

If diet and lifestyle changes fail to help, treatment with laxatives can be an option. However, although there is no data linking laxative use in pregnancy with negative effects on the development of the foetus, it is generally recommended that osmotic laxatives are only used occasionally and for short periods of time.

Donat is a natural osmotic laxative.

Drinking 0.5 L of warm Donat daily (0.3 L in the morning on an empty stomach and 0.2 L before the evening meal) helps relieve constipation and stimulates slow digestion.

Donat has been known for generations for its beneficial effects on the digestion. This has now been scientifically proven (1). Donat is a natural mineral water that does not cause tolerance. During pregnancy, it is especially important to follow the guidelines on drinking to avoid potential dehydration or electrolyte imbalance.

Listen to your body. It knows best what is good for your health and what is not. Every pregnancy is different, so it is entirely possible that none of these tips will help in alleviating constipation. In that case your physician can advise you on dietary supplements that might be of help.

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