Well if you're constipated AND pregnant, you definitely should not be using stimulant laxatives. Even when you aren’t pregnant, they often make matters worse because they promote a lazy colon. It's far better option to eat more fibre (and good quality fat). Some great fibre options for many include acacia root fibre, chia seeds, ground flax, sweet potatoes, apricots, prunes, plums, lentils and beans as these types of foods will soften the stool.
Something you could try is to start the day with a fibre-rich breakfast smoothie with flaxseeds or acacia fibre and perhaps some milk kefir for some probiotic punch! (remember to add fibre slowly). Definitely don’t rely on grain based breakfast cereals for fibre though; have you checked the ingredients list lately of your favourite cereal? Most of them are FULL of sugar and are a highly processed food that you want to avoid.
Drink at least 1.5 to 2L of water per day. Your blood volume increases by just a little under 50% during pregnancy. This means that you need to increase your water intake because you simply need more fluid otherwise you can easily become dehydrated. When you are dehydrated, waste material cannot easily flow through your intestines and constipation – or dry, hard stools that are hard to pass – is often the result.
Check your iron supplement. Many iron supplements can contribute to constipation due to the type of iron they contain. Unfortunately, most GPs have no clue what is the best kind of iron for you to take. Quite often clients will tell me their doctor recommended an iron supplement and told them it won’t make them constipated but as soon as they begin taking it, they not only are (constipated) but also have an upset tummy. Often when I check their iron supplement, I find they are taking the cheapest form of iron with the poorest absorption.
By the way, as a Naturopath, I do not agree with the notion that every pregnant woman should be taking additional iron beyond their prenatal multi. Many women are advised to take more than 30mg of iron when there is absolutely NO need if their iron levels are adequate.
Acupuncture is a another great option for bound up pregnant ladies. Not only is acupuncture safe during pregnancy; it’s a fantastic way to release stress and relieve pregnancy nausea. There is an acupuncture point located in the middle of your belly that is related to digestion. Find yourself a reputable practitioner and go get poked! Also helpful is to wear acupressure bands (sea bands) on your wrists which can be worn all the time.
Time and time again I hear people ask "why do I feel so bad when they tell me there's nothing wrong?" My goal is to help solve your health problems, to get to the bottom of things, not just symptom control but to bring about a return to good health.