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Bowel Concerns During Pregnancy

Why do Pregnant Women Experience Constipation?

There are a few reasons why pregnant women have bouts of constipation.

  1. The first reason involves hormones. Certain hormones in high levels can make a bowel sluggish and these hormones circulate in a pregnant woman’s body.
  2. The second reason is that as a woman’s uterus grows, pressure is placed on the bowel which can keep it from its normal activity.
  3. Third, prenatal vitamins may cause constipation in some women if the vitamins are high in iron and/or calcium.

If you are having bouts of constipation, there are steps which you can take to get your bowels back on track.

  • Carefully monitor your diet to ensure that you are not eating foods which can cause constipation. (Refined foods are especially known to cause constipation.) A diet that is high in fiber will help reduce constipation. Raw fruits and vegetables contain a lot of fiber. Whole wheat bread is also a great source of fiber.
  • Monitor your fluid intake. Try to consuming enough water to keep your body hydrated.
  • Start moving. Exercise can do much to stimulate the bowels.

If you still have a problem with constipation, you should inform your doctor.

Bladder Concerns During Pregnancy

Frequent Urination

Frequent urination is a complaint of most pregnant women. Frequent urination can be attributed to the improved ability of the kidneys to rid a pregnant woman’s body of waste products more quickly. Frequent urination is also attributed to the growth of the uterus. The uterus is next to the bladder. As the uterus grows, pressure is placed on the bladder.

The second trimester usually brings a little relief from frequent urination as the uterus rises up into the abdomen. The frequent need to urinate generally returns later in pregnancy as the baby drops back down in preparation for birth.

Leaking Urine

Pregnant women may find that they leak urine when pressure is placed on the body. This can include laughing, coughing, sneezing, or exercising. The leaking is due to the pressure placed on the bladder by the uterus.

Women who have a problem with leaking urine during their pregnancy are encouraged to do Kegel exercises, keep their weight gain at an even level, and to avoid caffeinated drinks.

As with any changes in the body during pregnancy, changes in urination should be reported to your doctor.

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