As your tummy has been growing, you might notice you are getting constipated. What is this all about and what can you do about it? Well, the bottom line is that everything in our body is connected. Changes in one area of the body impacts another.

Constipation can occur for the following reasons:

  1. You’re stressed: This launches your body into a “fight or flight” state which does not support good digestion or elimination.

    Remedy? Deep breathing exercises, meditation, or any other activity that helps you unwind. And if possible, remove stress from your life (ie: turn off the evening news, stop talking to that friend who stresses you out).

  2. You’re dehydrated: You are now drinking water for 2 so don’t forget to up the intake. Water gets pulled from your digestive tract for your baby.

    Remedy? Calculate how much water you need- take your body weight, divide in 2 and change to ounces. Or you can just shoot to drink 100 oz per day. I know it sounds like a lot but there are so many benefits to staying hydrated like less swelling, great skin, and better bowel movements! Worth the bathroom trips.

  3. Baby is putting pressure on your GI tract: As your uterus expands, it pushes into the surrounding organs including the small and large intestines. It can also put pressure on the nerves that help run digestion.

    Remedy? Stretch, move, breathe. Cat/cow stretch, a good chest opener, or prenatal yoga stretches with deep breathing, walk. Movement can help get your system working better.

  4. You’re eating the wrong foods: Ok, so you just came off weeks of horrible nausea in which grilled cheeses were the only thing you could imagine eating. I get it!

    Remedy? Eat more fiber. Now that you are feeling better, start increasing your intake of leafy greens and other veggies. Not a veggie lover? Take a fiber supplement like Garden of Life Dr. Formulated Organic Fiber (gluten, dairy and soy-free), Organic India Psyllium Herbal Powder (best for constipation) or Benefiber On-the-go Sticks (good for a budget).

You may think you are normal and regular, but you might not be. Here is a handy chart to go by. As a pelvic floor specialist, I use this all the time to assess the health of my patient’s bowel movements. Normal bowel movements are 3, 4, or 5 on the scale.

In Health, Jenn Lane