Often one of the reasons for concern in a woman during pregnancy is a violation of the bowels and regular constipation. The situation is complicated by the fact that not all laxative medications are permissible during pregnancy. How to help the body work properly?
Causes of constipation in pregnant women
The child inside the mother is rapidly developing and growing. Together with it, the uterus also increases, which is reflected in all organs that surround it. Thus, under her pressure from the uterus, the intestines are compressed and moved apart, which affects his work.
In addition, during pregnancy, a woman increases the production of the hormone progesterone. Since it has a relaxing effect on the contractility of not only the uterus, but also the intestines, the “food waste” does not advance well in the intestine, resulting in constipation.
Experiences and anxiety can also affect the work of the internal organs. Sometimes constipation occurs because a woman is just nervous.
Often during pregnancy, doctors recommend taking additional calcium and iron. Of course, not in vain – the benefits of these minerals can not be underestimated. But iron and calcium drugs have one common side effect – they cause constipation.
There may be indirect causes of constipation, which lie in the lifestyle of the expectant mother: little movement, snacks in dry bread, few fruits and vegetables in the diet.
Pros and cons of taking laxatives
Constipation is not just a nuisance. Fecal masses accumulate in the intestines, and this also has consequences:
- Intoxication of the mother, the flow of toxins through the blood to the fetus.
- Increased pressure on the uterus can cause hypertonicity of the uterus.
- Blood vessels are compressed, which can lead to hemorrhoids (see on the treatment of hemorrhoids in pregnant women).
Therefore, you need to help the intestines get rid of unnecessary savings. This does not mean that pregnant women can use laxatives uncontrollably. First, some of them are contraindicated during pregnancy, as they can provoke uterine contractions. Secondly, in most cases, these drugs should not be taken regularly: some are addictive, others contribute to dehydration and the loss of salts necessary for the body.
What laxatives can be taken during pregnancy?
There is no uniform algorithm for relieving constipation. Often drugs with a laxative effect are addictive, and the body stops responding to it properly. Therefore, it is necessary to alternate between different medications, and only a specialist can calculate the appropriate scheme for their intake. In different situations, the doctor may recommend suppositories, suspension, enema.
Drugs in this group are considered the safest and most effective laxatives during pregnancy. They pass along the digestive path, without interfering with the chemical processes of the body. Only in the intestine, they begin their activity: they are broken down by bacteria, which leads to the formation of acids. Those, in turn, dilute the contents of the intestine, because of which it increases slightly in volume, and the intestine is reduced to the necessary extent, bringing swollen fecal masses.
Based lactulose disaccharide drugs such as Duphalac, Portalak, Normaze, Dinolak, Romfalak, Goodluck, Lactulose poslabin have been developed.
All of these drugs have a common method of exposure, they are valid for regular use and are allowed during pregnancy.
However, these mild laxatives during pregnancy have some drawbacks:
- laxative action will have to wait about a day;
- lactulose contributes to the formation of gases, which leads to bloating, so you should first take half the dosage specified in the instructions, and the next day, if necessary, and good health, take a full dose of the drug.
In this regard, the drug “Dinolak” has a certain advantage: it includes simethicone. This active ingredient helps to reduce gas, it is not absorbed and leaves the body without losing its original appearance.
In addition, lactulose drugs may be unsafe for those who suffer from high blood sugar and lactose intolerance. Diabetics need a consultation with the attending physician, and those who cannot tolerate lactose need to be guided according to their state of health.
Laxative candles for pregnant women
Candles with oil or petroleum jelly are considered safe and effective. They have local effects, however are not recommended in the first trimester. Otherwise, there are almost no side effects, and the result of the intake comes pretty quickly – within half an hour.
During pregnancy, it is recommended to use the most budgetary drug – glycerin candles.
Another quick remedy for constipation. This method is valid only from the second trimester and up to 36 weeks. However, if a past pregnancy is interrupted, it is better to abandon this treatment option for constipation.
With the threat of miscarriage or abdominal pain, bleeding should also avoid enemas.
If no other options help, then an enema is a valid remedy with the permission of the doctor. The volume of the pear should not exceed half a liter, and the temperature of the liquid should be 3-5 degrees higher than body temperature. It is advisable to add petrolatum. Enema is better to do in the morning, no more than once a week.
Microclysters are commercially available (for example, Microlax). They can be safely used by all pregnant women.
Laxatives, contraindicated during pregnancy
There are medicines that are better for pregnant women to remove from their first-aid kit. These include certain types of laxatives.
Irritant bowel wall
This type of medication represents the largest portion of laxatives. The first reason why they can not be pregnant – excessive irritation of the intestine creates a threat of miscarriage. In addition, due to constant tension, intestinal receptors are depleted, their tone is reduced. The drug is addictive, the previous dose is no longer valid, and bowel movement is accompanied by pain. If before pregnancy a woman used these means, then when carrying a child she needs to give them up.
Sometimes a doctor under his control can prescribe Regulax, but it is better to make sure that this is the only and really necessary way to get rid of constipation.
It would be a big mistake to assume that herbs belonging to this group are safer. This is not the case, so senna leaves, rhubarb root, castor oil and other drugs of this kind are best removed from the options under consideration. They can harm the most pregnant and lead to the failure of pregnancy or the development of deformities in the fetus.
These drugs absorb water from nearby tissues, swell and stretch the intestinal wall. Such pressure increases the risk of miscarriage.
In addition, the use of such a drug implies a large use of liquids and their delay. Given the tendency to edema in pregnant women and possible malfunction of the urinary system, this is not a suitable option.
Drugs that contain magnesium, Karlovy Vary salt, sodium and potassium. These minerals can also cause unwanted uterine contractions. In addition, the intake of these drugs may disrupt the water-salt balance and lead to dehydration.
What else can you do for constipation in pregnant women?
It is important to remember that tablets usually do not solve the problem of constipation. Therefore, you may need to change something in your eating habits.
You need to include in your diet dried fruits and compotes of them. Prunes, like dried apricots, are known for their laxative properties. They are better to replace chocolate, which should be abandoned altogether. It will be useful to eat cereals, fresh fruits and vegetables in large quantities.
You need to drink enough water. At the same time, it is important to monitor the state of health: in case of kidney and heart diseases that lead to edema, the volume of fluid consumed cannot be increased. Juicy vegetables will come to the rescue.
There are a few simple recipes that help the intestines cope with its work. For example, immediately after waking up, drink a glass of water with a slice of lemon and a spoon of honey. This simple action will “wake up” the intestines, and if necessary, will contribute to its purification.
A good laxative effect has a mixture of dried apricots, prunes and raisins. In equal parts, 50 grams of dried fruits should be crushed and mixed with a tablespoon of honey. This tasty medicine is recommended to take 2 teaspoons before bedtime with a glass of water.
The knee-elbow position helps to reduce the pressure of the uterus on the intestines, which has a beneficial effect on its activity.
Constipation during pregnancy is a frequent occurrence. Irritant and saline laxatives are prohibited during this period, but lactulose and laxative candles can help. Improve overall well-being will help proper nutrition, reception of folk remedies and moderate regular exercise.