Constipation is unfortunately pretty common during pregnancy. Here’s what you need to know.
WORDS NURULHUDA SUHAIMI
Constipation occurs when you have bowel movements that are irregular or difficult to pass. This is a common discomfort women experience later in their pregnancy.
According to consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist Dr Hong Sze Ching, SOG – SC Hong Clinic for Women at Mount Alvernia Hospital, constipation during pregnancy happens because of the presence of higher levels of the hormone progesterone. “It relaxes the gut muscles so food moves through the gastrointestinal tract more slowly,” he says, “As the womb expands, it can also put pressure on the rectum, which can worsen the problem.” If you are taking iron supplements during your pregnancy, that may cause constipation too.
An important note: if your constipation is accompanied by other symptoms
such as abdominal pain, passing mucus or bloody stool,
or if it alternates with diarrhoea, it could be a sign of an underlying gastrointestinal disorder,
in which case you should consult your doctor immediately.
What You Can Do