Constipation during pregnancy affects more than half of all expecting women. Pregnancy releases hormones, which relax the muscles surrounding the gastrointestinal tract, which in turn slows down the passage of food through your digestive system.
In addition, the iron supplements you take to enrich your blood supply can cause constipation or worsen existing constipation. During pregnancy, your body requires more fluids; low fluid intake will also lead to constipation. Later in the pregnancy, the growing size of the fetus crowds your bowels and narrows your intestinal passageways. Nausea from pregnancy may also prevent you from consuming adequate amounts of dietary fiber, which is essential for regularity.
Avoid excess cheese, meat, and other foods containing hard fats. Especially avoid bacon and sausage. Also, avoid over-the-counter laxatives as well as herbal remedies such as senna, aloe, and castor oil.
To combat constipation you should exercise regularly, drink plenty of water, and eat lots of fibrous foods such as fruits and vegetables, whole grain cereals, and breads.