Your Poop May Change During Pregnancy — Here’s How

Constipation during pregnancy

First thing about pregnancy poop: There may be times when it doesn’t seem to be happening at all. Constipation is having fewer than three bowel movements a week. To be fair, irregularity can happen anytime, whether you’re pregnant or not. But it’s a complaint that affects a lot of pregnant people.

Your Poop May Change During Pregnancy — Here’s How

Different factors contribute to constipation, such as too little fiber, inactivity, or eating foods that don’t agree with you. When it occurs during pregnancy, though, it’s often due to an increase in the hormone progesterone.

This hormone slows muscle contractions in the intestines. And when muscle contractions slow down, your bowels don’t flow as freely or as easily.

Symptoms of constipation include hard, dry stools, bloating, and straining. You may also have gas or stomach pain, which is probably the last thing you want to deal with when pregnant.

The good news is that constipation can be an easy fix. Drink plenty of fluids, especially water, to help soften stools so that they’re easier to pass. In addition, add more fiber to your diet. This includes eating more vegetables and fruits.

A stool softener might help severe constipation, but be sure to talk with your doctor first.