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What if I have constipation during pregnancy?

Constipation is a common complaint during pregnancy. The high progesterone levels encountered cause a slow down in the transport of material through the digestive tract. This leads to problems ranging from heartburn to hemorrhoids. Constipation can be further exacerbated by vitamins and iron.

  • Water consumption should be at least 8-10 glasses of water per day
  • High fiber diet
  • Fiber laxatives such as Metamucil, Citrucel, Fibercon
  • Milk of magnesia
  • Magnesium Citrate—120 to 240 mL orally
  • Mineral oil—may decrease absorption of fat soluble vitamins
  • Glycerine suppositories

Alert! Patients should take medicines during pregnancy only as a last alternative. Many medicines are considered "safe" when taken during pregnancy, and are described as such here; however, these declarations are usually made via observational studies of populations. They are rarely made as the result of rigorous study. Thus, caution and restraint should be exercised in starting any medication, prescription or over the counter, during pregnancy.

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