View Full Version : Help with Constipation!
I am 8 weeks pregnant and suffering BADLY from constipation. I have been in tears with the cramps and pain :crying: Just wondering if anyone can recommend an over-the-counter medication that is safe to take.
I am at the stage where prunes, Metamucil, prune juice etc are not going to work. I need something stronger to get myself back to normal and then can use these to keep myself regular.
My gynaecologist suggested that Movicol (macrogol, sodium/potassium chloride and sodium bicarbonate) was okay, despite me reading that the following should be avoided:
* salts of sodium, magnesium and potassium
* mineral oils (liquid paraffin)
* oral preps and suppositories containing castor oil, senna, cascara, bisacodyl, phenolphthalin, danthron or sodium sulphate.
I don't have any solutions to offer (yet) but just wanted to say that you're not alone! I'm 9 weeks with baby # 3 and suffering the same problem. Luckily I'd managed to miss this particular symptom with my other pregnancies but I seem to be making up for it with this one.
I've tried the prunes (really really not good with the morning sickness for me). As I couldn't stomach these anymore I'm now trying Metamucil and Coloxyl which I picked up at the chemist. The Coloxyl is a "stool softener" apparently. It's sold on it's own or with Senna - the pharmacist advised that both are safe in pregnancy but that they recommend the Coloxyl on it's own if possible and that you can upgrade to the Senna combination only if necessary. The pharmacist told me that the Senna was okay to use if absolutely necessary (and it had to be taken only for short intervals) but the Coloxyl was a better alternative. Coloxyl still has docusate sodium though so not an entirely natural option either.
The general remedies I've come across to date seem to be:
Eat more fibre (increase fruit and vegies - the Metamucil would also kick in here).
Exercise 30 mins a day to stimulate your digestive system.
Increase water intake (softens stools - the Coloxyl also assists with this too).
I'm trying a combination of everything right now - I'm guzzling water, eating tons of fruit (including the prunes :eek:), taking Metamucil, running each day and taking Coloxyl and it's only just keeping symptoms at bay. The constipation is painful and I put on an excessive amount of weight and bloated right up over the past few weeks.
I'm going to ask my doctor about this at the next visit later this week to see if they have any other suggestions ...
Lots of fibre and LOTS of water. Try not to use metemusel (sp) flavour stuff because it has artificial sweeteners in it. But prunes and dates and apples are really good. You can use psyllum (sp) husks to add to things. Benefibre is good too. But the more fibre you have the more water because if you don't have enough water it will harden your stools.
Thanks so much for your post beezee78 :)
A lovely lady on another forum suggested Lac-dol. It is a lactulose solution - essentially a sugar solution. Lactulose is not metabolised or absorbed by the body. The way it works is that the bacteria in the bowel break the lactulose down into acids which pull water into the bowel which help to soften the stools. Movement of the food through the intestines, is also helped by the actions of lactulose.
The best thing about the Lac-dol is that it specifically says it is safe to use during pregancy and breastfeeding. So this puts my mind at ease :thumbsup:
My chemist didn't actually have it but had an identical thing called Genlac. So have taken 45mls last night and this morning. My tummy "talked" all night long and was very uncomfortable, but despite getting very little sleep I am relieved that there is finally some action down there :smiliedance: Although no "proper" relief as yet it does say it takes 24-72 hours to work, so am counting down the hours :fingerscrossed: Will let you know if it is a success.
I will definitely be using all your tips once am cleared - anything to ensure I don't get this bad again.
Am with you on the Metamucil. I also bought the "natural" flavour as wasn't so keen on having all those artificial sweeteners either.
Have started taking Genlac (see my post to beezee78), so am crossing my fingers I have success with this :fingerscrossed:
But will ensure I keep getting lots of fibre and water once I am properly cleared, because I certainly don't want to be this bad again anytime soon.
Ohhh, it is awful isnt it? My bub is now 10 weeks old but I remember the constipation. What worked for me was just to drink loads of water and eat licorice. I tried other things but these worked the best for me!
My sister tried prune juice but just couldn't stomach it. She used Milk of Magnesia a couple times and she couldn't stomach it either. She got a prescription for Colace from my doctor and he recommended Citrucel. It's a little pricey but it worked great!
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Not sure, but I remember a product called NULAX which may (?) be natural, used alot in aged care for constipation.
Liquorice if you like it might be worth a try, just don't take anything including anything that is natural without checking with your Pharmacist first.
Heaps of water.
I hope you feel better soon
psyllium husks are fantastic - basically what metamucil is made of without any flavoring ($$ about a 10th too). No taste, but make sure you when you mix it with fruit juice/water that you drink it straight away, before it turns to jelly. Heaps of water too, obviously.
I used lactulose after birth as I had an anal tear and its great too. Sickly sweet though.
I think Senna is a no no in pregnancy, from memory.
Best wishes for a speedy release!
Cook 4 green apples and 1 cup brown sugar till the apples become very very soft. Usually takes about 1 hour to cook. Keep adding water to prevent burning. Once it is cooked keep in the fridge and eat as required. Worked for me. I started to bleed because the I was forcing so much and the pain was shocking. My 79 old mother in law cooked this for me and it was the best thing ever. All the stuff from the chemist and the mid wife did not work.
I was drinking two litres of water per day and it made no difference to my stomach.
Have you tried going for a good long walk? I've been horribly blocked up this time, and I was with DS too but I thought it was normal. :o
Anyway, the other day I went for a big walk pushing bubs in the pram and stopped at the cafe and had a bran muffin...and lets just say it's become part of my daily routine. :o
A preggie book I've been reading also says a cup of herbal tea on an empty stomach when you wake up should help things along...but again, I highly recommend the walking! :p
what ever u use, remember heaps of water, otherwise the issues that can happen will be worse than the constipation.
genlac requires heaps of water to work effectively, as do most laxaives and stool softeners.
:wave:Hey all, I remember someone mentioned licorice is something that can work to stay regular....seeing as I can't stand black licorice, does anyone know if RED would have the same impact???
I'm having serious pain here and nothing seems to help.....and it's ruining my personal life too.....if u know what I mean :(
There are some great ideas here, and will be good for "maintenance" too, but it seems the main thing you need to do first is get rid of what's there. Gross though it sounds, grab a pair of rubber gloves, a jar of vaso, and (not going inside) press around the area where you feel the bulge and see if you can press it into an easier shape to pass. Kinda hard to explain, but you don't go inside, you sorts press through your perineum and around teh sides as well. The vaso is so you'll not hurt as much when passing it. Sounds disgusting, but desperate times call for desperate measures. Also, keep a food diary and be very honest about recoding what you eat ach day and when, and also record when you go to the loo, and the consistency of it. Hopefully you'll see some sort of pattern, and be able to remove the foods that are causing the problem.
Oh, and no, red licorice is not even in the same family as the real thing, and won't do it. Sorry! LOL
I had it so bad before i even found out i was pregnant at 5 weeks (i didnt suffer before), and im only now getting back on track. ive been using pear juice which is a natural laxative, is yummy to drink and cheap...from the supermarket, you cant drink too much but make sure you at least drink a tall glass. also ive tried duphalac, which is a lactulose oral liquid, and other manufactures make it so could also be called genlac. its safe for children, pregnant women and when your breastfeeding. hope you get relief soon;)
Lots of water. lots of prunes and/or dried apricots. If you can find it and can stomach it, dried tamarind is fantastic. I love the stuff and can eat it by the bucket loads but it is rather sour and not many people like it.
Keep the fibre, water and dried fruits going throughout your pregnancy. If you are taking supplements, they no doubt contain iron which is constipating. So you need to prevent the constipation rather than cure it.
Go the albran milkshake - just make it up in whatever you fav flavour is, but also add about 1/2cup of albran and blend it really well.
takes a while to get used to the grainy feel but works an absolute treat!!! (an easy way to eat bran...)
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