Constipation in Early Pregnancy

Cynthia Flynn's picture
Experts: 

QUESTION

Dear Midwife,
I am 9 weeks today. I have been really constipated, which I am told is normal. The problem is before I got pregnant my iron was always low and every few months I was on iron pills. Once I got pregnant I stopped taking them, until I saw my doctor to be sure I could still take them (on Thursday).

I had my first check up and the doctor says everything is fine. My problem is when I actually go to the bathroom my stool has been black and I have only went in small amounts for a few weeks now. I am also having pain (that reminds me of gas pain) every now and then in my side.

I am pretty sure it is built up gas because that's what it feels like and it is pretty high up, near my ribs. I'm also having a bit of pain in my "breadbasket", near my zoifoid. I think it is gas pain from not going to the bathroom in a while.....

Is all of this normal? Should I be worried? What is this?

ANSWER

You sound like a person who needs to go on a *really* high fiber diet--sooner rather than later. It is better to do it with food and fluids than with pills if you can.

Here are a few suggestions, but you can find more on the web: eat a whole bag of prepared salad every day; other green leafies are good (like spinach); eat about 10 almonds every day; eat fruits where you eat the skin or the seeds (raspberries, grapes, raisins and apples, not bananas); make sure you get at least 2 liters of water and a half hour of exercise every day; artichokes (whole) are great!; and chili or anything with beans in it.

If you do these things each day for three days, I practically guarantee that things will get moving.

-- Cynthia, CNM. PhD.