What Can I Do About Constipation During the First Trimester?

Cynthia Flynn's picture
Experts: 

QUESTION

Dear Midwife,
I am in my first trimester; about 5 weeks now. I am experiencing bad constipation! I have tried everything from fiber cereals to Metamucil and drinking plenty of water. It feels like nothing is working. I have used enemas in the past and they have worked.

Can I use one now to relieve the pain? Is this safe for the baby?

ANSWER

You don't mention how many grams of fiber you are eating, but for those with problems, 35 grams every single day is the minimum. You can go on-line and read package labels to see how to get them. My personal favorites are nuts, artichokes and salad by the bag, but you may have others :-).

By "plenty of water" I'm assuming you mean at least 2 liters/day, or 3 liters when it is hot. And you also need a half hour of walking or other exercise each day. A hot drink in the morning also seems to help.

Once you have tried all this every single day for two weeks, then the next step I would suggest is a stool softener, such as Colace, which you can get over the counter. Other methods can actually make the problem worse! But check with your midwife or doctor, as they may have additional suggestions in your particular case.

-- Cynthia, CNM. PhD.