Constipation

Constipation during pregnancy is common.  Your hormones cause the muscles in your small and large intestines to relax and this slows down passage of food and stool.  Many women who before pregnancy had a daily bowel movement report a reduced frequency with only 3 to 4 bowel movements per week.  There is some evidence that probiotics, beneficial bacteria in yogurt, can increase the frequency of bowel movements during pregnancy.  Look for yogurt with Bifidobacterium, this is seen in the Greek yogurts and some probiotic supplements.  You can also reduce constipation by increasing the fiber in your diet.  Start the morning with a high fiber cereal containing at least 6 grams of fiber per serving.  Be sure to check the cereal box and read the label.

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