oa Professional Nursing Today - Pregnancy-induced constipation - a catch-22 : midwifery
The end result of constipation during pregnancy can be rectal disorders such as oedema, haemorrhoids or fissures. Defecation pain or straining to pass a stool can contribute to the development of constipation because the longer faeces remain in the bowel, the drier and harder they become. The influence of progesterone on smooth muscle during pregnancy slows peristalsis to improve the absorption of nutrients. This is the major cause of pregnancy-induced constipation. Pressure from the growing uterus, inadequate exercise and fluid intake, a lack of fibre in the diet and possibly stress, contributes to pregnancy-induced constipation. Avoiding these contributing factors and introducing good eating and lifestyle habits can help pregnant women both during and after pregnancy to overcome the discomforts of constipation.
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