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Posted on June 11 2014

Constipation Causes and Cures.  Consider yourself very LUCKY if you escaped any pregnancy without the dreaded C curse. It can strike at any time throughout an entire pregnancy and happen more than once, for short or extremely dreaded long periods of time. You are not alone.  
Unfortunately the general public is greatly misinformed about the “dirty” details of this topic and there are an overwhelming amount of quick fixes that are advertised everywhere, even perhaps your local doctor’s office that are not beneficial long term, nor do they go to the source of the issue.
“Dr. Jensen’s Guide to Better Bowel Care” is a quick read book with an invaluable wealth of information on your bowels and digestive system, with remedies and information that will, for lack of better terms, significantly “lighten your load!”
How about this for starters, did you know that pregnant or not, constipation, the chronic kind is often misdiagnosed and is all too common even in non-preggars?  Most people think of that incident of a day or two, or perhaps a week where their stools just won’t escape and when they finally do…OUCH… hard rocks ripping out of you, sometimes accompanied by curse #2., hemorrhoids! This though, is only 1 type of constipation, and is usually the least problematic, though the most painful.
Generally, when asked, people feel that if they have a bowel movement at least once a day that they are “regular” and so brush off the slightest chance that they are, and probably have been for some time suffering from chronic constipation. This is not so. When your system is optimally functioning, you should typically have a few bowel movements a day, but if you are going every day, it doesn’t mean that what’s leaving your temple is from the last few meals. Your system is backed up and so you may be going every day but it’s food that was taken in days or a week ago and has already caused significant toxic overload ion your body, not to mention bloating, cramping, gas, fatigue, achiness, weakness, rashes, etc.
The best, and most basic thing to do immediately is to HYDRATE and you can check out our water blog “link” for the greatest tips on hydration during and after pregnancy. You, your body, and baby will be soooo happy you did! Generally, about 3 quarts of water a day, preferably with fresh squeezed lemon will work.
Next, it’s back to basics…squatting! There are loads of books on this topic but we will keep it short, simple, and sweet - purchase a toilet squatter, or a simple low step stool and be in the proper, natural, squatting position for moving those bowels. It wasn’t until the invention of the “modern” toilet, the most ergonomically INCORRECT invention for the body that people stopped squatting.  Having your feet up and knees slightly higher than the hips is the position the body needs to be in for proper elimination. You can check out or do an internet search for “toilet squatters” for some amazing information on how to change your world by changing the way you “move.”
Thirdly, how’s that magnificent magnesium intake of yours? This is very often overlooked and very much deficient in the body, but it’s one of the best ways to keep your digestive system right on track, not to mention significantly help those nerves cope with stress, reduce muscle fatigue, and help you get better sleep! Now, who could ask for more? Magnesium is NOT something that can be checked easily through blood work as the blood levels are taken up in the body quickly and throughout the day. Iron and calcium levels, which should be check during pregnancy are more stable in the blood and give accurate readings, but not magnesium. So if you are experiencing constipation, or any of the above mentioned issues, it’s highly recommended to work on your magnesium, you’ll know you hit the right levels as slightly too much will start to cause diarrhea. (As always, you are responsible for checking with your doctor or healthcare provider about any of the tips mentioned). Natural Vitality, Natural Calm Lemon and Raspberry magnesium powder is one of the best supplements. It’s an all-natural powder that you add to water for a refreshing drink and it should be taken as indicated, throughout the day, just like vitamin c as it gets absorbed quickly. With everything though, you need to help your body by being consistent and regular so that your bowels can be “regular.” Trying something a few times or being inconsistent will never provide the best results for you. Here’s another inside scoop – magnesium is very important in helping the body process calcium. So many people are getting too much calcium and it’s staying in the body because it’s out of balance with the magnesium intake, this is also why many women, especially pregnant women, end up having kidney stones.
Stress. Sadly, it goes unrecognized as many conjure this vision of frantic, panicking people to mean someone is stressed. But, any situation you are in, if you find yourself holding your breath, you are most likely stressing. Perhaps a person or situation makes you feel uncomfortable for a reason you may or may not even know why. Tension in the body keeps you blocked on all levels, especially your digestive system, and this is a big downward spiral. Remember, it’s not what you eat, it’s what your body absorbs and stress is toxic on a physical level. Breathing, walking, meditation, (even 5 – 10 minutes a day of just quiet breathing time is the best form of meditation, you don’t need to be a yogi in the Himalayas), will be very helpful. If you can, get a massage, professional or better yet, a loving one from a friend or your partner. There are some great books that give good tips on this like Marie Mongan's “Hypnobirthing,” and a super fun one for men & women called “The Caveman’s Pregnancy Companion” by David Port. Massages relieve tight bowels which is a big cause of constipation. Take a warm sea salt or Epsom salt bath, yes even in the summer, (you can cool off in the shower with some cold water afterwards). It’s a real LIFE SAVER! You can buy large quantities of Epsom salt, like a few pounds for under $6. Light a candle and breathe.
Diet and Activity. Sorry, but one can’t get through a health related article without mention of these two soul sisters. They go hand in hand, and by no means do we mean “dieting.” Just your diet in general, meaning your general food intake along with moving that wonderful body of yours. Swimming is one of the best pregnant and post pregnant forms of movement to generate great health and get that happiness flowing, so please don’t let the thought of donning a bathing suit while pregnant stop you from giving the best to yourself and your baby! Splash in the sun or an indoor pool if at all possible and glow.  Try pre-natal yoga, simple stretching moves, walks, and whatever feels good to you, just keep it moving.
As for diet, the best thing you can do is increase your fiber by supplement, or even better by adding some more veggies (raw and steamed) to your diet along with at least 1 big salad a day. Remember, especially with fiber supplements, you’ll need to keep hydrated and keep that protein intake up. There’s only so much chicken, tofu, or steak one can eat so find a great protein supplement and drink some of that nourishing stuff! One of the brands that is all natural, vegan (even if you aren’t), and actually tastes good is the Plant Fusion brand vanilla protein powder. There are mixed messages out there about the amount you need, but for sure, as a pregnant or lactating woman your needs increase, so averaging about 80 grams a days is good (considering your health, weight, and body size). Incorporate some nuts like raw, unsalted almonds, cashews, and/or walnuts into your diet.
And lastly, a mighty, magical secret for constipation…WATERMELON! You get the juicy goodness and some fiber and loads of beneficial nutrients! It’s one of the quick fixes that is good for you!
Remember, attitude is everything. Enjoy this time and make the best of it, you are not alone and there is always help and guidance available. Keep it regular and keep your sense of humor handy.
The recommended products listed in this article were solely based on professional experience and in no way connected to paid advertising or marketing.
Brought to you by Jennifer Carman, ND A wellness educator with over a decade experience in health, physical fitness, nutrition, and transformational energy healing.  For more happy, healthful information, or if you have questions, please
These articles are for informational wellness purposes, and are not intended to treat or diagnose. As always, you should check with your medical health provider with any issue, concern, or questions.  ©Jennifer Carman 2014

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