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Prenatal Vitamins and Constipation

Prenatal Vitamins and Constipation

Prenatal vitamins are usually recommended for pregnant women. Intake of these pills are known to cause many discomforts, constipation being one of them. Find in this article how prenatal vitamins cause constipation.
Divya Bichu
Prenatal vitamins are taken by many pregnant women as an insurance policy against their diet. Due to hectic schedules and lifestyles, women find it difficult to meet the daily requirement of all the nutrients for proper growth and development of the fetus. Hence, they resort to prenatal vitamins for getting their daily supplement of all the nutrients. But the problem is, many women complain about the various discomforts caused by these vitamin supplements like feeling nauseous, constipation, nasty tasting burps, and so on. Why does this happen and what is the exact cause of these discomforts? Find out about the same in the next section.
Constipation From Prenatal Vitamins
Prenatal vitamins are taken in order to supply the mother-to-be with nutrients and minerals, to get her body ready for the pregnancy phase and also for the development of the baby. These supplements contain essential vitamins and minerals. As compared to other multivitamin supplements, prenatal vitamins are supposed to contain large quantities of iron and folic acid. Iron is used to build up extra hemoglobin.
The main function of hemoglobin is to carry oxygen from lungs to the various parts of the body, and if you are pregnant you require more of it. On the other hand, folic acid prevents a few serious birth defects that occur in the first 28 days of pregnancy . Therefore, folic acid and iron play an important role in the growth and development of the baby and the mother-to-be.
Constipation from prenatal vitamins is typically due the high levels of iron and folic acid in your vitamin supplements. During pregnancy, certain pregnancy hormones are released. Now, these pregnancy hormones are responsible for slowing down the process of digestion than usual. Iron and folic acid in the prenatal vitamins amplify the problem further by instigating the intestine to absorb more water from the digested material, which leads to drying out of the waste material, which in turn leads to constipation.
Ways to Combat Constipation From Prenatal Vitamins
Although prenatal vitamins cause various discomforts, one cannot stop its intake. You would be missing out on important nutrition then. Now, there are several ways to combat the uncomfortable bowel symptoms caused due to these vitamins. Listed below are a few of them.
  • Now, you know these prenatal vitamins prompt the intestine to absorb more water than usual leading to drying out the bowels too much. Therefore, all you need to do is keep hydrating yourself. The usual 8 glasses of water are recommended, but if you are pregnant make sure you increase your water intake, this will prevent the digested material from drying to much.
  • You can also include several other fluids in your diet. Vegetable and fruit juices work best as regards to hydrating your body. Prune juice is known to combat the problem of constipation from prenatal vitamins.
  • Another way to combat constipation during the intake of prenatal vitamins is change the brand. Sometimes, certain brands work for some women while some do not work for others. Also make sure that this time you buy vitamin supplements with less iron and folic acid content.
  • Make fibrous food a major part of your diet. Fibrous foods are known to improve metabolism and provide that extra roughage for the easy movement of bowels.
  • Instead of consuming prenatal vitamin pills, you can switch to liquid form of vitamins. For many women this trick works. And if you wish to stick to pills, you can break the pill into three equal parts and consume it during three different times of the day. This will prevent large amounts of iron and folic acid from entering the digestive tract at the same time.
If you are one of the unlucky few who are suffering from the several discomforts of prenatal vitamins, just follow the above ways to prevent and relieve yourself from constipation.
Disclaimer: This HerHaleness article is for informative purposes only and does not, in any way, intend to replace the advice of a medical expert.