Cramps and constipation are a common occurrence during pregnancy and are not a cause for concern for the most part. However, some reasons of cramps can be serious causes such as –

  • Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)
  • Ectopic Pregnancy (When the pregnancy occurs outside of the uterus)
  • Miscarriage
  • Preeclampsia (A serious pregnancy complication where the pregnant mother develops high blood pressure, protein in the urine, and organ damage)
  • Preterm Labor
  • Placental Abruption (A dangerous condition where the placenta separates from the baby before the birth)

Most causes of mild cramping are not serious but if accompanied with severe pain, lower abdominal pain with cramping, vaginal cramping, heavy bleeding, gastrointestinal symptoms, dizziness, cramping and pain in shoulder or neck or both, increased thirst and reduced urination, severe headache, fever, bloody diarrhea, painful or burning urination, and frequent contractions you must consult your gynecologist.

The more common and less worrisome reasons for cramps during pregnancy are Round Ligament Pain (Pain of the ligament that supports the uterus), False labor pains, Gas or bloating, Constipation, and Sexual Activity.

 What Causes Constipation During Pregnancy?

The increase in pregnancy hormones causes the digested food to move more slowly through the digestive tract. Additionally, nausea and morning sickness makes the pregnant mother very fussy about certain kinds of food depriving her of fiber-rich foods that help bulk up the stool. Additionally, the iron supplements that a pregnant mother eats might be contributing to constipation during pregnancy. Iron supplements can lead to indigestion and constipation, so ensure that you tell your doctor about your constipation if you think the iron supplements are causing it.

What can you do to minimize Constipation during the third trimester of pregnancy?

There are a few things that you can do to minimize constipation during the third trimester of pregnancy.

  • Tell your doctor if your iron supplements or prenatal vitamins are causing constipation. Your doctor can recommend prenatal vitamins that do not cause constipation as they are easy on the stomach and easy to consume.
  • Do exercises that have been approved by the doctor such as prenatal yoga, walking, and breathing exercises.
  • Eat according to a routine and with frequent gaps.
  • Include fiber-rich foods in your diets such as fruits and vegetables to ensure that there’s enough roughage in your meals.
  • Drink adequate quantities of water.
  • Consume a prenatal vitamin that contains a bowel regulator so that constipation can be alleviated.

Take Away

Pregnancy is a time of various changes in the body and combined with nausea and morning sickness it is easy to make the wrong food and dietary choices that can impact your gastrointestinal tract. Take prenatal pills that have not only Iron, Folate, and Calcium but also other micronutrients such as magnesium that prevents cramps and ingredients such as bowel regulator that can help you with constipation. Ensure that your prenatal vitamins are following the guidelines by WHO and ICMR and are recommended by doctors. Prenatal pills that have been made for Indian pregnant women are preferred as they are formulated for the needs of Indian Pregnant women keeping the mind the lifestyle, dietary choices, genetics, climate, and dietary preferences.