Constipation during Pregnancy - Which Foods to Eat


Constipation during pregnancy is very common, with about 50% of pregnant women affected by this condition.

Hormonal changes during pregnancy have a relaxing effect on the muscles, including those of the digestive tract, making constipation during pregnancy very common.

Also, the increasing levels of progesterone in your system make the bowels less efficient. The normal rhythmic contractions of the intestines slow down and the result can be constipation, most often in the third trimester.

Also the pressure of the growing baby can be a contributing factor to constipation during pregnancy.

You can't ignore the problem because it can lead to more serious and painful complaints such as hemorrhoids.

For any other Causes of Constipation click on the link.

Best Foods for Constipation during Pregnancy

  • Drink more fluids - increasing the amount you drink helps make feces softer and easier to eliminate. This is just as important as increasing your intake of dietary fiber. Drink 6 to 8 glasses of liquid each day.

Alcohol, coffee, soda pop and other fizzy drinks tend to be dehydrating. Tea, which contains less caffeine, is a better option than coffee. Better still are fresh juices, especially vegetable juices, herbal and fruit teas, soups and, of course, water. Drink 6 to 8 glasses per day.

whole grains for constipation
  • Increase the amount of fiber in your pregnancy diet. Whole-grain breads, cereals, and bran are helpful. Begin by adding 2 teaspoons of bran to your foods.

Some initial discomfort may be normal, especially if you don't normally consume much fibre. But if you add too much all of a sudden, you may get a lot of bloating and gas. So increase the amount gradually and don't forget to increase the amount of liquid as well. Too much fibre without adequate amounts of water can actually make constipation worse.

Read about prune and prune juice for constipation
  • Eat fresh vegetables and salads containing a variety of raw green and coloured vegetables daily.
  • Eat foods rich in calcium and magnesium.

Magnesium-rich foods include:

  • Almonds
  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Brazil nuts
  • Brown rice
  • Cashews
  • Dried fruits, especially figs
  • Fish
  • Fresh fruits


  • Garlic
  • Ginger root
  • Grapefruit
  • Lamb
  • Lemons
  • Pasta
  • Pulses
  • Seafood
  • Whole-grains

Calcium-rich foods include:

  • Almonds
  • Blackstrap molasses
  • Brazil nuts
  • Brown rice
  • Buttermilk
  • Canned sardines, pilchards and salmon
  • Carob flour
  • Dried fruits
  • Fortified soya milk
  • Goat's milk yogurt and cheese


  • Sea vegetables
  • Sesame seeds
  • Sheep's milk yogurt and cheese
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Tofu
  • The majority of vegetables and herbs contain some calcium
  • Avoid potato starch or white flour - they can cause or aggravate constipation during pregnancy in some sufferers.

It may be that the pancreas isn't able to produce enough starch-splitting enzymes to break-down these two foods but, in any event, it seems that the starch can have a binding effect in some people. Cold cooked potatoes and jacket potatoes are, on the other hand, good foods for constipation in pregnancy.

  • Take vitamin C - Taking vitamin C before meals can help to improve regularity. If you take the powdered variety you can find the right dosage for you. If you take too much, it'll give you diarrhea, so reduce the dosage until your bowel movement are normal.
flaxseed for constipation
  • Take linseed (or flaxseed) - Not only are they rich in both omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, they also contain a type of fiber that help to bulk up the stools and make it softer and easier to pass. Always take them with lots of water.
  • Psyllium husk - Is excellent to soften the stool and if taken regularly can be a very effective remedy for constipation during pregnancy.

Read about Lepicol - The Best Fiber supplement


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What to Eat While Pregnant

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Get this extraordinary What to Eat While Pregnant Program by Isobel De Los Rios, author of the Diet Solution program.

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A website on pregnancy that I find extremely useful is  Pregnancy Friend by Jo Walker. It's packed full of advice and information, do have a look at it!




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Nutrition during Pregnancy - What to Eat for a Healthy Pregnancy


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