- Stool Softeners During Pregnancy
- Can Pregnant Women Take a Laxative?
- Pros and Cons of Laxatives
- Laxatives in Pregnancy
Stool Softeners During Pregnancy
Normally the bowel moments should occur once a day, or at least every other day. Lack of stool for three days refers to the constipation. Over a half of pregnant women face a problem of constipation. Safety is the main problem the doctor encounters while selecting a laxative for a pregnant patient.
Can Pregnant Women Take a Laxative?
A diet and physical activity are the main factors of the bowel function normalization during pregnancy. Pregnant women should also change their eating habits, include in the diet the maximum amount of fiber, especially rough fiber, if it is well digested.
Vegetable fiber isn’t absorbed, but it contributes to bloating and a better excretion of the food masses. Reduce to a minimum consumption of refined products such as finished and semi-finished products, frozen dishes: they contain lots of preservatives and other elements that affect the intestines.
Pregnant women are advised to drink fresh low-fat kefir or "live" yogurt. In this situation, milk won’t do you good, as it contributes to the fermentation in the gut. If possible, cut the consumption of products that cause constipation such as rice, strong tea, boiled eggs, walnuts, etc.
The harm that constipation cause to the baby developing the intoxication from the indigested food is quite often exaggerated. In order to improve the quality of life of pregnant women and prevent straining, which can lead to prolapse of hemorrhoids and a premature delivery, you need to fight constipations.
Pros and Cons of Laxatives
The main harm laxatives might cause is the artificial increase of smooth muscles’ activity - they form the uterus, which can result in a miscarriage or a premature birth. They also feature side effects such as increase in mucus secretion, bowl spasms and pain, fluid and salt loss caused by diarrhea.
In addition, medical laxatives destroy intestinal flora, they are partially absorbed into the blood of the pregnant woman and can reach the baby through the placenta. Therefore, pregnant women should be particularly careful selecting a laxative.
Laxatives in Pregnancy
In the case of particularly severe constipation if the diet is ineffective, but the pregnancy is going well, you can try a laxative.
First, let’s speak about medications that don’t fit for this purpose. It is not recommended to use salts(solutions of magnesium, sodium and potassium, Carlsbad salt) and oil laxatives. When we make the bowls function, using these preparations, the uterus starts contracting, too. It is neither recommended to use “weaker” herbal preparations such as senna.
The only exceptions to the rule are lactulose based medications (Prelaks, Duphalac, Forlaks, Tranzipek, etc.) Although they belong to the group of salt laxatives, they can be administered at any term of pregnancy, as they produce only a local effect.
Today there is a number of medications that are safe in pregnancy. They are designed to loosen fecal masses and facilitate their moving through the gastro-intestinal tract. Such laxatives contain derivatives of polysaccharides and cellulose, contributing to the penetration of liquid from the surrounding tissues into the intestine . Typically, these drugs do not enter the blood, they aren’t absorbed and are quite neutral in terms of the impact on the body.