Constipation is one of the problems that are often experienced by pregnant women. The natural way to cure constipation is to consume lots of fiber and drink a lot. However, sometimes this method is not enough to help pregnant women overcome constipation. As a result, many choose to use laxatives or laxatives. But, is it safe to consume laxatives during pregnancy?
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Do you get laxatives during pregnancy?
If constipation experienced by pregnant women does not heal even though the mother eats a lot of fiber and drinks water, many pregnant women end up choosing laxatives as a quick way. Laxatives are used to help pregnant women overcome difficulty defecating due to hard stools. However, there are various types of laxatives available in different ways of working. Not all laxatives are safe for use by pregnant women.
In general, mild laxatives are safe for use by pregnant women and do not cause side effects to both the mother and the fetus in the womb. However, you should not take this laxative for a long time during pregnancy. Too long or often taking laxatives can cause you to experience diarrhea. As a result, you can become dehydrated and interfere with the balance of mineral and salt levels in the body due to too much loss of body fluids.
What types of laxatives are safe for pregnant women?
Laxatives are available in various types that have different ways of working. The following are various types of laxatives:
Stool forming laxatives
This laxative is safe to use during pregnancy. This drug works by absorbing water so that it makes the stool more volume and soft. This then makes it easier for you to defecate. However, sometimes the use of laxatives of this type can cause side effects, such as flatulence, cramps, and spasms. Which includes this type of laxative are methylcellulose, isphagula husk, and sterculia. When you use this medicine, make sure you drink plenty of water and don't take it before going to bed. This drug takes 2-3 days to work.
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Lactulose and polyethylene glycol are examples of osmotic laxatives. Both of these drugs cannot be digested by the intestine, thus helping to draw water into the intestine to soften the stool. This laxative is also safe for use by pregnant women. However, pregnant women may experience side effects, such as flatulence and frequent farting. If used for a long time, this drug may cause electrolyte imbalance. Just like other laxatives, you need to drink plenty of water when using this medicine. This drug also takes 2-3 days to show the effect.
Examples of stimulant laxatives are Bisacodyl and Senna. Both of these drugs work by stimulating intestinal movements and increasing water levels in the stool. Senna can help stimulate the intestinal muscles to move so as to facilitate the stool to get out. Research has proven that the use of these laxatives during pregnancy is safe and not risky for babies.
However, experts recommend not using Senna during the third trimester because it can stimulate uterine contractions. The use of this drug can also cause side effects such as stomach cramps, and if used for a long time can cause electrolyte imbalances in the body.
What to watch out for if you take laxatives during pregnancy
However, you need to pay attention to the following when you want to use laxatives:
- Some laxatives contain high amounts of sugar or sodium. This is not good because it can trigger an increase in blood pressure or a buildup of water in the body.
- You should avoid saline (salt solution) laxatives containing magnesium, phosphate, or potassium, if you have kidney problems.
- Laxatives in the form of mineral oil should be avoided because they can interfere with the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins in the body.
Indeed, constipation drugs are safe for you to use while pregnant, but if you use them too often it's not good. It is best to consult with your doctor in choosing a laxative that you consume when you are pregnant. However, you are still better at dealing with constipation in a natural way, without any side effects.
Many eat high in fiber, drink more water, and exercise regularly can help you prevent and overcome constipation. By consuming lots of high-fiber foods, you also help your body get the nutrients it needs. If you take iron supplements, you should reduce your consumption because iron supplements are one of the causes of constipation during pregnancy. Talk to your doctor about how to regulate iron intake from supplements and foods needed during pregnancy.
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