Yup – we are going there today friends. Digestive issues during pregnancy aka pooping while pregnant!
Chances are if you had any interest in reading this blog post you are either pregnant and your poop schedule is way off or you aren’t pregnant but your poop schedule is still way off. Both totally common and I am happy to hear that I’m not the only one who is perfectly OK talking about their bowel movements.
Going to the bathroom is such a taboo topic, especially with women. I personally have always been very open and blunt about my digestive health and that territory. Not to mention that being with Jord has made me even more open about it since he’s not the typical guy who thinks a girl doesn’t take a dayum poop. We have an extremely open (some may think too open) relationship but being with him has seriously made me become even more comfortable chatting about this topic.
Let’s rewind a bit before diving into my tips for pooping while pregnant.
I’m currently over 5 months pregnant (more than half way there – it’s crazy!) and before getting pregnant, I have always been what I like to call “regular” when it comes to going to the bathroom. Sure, everyone’s regular is different but for me that consists of 1-2x per day and always first thing when I wake up (usually between 7:30-8am). I am indeed one of those annoying people who’s schedule isn’t thrown off my travel or routine changes. Take me to Italy, California, Hawaii or really any time zone and I’ll still go when I wake up. I have never dealt with constipation and this something I never take for granted because I know how many people struggle to take a flipping poop every day.
I joke that pooping is my favorite past time (ya, we are really getting deep here). Likely why I am hungry often and like to constantly be snacking – that system is usually flowing pretty well.
But then things changed a bit when I entered my second trimester of pregnancy. Throughout the first 16 weeks of pregnancy, I didn’t notice any shifts in bowel movements. I went as per usual then around 17 weeks (also when I slowly started to grow my bump), I experienced my first day of constipation. I woke up on a Friday morning, went to brush my teeth and go to the bathroom as per usual and NADA. I sat there until my feet when numb. Jord started yelling at me to get up and start moving around so I did. I went and had breakfast, we went for our morning walk and I drank a ton of fluid but nothing. Long story short I went that entire day without going to the bathroom. I was not happy about it and also just felt so uncomfortable. It is the worst feeling ever to feel like you have to go but can’t. My stomach was killing me but nothing was happening. I sat there, I ate figs and probably stressed about it way too much (which likely doesn’t help).
I downed a glass of magnesium powder mixed with water that evening right before bed. I happened to have some in my pantry (random, I know) and the next morning I woke up and went per usual. I messaged over a dozen of my friends who have had babies before asking if they ever had constipation while pregnant. Each one laughed and replied with a big old YES! Clearly thins’t wasn’t uncommon amongst the preggo community.
Knowing how horrible I felt that day, I knew I wasn’t going to be able to make it the rest of this pregnancy without finding some tips on making sure I go to the bathroom. It seems that 1-2x a week I can’t go during my usual morning time. Some days it’ll be later in the day and some days it doesn’t happen but I can tell you that I haven’t gone longer than 1 full day without going, which according to most is something I should be grateful for especially when pregnant. My doctor also assured me this is totally common and not something to stress about (easier said than done!). She recommended taking a few over the counter drugs but hoping those are my last resort to go to the bathroom.
Over the past month, I have been doing a ton of research and experimenting with products to figure out how I can help my body stay regular as much as possible. I know that your intestines does compress a bit as the baby grows so not pooping is awkwardly very normal. I also cannot say that what works for me will 100% work for everyone but as soon as I teased the whole “pooping while pregnant” blog post – the influx of messages came in so I knew I wasn’t alone in trying to solve this issue. Before trying any of my tips, please consult with your doctor if you are iffy on whether or not to take or try these things.
Here are a few things I personally do to keep my digestive system on track (pregnant or not!):
- Probiotics – the #1 supplement in my life are my probiotics. I have been taking these every single day for years and see how much of an impact they make in my digestive system. Our gut bacteria helps keep our systems running smoothly, digest our food and keep bad bacteria away. Probiotics swoon in and help replenish the good bacteria in our guts and keep things regular. It’s such an easy supplement to add to your daily routine too. I prefer to take mine at night about an hour after dinner but I know many take it in the morning as well and it works for them. The Nourishing Women Podcast has a great episode here all about probiotics. I swear by these and these ones. I have been switching on and off after each bottle. There are also prenatal ones I was taking for the first trimester but felt I needed something stronger now. Also make sure the quality of the probiotic is solid. There are many strains of probiotics that won’t do much of anything for us. Not all are equal.
- Fluids – I always have been a huge water drinker. I only drink room temperature water (personal preference) and always have a bottle next to me or in my bag filled to the top. I probably drink about 75-140 fl ounces of water a day, plus my Spindrift and Kombucha and any tea I consume. I don’t count the amount of water I drink so that is a rough estimate. I noticed that being pregnant has made my fluid intake go through the roof. I also am much thirstier at night too so i try to drink at a full water bottle or more before going to bed as I watch TV, etc. I’m not going to go into why drinking water is the most vital for your body because this is something I personally feel everyone benefits from. It helps with more than just constipation but upping your water intake is something that can be a game changer for pooping. As soon as I started drinking more while pregnant, it helped significantly. This is my favorite water bottle since it can be washed in the dishwasher and doesn’t take up so much room in my bag.
- Magnesium powder – I don’t even understand how I randomly had magnesium powder in my pantry the day I needed it the most, but I sure am happy I did. I mix this with water every night after I take my probiotic and it has helped relax and keep me regular. It doesn’t taste 100% amazing but for the little bit you drink, it is manageable to me. Plus I have seen how much it helps me so I gladly will drink this every night. Jord drinks his mezcal and I’m chugging magnesium.. This is another powder that I have heard good things about too.
- Dried prunes – You don’t have to twist my arm to get me to eat dried fruit. Jord was trying to get me to drink prune juice when I was buying some but when I personally love the taste of dried fruit like figs and prunes. Plus the juice doesn’t have the same amount of fiber that the dried fruit does. I stock up on organic dried prunes and eat about 5 a serving a few days a week and more when I am backed up. Yes dried fruit is sugar but I don’t care – they are nature’s remedy for constipation and have insoluble fiber and a natural laxative called sorbitol. Plus they taste GOOD!
- Probiotic rich foods – are you sensing a theme here? Probiotics are your FRIEND! Eat them, enjoy them and feel the benefits. My two favorite foods that I eat daily (every single day) for extra probiotic support are coconut yogurt (look for any in grocery store with probiotics!) and kimchi is a must. I like to put coconut yogurt on everything: breakfast, snacks or just eat by spoonful. For kimchi you can find me eating it from the jar like a savage when I make dinner. If you like spicy, they make many spicy ones but I go for the lower spice options since I cannot handle that fire! Daily eats and the one day I didn’t have both of these, I didn’t go the next morning and was convinced it’s because I didn’t eat my extra probiotic foods (who knows!).
- Smooth Move – so my friend has always sworn by this smooth move tea and I haven’t ever needed to try it until now. And let me tell you, that ish WORKS like crazy. I didn’t follow the directions (typical) and had in the morning but you’re supposed to have it at night. I downed a cup when I was going to bed and woke up the next day and made up for lost time not going to the bathroom for a day. It is very very strong and not something I would recommend consuming often. Think of it as an emergency type of thing. It even says on the package do not have it frequently. And for anyone pregnant, as your doctor if you can take it beforehand just in case. Mine said it’s okay but everyone is different! This is not something you want to be dependent on. I have only drank 1 cup since being pregnant and it was enough. Think of it like a secret weapon/last resort.
- Elevate feet – this squatty potty is the cheapest investment ever and people swear by it. I personally just put my feet on a garbage pale and call it a day but when I am at my parent’s house I use it and it works so well. It is a great way to elevate your feet and they say it helps get things flowing in there. I personally think the first 6 items listed help the most but elevation is almost the cherry on top. Good to keep in mind and use this position when you can.
I hope this is informative, not overwhelming and I am sending you the BEST bathroom vibes. Keep me posted if you have any other questions and please, don’t be ashamed to talk about poop. Everyone does it – DUH!