Constipation in pregnancy


During pregnancy the altered hormone levels (increased progesterone) affects gut function and this can result in constipation for some people.

It is important to keep up both your fibre and fluid to help prevent / treat this. In addition, keeping active can also help bowel function.

If you are feeling uncomfortable because of slow bowel habits discuss this with your LMC.

Fibre is found in plant based foods and the less processed these foods are the higher the fibre content will be.

If you need to increase your fibre intake look for:

  • Wholegrain breads – read the food label to find a fibre value of more than 6 grams per 100 grams
  • High fibre breakfast cereals – options like all bran (even if it is added to other cereals), muesli, sultana bran, porridge, or any other breakfast cereal which has 6 grams fibre per 100 grams is a good source of fibre
  • Fruit and vegetables – eat the skins where possible, but remember to wash thoroughly first.
  • Dried fruit
  • Nuts* and seeds
  • Legumes in the form of dried beans or lentils are also a very good source of fibre
  • Changing from white rice and pasta to brown rice or wholemeal pasta will also be beneficial.

Useful Articles in Pregnancy

To learn more about recommended foods in pregnancy, read our article by dietician, Fiona Boyle, and midwife, Paula Skelton Nutrition in Pregnancy

For detailed information on iron read Iron in pregnancy

Fiona Boyle

Fiona Boyle is a registered dietitian and nutritionist. She runs a private practice and gives nutrition advice to individuals and families to help meet their health needs and personal goals.

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Please note that Kiwi Families is not intended to replace individualised, specialist advice that you receive from your doctor and other health professionals.

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