Alert: Pregnancy Constipation Can Be Serious

Moms with HG in their 2nd trimester.

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Alert: Pregnancy Constipation Can Be Serious

Postby Kimber » Sep 19, 2010 2:39 am

Constipation is a problem for "normal" pregnancies, but add changes such as dehydration, meds like Zofran, inactivity, low-fiber diet, and pregnancy hormones and you have the potential for serious complications. We hear of a few women being admitted every year for "impaction" (like blockage) that requires inpatient treatment. It's extremely painful and narcotics are usually required.

Recently, a mother contacted me and let me know her daughter suffered from HG and her colon became so blocked, she ended up with a perforated intestine (basically it tore open from the pressure). She required surgery and had to have a portion of her intestines removed. She is doing ok and her pregnancy survived. She asked that I make sure mother's are aware of this potentially life-threatening complication so that something good comes from her daughter's experience.

To prevent impaction, it is important to stay ahead of constipation. Many women find successful management with a daily regimen of stool softeners (like Colace) with or without stimulants (like Senokot) and glycerine suppositories. There are also homeopathics and magnesium supplements that can be helpful. Proactive management is key. Talk to your doctor about what treatments are best for you. Once constipated, aggressive treatment that rapidly evacuates the intestines can temporarily worsen HG.

Here is an article on treatment of constipation in pregnancy.
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Re: Alert: Pregnancy Constipation Can Be Serious

Postby MamaBLC » May 15, 2012 1:17 pm

It was suggested that I take Cal/Mag in a 2/1 ratio (1000mgs of Cal to 500 mgs of Magnesium) for my constipation and that has really helped me. My BMs are still in pellet form, but there are much easier to pass. The first trimester I pulled stomach muscles trying to go to the bathroom and even though it's still not perfect, at least I can move food through. It's worth asking your midwife/MD.
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Re: Alert: Pregnancy Constipation Can Be Serious

Postby witch_baby » Jun 09, 2013 11:13 am

Thank you for letting us all know. My doctors never went into detail with me about constipation. I have it due to the medications I take. It's very uncomfortable to say the least. Milk of Magnesia has been magical for me. I was recommended Colace too. I haven't tried it yet. I <3 the MOM so far.
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Re: Alert: Pregnancy Constipation Can Be Serious

Postby Becky613 » Jun 13, 2013 3:50 pm

In terms of being proactive, what signs should we look out for so that the constipation doesn't lead to a trip to the hospital? (I'm pretty sure I'll be having nightmares about perforated bowels for the rest of my pregnancy.) How long is too long to go without going? How many painful bowel movements can our bodies handle?

My doctor hasn't been the best when it comes to taking my symptoms seriously, and it seems like entirely too many decisions are completely up to me. I've tried the Colace, increasing my water intake (which sometimes results in even more vomiting), and increasing my fiber intake (when I can eat), but the only thing that really works if the Milk of Magnesia. But, I'm afraid of getting too dependent on it. How often do you take MOM?
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Re: Alert: Pregnancy Constipation Can Be Serious

Postby leahmsilverman » Jun 13, 2013 5:01 pm

I make do with Colace, so I can't answer the MOM question. But, Becky, I just want to say that if your doctor is not taking your symptoms seriously, it is time for a new one. HG is too much too handle with a doctor who is not helping you to be proactive. Heck, HG is just too much to handle period. You definitely need a more understanding doc. Are you in a position to switch to a new one? Check the referral list. Call around to find a high risk OB (hopefully who has experience with HG) in your area. Getting good care is paramount.

Hopefully someone else can field that MOM question for you. :wink:
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Re: Alert: Pregnancy Constipation Can Be Serious

Postby owl-light » Sep 01, 2015 4:37 am

I've been observing that when constipated, my vomiting and nausea actually decrease.

When having regular bowel movements or upset ones, they increase.

Has anyone else noticed changes in vomiting related to this?

As the causation for HG is still elusive, it's not clear what's going on…there may be stronger neuromuscular gastric issues in some of us than others...
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