Q – Since becoming pregnant I’ve been having a hard time with constipation. I thought maybe it was from the prenatal vitamins that I have been taking and that my body would adjust, but it doesn’t seem to be getting any better. I am very uncomfortable and am wondering if you can suggest anyways that might be helpful in reducing this?

A – Constipation is a common though uncomfortable complication of pregnancy and as you have suggested is often related to the prenatal vitamins as they have iron in them which can be constipating.  It can also be a complication of pregnancy that is completely unrelated to the vitamins.  The best way to treat it is to use Prodiem or Metamucil, both fiber supplements, with an increase in water consumption.  Taking increased fiber without increasing water can sometimes worsen the problem.  If these do not work you can add Colace, generic name-Ducosate Sodium, at night time until the problem resolves.  Once resolved you want to stop the Ducosate and continue with the extra fiber and water.

Dr. Linda Ducholke, a mother of two, has been a successful Family Practitioner with Obstetrical privileges for the past 20 years. The main focus and passion of her practice is obstetrics and childcare.