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Tips to Alleviate Constipation During Pregnancy

Dealing with constipation in pregnancy is the absolute worst! When I surfed some pregnancy message boards, people recommended things like coffee and Taco Bell, so I thought I’d put together some holistic tips. You should start with the basics: eat a whole foods diet, avoid processed foods, increase your fiber, and try the old standbys - prunes and dried apricots. 

If you’ve done all this and still can’t get things moving, here are some other ideas:

1. Magnesium

Taking magnesium at night can be very helpful - not only will it help with constipation, but it also helps to calm down the nervous system and give you a good night’s sleep. I’ve had great results with the Liquid Calcium Magnesium by Integrative Therapeutics. In my work with Dr. Frank Lipman, he recommends a dose of 1000 to 1500 mg for constipation, but you should be sure to check with your doctor. Many people also like the Natural CALM by Natural Vitality, which is easy to find at Whole Foods or a health food store.

2. Probiotics 

Probiotics are a good idea in pregnancy, regardless of whether you’re constipated, but can be a real lifesaver for aiding digestion. I like to rotate my probiotics every few months, but one brand that I really like is Dr. Ohhira’s professional formula.

3. Increase Fats

One trick that can be really helpful is to increase the fats in your diet. Some ideas to increase your healthy fats: add a tablespoon of coconut oil to your morning smoothie, have avocado in your salad, use olive oil and lemon as a salad dressing, take fish oil supplements and/or eat fatty fish like salmon and sardines. 

4. Chia Seeds 

Chia seeds have omega 3 fatty acids and lots of fiber which can be great for digestion. You could try simply adding a tablespoon of chia seeds to your glass of water, or you could add them to a smoothie as well. 

5. Yoga Poses for Constipation

Movement is key! Certain yoga poses are known to stimulate digestion. Here’s a good roundup of yoga poses for constipation.

6. Drink More Water

Finally - it should go without saying - but make sure you are drinking lots of water! Water with lemon is great for detoxification in the morning. Especially if you are drinking any caffeine, make sure to get an extra dose of water! My rule of thumb is to drink half of your body weight in ounces of water each day. So if you weigh 140 pounds, be sure to drink 70 ounces of water. Proper elimination is so important, so if you’re having trouble, don’t give up. It’s worth it to keep tweaking your diet, lifestyle and supplements until you get your digestion on track.


Kerry Bajaj is a Certified Health Coach at the Eleven Eleven Wellness Center. She works one-on-one with patients to create healing plans based on nutrient-dense whole foods. She helps patients achieve their health goals including weight loss, improved digestion, stress reduction and exercise.Kerry is a graduate of Georgetown University and the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, and is certified by Columbia University Teachers College in holistic health. She has been mentored in functional medicine under Dr. Frank Lipman since 2010. She has run four marathons, is a certified yoga teacher and writes about health and wellness at 

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