Fiber intake and constipation
Constipation is common in pregnancy, especially as the uterus grows. You need at least 28 grams of fiber per day during pregnancy for overall health and to help prevent constipation.
Remember to consume fiber with water! Fiber brings water into the bowel, so you could get dehydrated if you don't drink enough water. Drinking plenty of fluids also helps to soften your stool and makes it easier to pass gas.
There are two types of fiber, and you should have a combination of both:
- Soluble fiber, which dissolves in water, can help lower blood cholesterol. Foods with soluble fiber include oatmeal, nuts, beans, lentils, apples and blueberries.
- Insoluble fiber, which does not dissolve in water, can help promote regularity and prevent constipation. Foods with insoluble fibers include whole-wheat, bran and legumes.
Note that adding a large amount of fiber to your diet can sometimes cause side effects such cramping, gas, bloating, or diarrhea. Avoid laxatives in pregnancy as this can cause irritation to the intestines and uterus.