During your pregnancy different hormones help relax your womb, so it can stretch with the growing baby, but unfortunately they also relax your bowel muscles. Combined with iron supplements and the stress, this can soon lead to constipation. If possible, try to add some fibre to your diet and drink regularly. You could also ask your partner for a gentle stomach massage. If all of these efforts are unsuccessful, you can get your digestion moving with a light laxative even during pregnancy, but should always ask your doctor for advice beforehand.
It is ever referred to as your second brain – hence the expression “gut feeling”. Thinking positive can help your digestive system, because it is closely connected to your state of mind. If you’re under severe mental pressure you are particularly likely to suffer from constipation. Problems with digestion can also occur as a side effect of antidepressants.
Nothing you should worry about too much: Around one in five people suffer from Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) at some point in their lives. And since relatively few people see a doctor directly about the problem, the actual number is probably considerably higher. The most common symptoms are abdominal pain, a bloated stomach, trapped wind and alternating bouts of constipation or diarrhoea. There are various causes: a fatty and sugar-rich diet, work-related stress, general uneasiness and worrying, or as a side effect of medication. Even if you might feel uncomfortable with it, IBS is not dangerous if other stomach and bowel problems have been ruled out by a doctor
If you take medication that affects the nervous system, e. g. to control Parkinson’s disease or Epilepsy, constipation is a common side effect. This is because the movement that pushes poo out of your body is controlled by nerves that line the colon, which are sensitive to some medications.