Constipation during pregnancy is a common problem. Nowadays there is a lack of treatment options for constipated pregnant women. Some laxatives have shown to increase bowel movement, however their adverse side effects, such abdominal pain and diarrhea, limit their use. Therefore, alternatives that are safe for pregnant women and the fetus are needed. Several studies have already shown that probiotics can alleviate constipation. Therefore, a probiotic product that has already shown to be able to reduce constipation among children was also tested for constipated pregnant women.
Twenty pregnant women suffering from constipation received during four weeks a daily dose of a probiotic. At intake, all women completed a questionnaire about their defecation and gastrointestinal symptoms. During the treatment phase these symptoms were recorded daily in a defecation diary by the pregnant women. After four weeks the treatment was stopped and evaluated. The results showed that the defecation frequency per week significantly increased among the women. Other outcomes like abdominal pain and reflux episodes decreased as well.
While probiotics are a natural way to improve health they can be of additional value in the treatment of constipation in pregnant women.