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Does breastfeeding cause constipation for the mother?

(10 Posts)
Lunalovepud Wed 27-Dec-17 09:29:54

Hi All,

I am planning to go to the doctor about this anyway but just wondering if anyone has had similar experiences...

DC2 is 4 months old and breastfed with a couple of formula top ups in the evening. Feeding is going really well and whereas initially I was hoping to get to 3 months, it is going so well now that I am planning to see if I can get to a year.

The only fly in the ointment is that I am horrendously constipated. sad I was constipated throughout pregnancy (expected) and it hasn't really changed since DD was born. Diet is all good - plenty of veg and fruit, and I drink loads of fluids so I don't think it is anything to do with that. I just can't poop. The only thing that has changed Has anyone else experienced this while breastfeeding? Any miracle cures?!

OP’s posts: |
8DaysAWeek Wed 27-Dec-17 09:36:15

I used to know when my period was due because I got constipated a few days beforehand (no period yet as still breastfeeding). Changes in bowel movements can often be attributed to hormones I believe, so it may be that the hormones involved with breastfeeding are to blame. Not sure about any remedies I'm afraid! Maybe the gp will recommend the contraceptive pill?? (Literally have no medical training just throwing something out there)

KatoGreen Thu 28-Dec-17 06:29:18

Hi lunalovepud yes I think bf hormones can affect bowel - it's the opposite for me (v loose whilst bf😊) but a women health physio told me it also causes constipation for others.

Chemist can give you glycerin suppositories & lactulose free with your maternity card on the minor ailments scheme. I had constipation in pregnancy & like you tried everything diet related to help but even with 8+ portions of fruit and veg, 3 litres of water, linseed, prunes, and a high dose of lactulose I was still stuck! The suppositories however were the magic bullet, pardon the pun! I used them for a few days to help release quite a backlog & once that was all gone my system started to cope again with just veg and lactulose.

Do check with your gp though if you need suppositories longer term just to check the glycerin ones can be used past short term

Congrats on bf and good luck pooing!!

ellesbellesxxx Thu 28-Dec-17 06:53:41

I was constipated bf my twins but I don't think I drank enough water!

dramalamma Thu 28-Dec-17 06:58:14

How much is plenty of fluids? And are you drinking water or something else? I find I have to drink at least 3 litres (often more) of water in the early days of breastfeeding to produce enough milk and keep myself right. If you’re drinking other fluids it’s not as good and plenty for a normal person and a breastfeeding mother are very different things!

GiGiraffe Thu 28-Dec-17 07:33:58

I was miserably constipated BF'ing both my children. It was one of the main reasons I did the 6 months and binned it off. I did (and still do) drink loads of water (probably about 4 litres a day). I think it just effects some people differently to others. I also suffered with really really dry skin when BF'ing. All in all made me feel awful and was worse than being pregnant smile

Lunalovepud Thu 28-Dec-17 13:43:48

Thanks all! I am pleased to know that it isn't just me... No-one mentions this, do they?! Breastfeeding is great for your baby but there is the pain, the cracked nipples, the cluster feeding an just when you think you are over all of that, you can't poop for 6 months! grin

I'm wincing at the thought of the suppositories but I think they might be the way forward... I definitely need something to get things moving!

OP’s posts: |
KatoGreen Fri 29-Dec-17 08:57:29

grinthe suppositories are honestly not that bad, it's just very weird the first time you use it. The relief you get in the next 15 mins though is worth it !

Mommy2107 Sun 08-Dec-19 12:41:25

Did you ever find a solution to this problem? My baby is almost 3 months old and I’m still really struggling with constipation.

UnderHisEyeBall Sun 08-Dec-19 21:13:10

Are you on iron tablets? I was put on them and didn't really recover from the constipation I had had during pregnancy and the postpartum period until 6 months postpartum and health care professionals were very unwilling to deal with it.

Piles? Doesn't help either.

Did you have a difficult birth? Trauma to the area may not be helping and should be checked out

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