It can feel like an eternity when you’ve made it to 39 weeks of pregnancy. You probably find yourself wondering when it will end. And there can be a lot of symptoms that may trip you up. Are you in labor or not?
If you are 39 weeks pregnant and you feel like you need to have a bowel movement, there are a few things that may be happening.
It is most likely one of two things; you are either in labor or constipated.
In this article, I will go over how feeling as if you need to poop while pregnant is usually the result of one of these things.
I’m 39 Weeks and I Feel Like I Need to Poop!
Problems with your bladder and bowels are common in pregnancy and completely normal. Diarrhea, constipation, and incontinence can all be expected, especially in the later months. You can also add hemorrhoids to that list which can only worsen the effects of feeling like you need to have a bowel movement.
But is the pressure you’re feeling labor or constipation? It really depends on the other symptoms that you are experiencing.
Signs of Labor
There are several definite signs that labor has started, including:
- Bloody “show,” which is the mucus plug from your cervix coming away
- Contractions or stomach tightening
- Feeling like you need to make a bowel movement
- Your water breaks
Signs of Pregnancy Constipation
If you aren’t experiencing any of the other above-mentioned symptoms, it’s quite possible you may be dealing with the aggravation of constipation in pregnancy.
While constipation can begin in the first and second trimesters of pregnancy, it’s usually the third that will truly make you uncomfortable.
A few things cause constipation in pregnancy.
Your Prenatal Vitamins
Taking prenatal vitamins is crucial during pregnancy, but they can have some undesirable effects. Most prenatal vitamins are packed with iron, which is great for your baby but not so much for your stomach,
Iron can make it harder to break down your food because too much iron will cause stool to dry out, making it harder to pass.
Your body goes through a tremendous amount of hormonal changes during pregnancy. As you grow closer to your due date, the uterus and digestive tract muscles will start to relax to prepare you. As this happens, your body produces more progesterone.
A relaxed GI tract means that food moves slower and can remain in the bowels for a longer period of time, and this can cause stool to become very difficult to pass.
You can also expect your body to be slow going the weeks after pregnancy too, as everything gets back to normal.
Your Growing Baby
As your baby grows and the uterus expands, it doesn’t leave much room for the internal organs to do their job. This is especially true for your bladder and digestive system.
The extra pressure that your baby puts on your bowels and bladder can cause constipation and incontinence. You may also feel like you need to have a bowel movement but can’t go.
That extra pressure is your little one tricking you into thinking you have to poop!
Ways to Combat Pregnancy Constipation
Thankfully, there are things you can do to help with the dreaded feeling of constipation during pregnancy.
- Drink plenty of fluids, especially water, prune juice, and apple juice
- Add more fiber to your diet
- Keep your body moving with light exercise
- Ask your doctor about trying a stool softener
- Increase your intake of prebiotic foods, such as bananas, garlic, onions, cabbage, beans, watermelon, and grapefruit
You’ve been waiting weeks, if not months, for the moment you can finally hold your bundle of joy in your arms. But before you can do that, there is one last thing to contend with – the urge to poop! If you’re at 39 weeks pregnant and experiencing this sensation, you are certainly not alone. Thousands of mothers-to-be have gone through this very same experience.
At 39 weeks, the anticipation of meeting your little bundle of joy is often accompanied by an unexpected and uncomfortable urge to poop. For many women, this urge is one they can’t ignore – especially as they get closer to going into labor. This feeling is going to be one of 2 things: labor or constipation.
If you’ve read through all the symptoms above and still don’t know which one you are experiencing, speak to your doctor and they will help. Don’t ever feel silly either, every single mother has thought the same thing at some point in their pregnancy.