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Mumsworld Pregnancy Calendar Week 17

Constipation is a common complaint during pregnancy and though it's not serious, it can be quite painful sometimes.

Your baby's development

Your baby is now about 17cm long. Their kidneys are now working well so, like you, they're urinating several times per day. Their urine is filtered back to you through the placenta and is managed by your body. Your baby's hearing is also getting much better, so you may notice that they respond to sudden loud noises from the outside world.

You and your body

Constipation during pregnancy is a common problem and may be more troublesome from now on as your baby gets bigger. A diet rich in fibre can help, so include high-fibre food at every meal and try to snack on fruit and vegetable between meals.

Bran or oat cereal makes a good fibre-packed breakfast and during the rest of the day, you can top it up with wholegrain bread, brown rice or pulses. Remember that plenty of fluids are vital to ensure that you avoid constipation, so have about eight glasses of water, fruit juices or smoothies throughout the day. 

Did you know?

As well as affecting your mood, pregnancy hormones make all the soft tissues in your body even softer, including your gums. Be a bit gentler with them, maybe choosing a softer toothbrush and remembering to floss. If you do get sore or bleeding gums, speak to your dentist.