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Interventions for treating postpartumconstipation (Review)

Turawa, E. B. ; Musekiwa, A. ; Rohwer, A. C. (2014)


Background: Constipation is a functional bowel disorder that can reduce quality of life in the puerperium period. The diagnosis of postpartum constipation is both subjective and objective. It is characterised by symptoms such as pain or discomfort, straining, hard lumpy stools and a sense of incomplete bowel evacuation. Haemorrhoids, pain at the episiotomy site, effects of pregnancy hormones and hematinics used in pregnancy can increase the risk of postpartum constipation. Although a high fibre diet and increased fluid intake is encouraged to assist defecation in the puerperium, pain-relieving drugs and laxatives are common drugs of choice to alleviate constipation. However, the effectiveness and safety of laxatives on the nursing mother need to be ascertained. Objectives: To evaluate the effectiveness of interventions for treating postpartum constipation.

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