Constipation during pregnancy
Pregnancy is full of uncomfortable physical changes and constipation is undoubtedly one of them. During pregnancy many women suffer from constipation. Almost every pregnant woman suffer from some form of constipation (mild or severe). In pregnancy, the digestive system slows down and becomes sluggish. It is pretty common situation during pregnancy – due to the drastic change in hormones. It can happen during any pregnancy trimester. Another reason is that during pregnancy body tends to retain water, due to which there is constipation. When baby grows inside the uterus, the digestive system becomes non-cooperative and that too leads to constipation.
During pregnancy intestines can extract every possible bit of nutrition from food, drink, and vitamins that are ingested. The developing fetus needs many nutrients to grow properly and the slowing digestive system works to supply as much as it can. Because of this, water is absorbed by the body instead of passing through with the waste resulting in a drier waste product. This is what causes the constipation, along with weakened pelvic floor muscles. Also, as the uterus grows, it can push down on the bowels, causing more constipation.
Reduced appetite during first trimester is contributing to the gas formation and constipation. Sometimes prescribed medicine can also develop constipation. Iron and calcium supplements usually aggravate the problem. If so, you need to visit your doctor and get medicines that act as fiber supplements. However, there are some home remedies that are quite helpful in relieving you off the stress and discomfort of constipation.
Home Remedies for Constipation during Pregnancy
Diet. During pregnancy diet should be changed – grains, fiber and complex carbohydrates should be increased. This will help keep your system regular and may allow you to avoid pregnancy constipation.
Liquids. Pregnant women should be always hydrated – pregnant women should keep drinking plenty of water, juices and fluids. Dehydration is one of the prime reasons of constipation as the body does not have enough water to soften the stool to help it pass through. Drink at least 2 glasses of warm water in the morning empty stomach and move around. You will feel much better as it helps in getting rid of all toxins of the body.
Constipation during Pregnancy
Water. You should also drink lots of water. Water is very important in battling pregnancy constipation. As a pregnant woman, you should be drinking at least ten glasses of water each day. If you’re battling pregnancy constipation, you should increase this to at least 12 glasses of water each day to ease the passage of waste from your body.
Fruits. Eat lot of fruits that have rich fiber content and are juicy in nature. Oranges, grapes, plums, bananas, etc. are a must. They help in movement of the body waste through the intestines and the bowels and eventually flush them out of the body.
Ginger. While preparing food, mix some ginger powder or try to include it as much as possible in your diet. Ginger aids in digestion and also helps get rid of indigestion, gas, acidity and constipation. Like wise, you can have ginger tea, ginger ale, etc. to provide relief from bloating and constipation.
Dates. Eat dates on a regular basis. Dates are very helpful in relieving constipation, regulate blood level and provide strength and iron to the body.
Soups and Juices. Clear soup, fruit juice, and vegetable juice is great for hydration. Drinking a warm cup of tea or other drink may help get the bowels moving, as well. Hydration is important for every person, but especially for pregnant women as it is very easy to become dehydrated during this time. Extra water in the body will help soften the stools and make them easier to pass. Six to eight glasses of fluids are recommended for adults, more if constipated.
Drink soups and juices made from vegetables and fruits in order to provide energy, nutrients and essential water, to the body. Take the soups at a decently warm temperature while the juices can be prepared at room temperature. Don’t make it too chilling. They will help to add more water to the body and also help to get rid off constipation.
Exercises. You need to exercise every day to build up your muscles. The pelvic floor muscles are key in helping you remove the waste from your body more easily. If they are in a weakened state, even a normal bowel movement can be more difficult to pass. Keigel exercises are the pelvic floor muscle strengthener. Working these muscles will not only help with moving stool, but also when labor comes. Normal low impact aerobics are also well known for helping keep the bowels moving.
Avoid certain foods. Try to avoid certain foods to help prevent or ease pregnancy constipation. Certain foods, such as cheese, corn and other starchy vegetables, as well as fried foods, can really affect your bowel health. Due to the high rate of pregnancy constipation, it’s best to avoid processed cheese completely, as this is the worst enemy of a healthy bowel system.
Fiber in the diet will also help eliminate or relieve constipation in pregnancy. Some sources of fiber for the diet are cereals, whole grains pastas and breads, fresh fruits and vegetables. The colon uses fiber to make up the bulk of stools. If a stool is not the proper bulk, it will not move quickly enough through the bowel system and become dried out. Fibers get passed into the colon and swell, giving needed bulk to the stool. A bulky stool causes the tract to have muscle contractions which move the stool along. Without this fiber, the stool will move sluggishly.
Fiber supplements. Take fiber supplements to attempt to regulate your digestive system.
Laxatives. Don’t take any type of laxative without your doctor’s approval. There are many laxatives that can be harmful to your baby or cause premature labor. Fortunately, there are also a number of very safe and effective laxatives that your doctor can recommend.
Lie Down and Relax. There are several things you can do at home to help you cope with pregnancy constipation. If you begin to feel cramping from constipation, you may want to lie down. You won’t be able to feel relief until you relax your body and you must also get the baby’s weight off of your bowels. Lying on your side is the best way to do this.
Herbal Remedies. Some herbal constipation remedies can be pretty useful but some can carry risks for you and your baby. Better discuss with your doctor.
Important to know
Caffeine. Caffeinated drinks will actually cause fluid loss in the body which will make constipation worse.
Medication during pregnancy. Taking your prenatal vitamins is good for you and your baby, but they can occasionally cause constipation. Iron, which is present in most prenatal vitamins, can cause constipation. Dark and sticky stools are common hallmarks of constipation from iron supplementation.
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