Constipation during pregnancy -- causes, concerns and home remedies
Created by Ridhi Doomra Updated on Aug 18, 2017
An increase in the progesterone hormone during pregnancy causes the relaxation of your body’s muscles. That also includes your intestines– and slower moving intestines means slower digestion. This can lead to constipation. Let’s understand why constipation is common during pregnancy.
Constipation During Pregnancy
Constipation is common during pregnancy. Almost three out of four pregnant women will experience constipation and other bowel issues. From over-the-counter pills to natural cures, there are a whole host of remedies available for relieving constipation in general. But when you are pregnant all the over counter medicines are little too risky to try.
Causes of Constipation During Pregnancy?
Like stated earlier constipation is quite common during pregnancy and there are numerous causes of constipation during pregnancy. Constipation happens when there is discomfort and pain in abdomen having difficulty in bowel movements and the passage of hard stools. Unfortunately, constipation affects approximately half of the women during their pregnancy. Here are three main causes of constipation during pregnancy especially if you are constipated during early pregnancy.
- Worry, anxiety, less physical activity, low fibre diet, is some of the most common reasons of all the body discomforts. Constipation in pregnancy happens because of the hormonal changes in the body that relaxes the intestinal muscles and put the pressure of expanding uterus in the intestines
- Another reason for constipation during pregnancy is an increase in during pregnancy, which relaxes the body muscles, including the intestines thus resulting in progesterone hormone slow digestion and hence causing constipation
- Dehydration is another reason for constipation during pregnancy. Dehydration happens when your body loses water at a faster pace than it can replace it. Hence it is advisable to drink plenty of fluids and water during pregnancy
- Iron pills may or may not cause constipation in some women hence do take a note of it. If you are taking iron pills and you are constipated then you may like to discuss it with your doctor about it. In some women it may cause loose motions
Note:From over the counter pills to natural cures, there are whole host of remedies available for relieving constipation but when you are pregnant, the number of solution shrinks. Hence do consult your doctor if you feel bloated and constipated.
Is It Normal To Be Constipated During Pregnancy?
Yes, it is quite normal to be constipated during pregnancy, as there’s an increase in progesterone hormone, which results in slow digestion thus leading to constipation. Other factors include lack of fibre-rich diet, lack of water intake and physical activity.
How to Prevent Constipation During Pregnancy?
There are some lifestyle changes that you need to do during your pregnancy to avoid constipation and enjoy your pregnancy. Here are I am sharing 5 things you can do to prevent constipation during pregnancy.
- High fibre diet: Eat a high fibre diet during pregnancy one must be particular about the diet intake. East the diet that is high in fibre which includes wholegrain cereals, whole meal bread and fruits and vegetables. This will provide the roughage to aid the digestion. Also drink plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated
- Don’t bulk up on bran: Don’t stick to only bran diet just to avoid constipation, unless you also drink a lot more fluids. Without extra water, bran will bulk up the poo, making it hard and less able to pass to your intestines
- Exercise is important and fun: Staying physically active and exercising regularly will help you to prevent constipation. Walking, swimming, gentle cycling or taking classes of pregnancy exercise can help you a lot to stay free from constipation
- Yoga for pregnant mommies: Doing pregnancy yoga can keep the constipation at bay. These exercises tone your inner tummy muscles, which help to prevent the bowel movements
- Cut out or reduce caffeine intake: Cut out drinks like tea, coffee, and aerated drinks. These beverages may dehydrate you and make your constipation worse. In case you are not able to cut them reduce the intake and follow the rule of 1:2 that is for one cup of tea drink 2 glasses of water to balance the water intake in your body
How To Treat Constipation During Pregnancy?
Okay! So you are severely constipated and now want to treat it the right way. So here’s what you need to do to be free of constipation and enjoy your rest of the pregnancy. Following are the 5 ways you can treat pregnancy effectively.
- Eat high fibre Diet: A diet high in fibre helps prevent constipation which also gives sufficient amount of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Pregnant women should consume 25 to 30 grams of dietary fiber each day to stay healthy which includes, fresh fruits, salads, green leafy vegetables, beans, peas and whole grain bread. Sprouts and carrots are wonder foods in pregnancy
- Drink plenty of water: It’s important to stay hydrated during pregnancy. You should double your water intake during pregnancy. Pregnant women should take at least 12 glasses of water in a day. This will help keep your bowels soft and moving smoothly through your digestive tract
- Take small meals: Try breaking up your daily food intake into five to six meals, or take something after every 2 to 3 hours of duration, which will allow food to digest without having to work overtime, and allow it to transfer food to your intestine and colon smoothly Eating large meals can overload your stomach and make it harder for your digestive system to process what you have consumed
- Be physically active: Regular physical activity can help reduce the constipation as exercise stimulates your bowel movements. You can opt for any form of mild exercises, which includes swimming, walk, and yoga. Pregnant women should try to exercise for 20 to 30 minutes. Check out with your doctor about what exercises are safe for you and your baby
- Watermelon is the wonder fruit: This is included in an old remedy. Traditionally in old times midwives used to boil watermelon seeds to make a tea for pregnant women suffering from constipation, though you can also eat it raw as fruit. Since it is full of water, which helps to move food through the bowels. But make sure to check it is fresh and not injected with chemicals
Did you find Ridhi’s remedies for constipation during pregnancyuseful? How did/do you relieve constipation during your pregnancy? Do leave your comments…. We love hearing from you!
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