As a new to-be-mom, the changes you will experience during this beautiful phase of your life may be overwhelming, but rest assured, you will enjoy it at the same time. While pregnancy does bring along with itself a range of not-so-desirable signs and symptoms, you’ll be able to take care of those soon enough.
Among the most common concerns affecting women during pregnancy is constipation. Here is our contribution for you to know more about constipation during pregnancy, what you can do about it, and some common signs that may point out towards the problem.
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Why Is Constipation Common During Pregnancy?
Irregular/infrequent bowel movements that are difficult to pass symbolize constipation. While there are many factors held responsible for constipation (diet, side effects of medications, heavy metal toxicity, hypothyroidism and hormonal disorders), the reason why you are experiencing constipation during you
Expecting moms often suffer from constipation due to a number of possible reasons-
- The hormonal changes during pregnancy make your digestive system sluggish, which thereby causes infrequency in bowel movements.
- As your baby grows, there may be an increased pressure on your pelvic area, which may also lead to constipation.
- Pregnancy sickness may cause you to consume foods that may cause hardening of stools and may make them difficult to pass.
- You may be affected by pregnancy anaemia, which may also cause stools to become difficult to pass.
- You may be taking iron supplements to combat anaemia during pregnancy, or other medications as advised by your doctor, which may also lead to improper bowel movements.
- You may find it difficult to exercise regularly during pregnancy due to an increase in the size of your abdomen, or your doctor may have suggested bed rest. Such lack of exercise, in many cases, also contributes to constipation.
[ Read: Fiber Foods For Constipation During Pregnancy ]
Signs Of Constipation:
With so many changes occurring during pregnancy, you may find it hard to keep track of what’s happening and what’s not. Here we bring you some common signs of constipation that may help you detect and tackle the problem better.
- You may have 1-2 days gap between each bowel movement.
- Your stools are hard and difficult to pass.
- You may experience lower abdominal pain while passing stools forcefully.
- You may feel bloated and ‘full’ as if your stools have not been passed at all.
- Very hard stools sometimes lead to bleeding from the rectum.
[ Read: Anemia In Pregnancy ]
How To Relieve Constipation During Pregnancy?
Now that you’ve understood the basics of constipation during pregnancy, it is time to move on and take a look and some cool ways to tackle it. Below are some best home remedies for constipation in pregnancy:
Pregnant women often tend to ignore exercising, and this may actually be the cause of constipation in a good number of cases. Exercise is known to stimulate the bowel and improve digestion- so make sure you exercise or at least move about throughout the day.
While exercising during pregnancy, it is wise to get guidance or practice under a certified trainer. Getting yourself enrolled for a pregnancy exercise class is a good way to stay active and healthy, and at the same time, prevent constipation. If not, you can also make it a point to move around your house, get done with some chores or just take a short walk at the nearby park every day.
[ Read: Exercise During Pregnancy First Trimester ]
The diet of an individual plays the most important role in determining digestive health, and during pregnancy, you have to make sure you stick to a diet that’ll keep both you and your baby healthy, and at the same time fight constipation.
Fresh and raw fruits and vegetables are the best foods to include during this time, for two major reasons. The first is – they provide your body a good supply of fiber, which adds bulk to the stools and makes them easier to pass and thereby relieves constipation. Secondly, as they are uncooked (but always wash them well before eating them!), they give your body a good dose of vitamins and minerals- just what you needed for your baby!
- Here are a few foods that you can add to your daily diet to ensure normal bowel movements.
- Raw fruits like bananas, blackcurrants, tangerines, grapefruits and oranges.
- Dried fruits like apricots and prunes.
- Fibrous vegetables like carrots, cabbage, spinach, watercress, celery and artichokes.
- Wholegrain cereals like pulses, beans and lentils.
[ Read: Fruits To Eat During Pregnancy ]
Not keeping yourself hydrated could be yet another reason why you may be affected by constipation. In fact, a good number of pregnant women are believed to suffer from constipation due to inadequate consumption of water!
The logic behind this is that your urine output tends to increase during pregnancy that tempt you to reduce your water intake so that you don’t have to rush to the washroom often; and a lack of enough fluids causes hardening of stools, making them difficult to pass. Make sure you keep up with your water content throughout the day and stay hydrated- especially during summers.
[ Read: How Much Water To Drink In Pregnancy ]
Apart from these, many other natural and herbal remedies are thought to prevent and tackle constipation in a good number of cases. Make sure you seek your doctor’s opinion before you try these though!
- Psyllium Husk: This is available at most pharmacy stores and contains mucilage, which makes the stools soft and easier to pass. Such as Sat Isabgol, Softovac, etc.
- Dandelion Tea: This herbal tea is thought to ease constipation.
- Yogurt: Yogurt is rich in probiotic bacteria that stimulate digestion and prevent all forms of gastrointestinal disorders.
[ Read: Green Tea During Pregnancy ]
Undoubtedly, pregnancy changes a woman both physically and emotionally. It makes you stronger, determined and more confident. We hope these tips will aid you to banish constipation blues for the entire duration of your pregnancy and allows you to enjoy a beautiful phase of your life.
Do share your experiences with us in the comment section below.
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