It is not uncommon to feel constipated during pregnancy. Within your body, hormones bring many changes during pregnancy and are often the main cause for uncomfortable bowel movements. The associated abdominal pain and side effects of constipation can be really bothersome. If you too are sailing in the same boat and wondering how you can cure constipation during pregnancy, here are 5 remedies for constipation during pregnancy. However, it is important to first understand this condition in order to find relief.
Constipation means you are not able to pass stool (faeces) in a routine way as you normally do. It may include difficulty in bowel expulsion or hard stools. The frequency of constipation during pregnancy may also sometimes get erratic. The process can be painful and in severe cases may lead to haemorrhoids (piles).
Before you try out the remedies for constipation during pregnancy, you should understand why we have constipation during pregnancy. During the early stages of pregnancy, your body releases a hormone called progesterone. This relaxes the muscles of our intestine. Bowel movement becomes slow due to loosening of muscles in the digestive tract, resulting in constipation.
In the first trimester, you may face morning sickness, nausea, and uneasiness. Due to these problems, your appetite also decreases and you also tend to drink less water. As a result, your bowel movement gets restricted. Vomiting will make you feel dehydrated and this can cause hard stools as well.
During the later trimester the uterus expands. This, in turn, puts pressure on the rectum, an organ in our digestive tract. As a result we feel discomfort in the bowel movement. Sometimes, iron
supplements also worsen constipation during pregnancy.
You should eat foods rich in fibre. Fibrous foods aid in smooth and regular bowel movements through our digestive tract. Natural sources of fibre-rich foods are lentils, fruits, and vegetables. Some grains like whole-wheat cereals, brown rice, and beans are also rich in fibre.
One of the easiest remedies for constipation during pregnancy is to drink good quantity of water. About 8 to 10 glasses of water should be consumed daily to keep your baby and yourself hydrated. Adequate water intake assists in easy and regular bowel movement. It also helps in loosening the hard stool; making it easier to pass them.
If you drink warm water when you wake up in the morning, it also helps to ease constipation during pregnancy.
Regular exercise is beneficial in dealing with constipation during pregnancy. Exercises assist in regular bowel movement. Exercising during pregnancy could mean any kind of light movement which increases your heart rate. It could be swimming, a brisk walk, yoga, or a dance with your partner.
Your body gives you signs, when you feel the urge to pass out stool. After meals, the digestive tract and bowels get activated. If you feel the need to go to the washroom never put it off or postpone it.
Some medicines have a tendency to restrict the bowel movement. When you take such pills you start feeling constipated after a few doses. At times, your doctor suggests, some multivitamins or iron supplements during pregnancy. These supplements prevent anemia, but they may also have side effects like constipation. When you face such a problem, ask your doctor if you should what discontinue or switch the medicines. Don’t switch or discontinue unless your doctor advises you to.
When you take iron supplements, a small percentage of it gets absorbed in your blood. The remaining iron tends to mix with undigested food and makes it sticky. This sticky bowel then becomes difficult to pass through your digestive tract.
If you are having a problem of constipation during pregnancy, you must change your eating style. Instead of eating four large meals, increase the number of meals with smaller portions. You should try to break up you meal. This will help the stomach to digest the food faster. Thereby, the transfer of food to small and large intestines, and finally to colon happens smoothly.
Also read: 11 Home Remedies for Constipation in Babies
In case the remedies for constipation during pregnancy mentioned above aren’t effective, you can go in for some medicines that help in relieving constipation. Always consult your doctor before taking any such medicines to deal with constipation. Sometimes the doctors may suggest laxatives or stool softeners for a short time to provide relief. Psyllium or Ispaghula husks are also advised as an alternative to treat constipation. They are popularly known as “Isabgol” in India.
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