Quick and Easy Ways to Relieve Constipation During Pregnancy
Understanding Constipation During Pregnancy The changes that occur in the body of women during pregnancy…
Understanding Constipation During Pregnancy
The changes that occur in the body of women during pregnancy are plenty. Aversion or craving for food, swollen fingers and toes, increased urge to urinate, and nausea are among the most common ones.
Another very common yet least talked about change happens to your bowel movements. You may find it difficult to pass stool regularly. This is called constipation. This may be caused due to changes in hormone levels, too much iron intake, weight put on the bowel by the fetus, or simply dietary changes.
Is it risky to be constipated during pregnancy? Are there any effective home remedies? Can you prevent constipation? Can you get immediate constipation relief during pregnancy? Let’s try to answer your doubts.
Causes of Constipation During Pregnancy
The hormone called progesterone is at increased levels when you are pregnant. It relaxes the functions of your intestine. More and more water content is extracted out of the waste in your body, making it hard and dry. Hence, it becomes difficult to pass motion.
Most pregnant women are provided with multivitamins and asked to take iron-rich food too. This is because iron helps your blood to carry oxygen more efficiently through you and your baby’s bodies.
However, your gut may find it harder to digest food due to this additional iron. If you are not hydrating well while taking iron supplements, you are at risk of constipation.
Constipation is sometimes a side effect of certain medicines that you may be taking.
The weight of your fetus may be adding pressure on your intestine leading to slower digestion.
If you are not having food rich in fiber content, and do not have lots of water, you may get constipated.
Risks of Constipation During Pregnancy
You are more likely to have constipation during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy. It is also more likely if you used to be constipated before you got pregnant. Some women continue to be constipated for some time even after giving birth. It is usually nothing serious and can be cured using some laxative medicines, if not by simple home remedies.
Very rarely, constipation could be a sign of any other ailments such as hemorrhoids or tumors. If constipation is accompanied by severe pain and extreme discomfort, see your doctor.
Lifestyle Changes to Promote Regular Bowel Movement
Some simple lifestyle changes can help you have a regular bowel movement, whether you are pregnant or not.
- Drink a lot of water and other fluids: Like herbal tea or juices to stay hydrated. Take at least 8 glasses of water every day if you are pregnant. Water is needed to soften the stool. We know what you are thinking. You are already peeing so many times, and now you are being asked to take more water so that you can poop! Well, the toilet may have to be your second home during pregnancy.
- Include fiber-rich food: Like beans, fruits like berries, avocado, bananas, and apples, and vegetables like broccoli, beetroot, carrots, whole grains, nuts, and chia seeds in your daily diet. Fiber helps to soften your stool, making it easier to pass.
- Do light or moderate exercise or yoga every day: The added weight on your body during pregnancy may make you not want to move much. But doing some exercise helps with your bowel movements and also keeps your joints active.
- Change your prenatal vitamins: If the iron content in them is too much for your body. Approach your healthcare provider to switch to a supplement that is more suitable for you.
Home Remedies for Immediate Constipation Relief During pregnancy
When you are pregnant, it is best to avoid any kind of medication as much as possible. Many over-the-counter laxative pills can be used to ease constipation. However, apart from having a lot of fluids and fiber-rich food, there are several home remedies that you can use.
Here are some of them, that you can take into consideration:
- Have Probiotic Food: Such as yogurt, buttermilk, etc. The live bacteria in such food items are beneficial to your gut.
- Take Prunes or extract juice from prunes and have it: They have fiber as well as sorbitol which acts as a natural laxative.
- Having Ginger Extract: Ginger extract is good for the overall health of your gut You may also take a small slice and chew it gradually or make ginger tea.
- Consumption of Virgin Coconut Oil: Two teaspoons of virgin coconut oil is said to be effective in many cases.
- Having lemon juice: You can add some lemon juice to warm water and have it to stimulate your bowel movement.
- Having Aloe Vera Juice: Whether diarrhea or constipation, aloe vera juice can be an effective remedy for you. Although this is a great remedy, the aloe latex quantity needs to be controlled, since too much of it may not be good. We suggest, if you haven’t had aloe juice before, don’t try it for the first time when you are pregnant.
- Consumption of Epsom Salts: You may also buy and consume Epsom salts in the prescribed dosage for relief from constipation.
If these methods have not been helpful for you, please contact your healthcare provider for Immediate constipation relief during pregnancy.
Tips for Preventing Constipation During Pregnancy
Don’t wait for constipation to hit you. Make healthy lifestyle changes like staying hydrated, being active, taking fiber-rich food, etc. that we have already discussed above. These small changes can help you prevent constipation during pregnancy.
Avoid food items such as :
Healthy eating habits and regular and hygienic toilet habits are very important in keeping your gut healthy.
The Bottom Line
Constipation is an unwanted guest you are very likely to have during pregnancy. Don’t worry though. Certain simple lifestyle changes can help you prevent it. If it still happens, it is pretty easy to manage constipation with the home remedies that we have mentioned here. Like everything during pregnancy, if your problem persists, do not hesitate to contact your doctor.