Constipation is a very common problem during pregnancy. Your bowel movement frequencies reduce, stools harden and you get abdominal pain.
As a pregnant woman your risk of constipation is much higher due to hormonal changes, pressure in the womb of the extra body development, dehydration and iron supplements.You need to be careful about how you treat your constipation specifically during the pregnancy. It not only affects you but also the child being developed inside you. It is better to ignore the urge to rush towards easily accessible OTC products. Injection of those potentially harmful chemicals is not a wise choice. Instead, focus on some of the natural remedies for constipation that are safe during pregnancy.
What Causes Constipation During Pregnancy
Number of physical and emotional changes happen while your pregnant. One of them is constipation. It is estimated that about 75% of women suffer constipation in pregnancy.
Some of the main causes of constipation during this period are as under
1. Hormonal Changes While Pregnant
Increase in progesterone level causes your entire body muscles to relax. Slowing of intestine muscles means flowing of digestion. This may cause constipation.
Iron Supplements - more iron is required during pregnancy to meet the blood demand of both mother and child inside the body. Women are forced to take iron supplements. These supplements do not get absorbed easily in digestion. So most of the iron gets bound to other unabsorbed food causing constipation.
This is not only relevant to the fact that pregnant women work for everyone. Giving foods with less fibre can cause constipation and other complications. Cakes pastries Pasta in red made from white flowers are all responsible for causing constipation. So be careful of what you eat during this period of 9 months.
3. Dehydration Due to Pregnancy
Nausea and vomiting caused during the early stages of pregnancy cause dehydration. Dehydration causes constipation.
Pregnancy Safe Remedies for Constipation
It is better to treat your constipation through natural remedies rather than going for medicines while you are pregnant. Every medicine you take will have some side effects on your child too, so avoid medication that can be avoided.
Following are some natural options to deal with your constipation.
1. Drink Plenty of Water.
Most of us don't drink enough water everyday. This causes dehydration leading to many complications including constipation. During pregnancy you also lose a lot of water due to nausea and vomiting. Therefore it is very important to consume more water. Drink 810 glasses of water every day to stay hydrated.
2. Follow Healthy Diet
Eat fibre rich diet. It not only provides vitamins and minerals required during pregnancy but also helps in proper digestion and prevents constipation.
You can eat fresh fruits, vegetables, beans, lentils and whole grain foods.
Avoid foods made of white flour in white rice.
3. Exercise Regularly
Exercise stimulates your bowel movement and reduces risks of constipation.
Walking for 20-30 minutes everyday is one of the easiest options to keep yourself active.
Go for swimming or gym. Do yoga for relaxation. The choices are endless but do check with your doctor to find which exercises are safe for you.
Other Tips and Precautions
Following tips will have you to reduce the risk of constipation.
- Take one tablespoon of olive oil or coconut oil before every meal. This helps soften stools and avoid constipation.
- Eat your fruits like apples and pears with their skin intact. The skin has fibre that helps you to reduce constipation.
- Do a little bit of long walking inside your house before going to the toilet. This will improve bowel movement.
- Avoid caffeine and all kinds of caffeinated drinks.
- A tablespoon of blackstrap molasses can help to relieve constipation.
If none of the above remedies have in your constipation then you should contact your doctor who may prescribe some stools of maths to help relieve your constipation.