Are you pregnant and dreading the bathroom trip? Do you have less than three bowel movements in a week? Feeling like you want to go but you just can’t?
You’re most likely constipated.
Pregnancy is undoubtedly a beautiful season of life. However, before you pop that bundle of joy, you may experience some pretty unpleasant things. Constipation is one of them.
Constipation in pregnancy can be an unpleasant experience as it is sometimes accompanied by bloating and tummy cramps.
So how can you get rid of constipation during pregnancy? Thankfully, you can adopt some pretty easy remedies to relieve constipation and keep things moving.
Possible causes of pregnancy constipation
Constipation in pregnancy is prevalent with 50 percent of pregnant women complaining of having few or no bowel movements at some point during their pregnancy.
Below are some reasons for constipation while pregnant.
Hormones have a lot to answer for pregnancy discomforts, constipation included. The upsurge of the hormone progesterone relaxes your bowel muscles to optimize nutrients absorption. Unfortunately, the waste removal slows down, hence constipation.
Make room for the new sheriff
As the baby grows, the uterus expands. The neighbors have to back down a little to make room for the new Sheriff. The intestines get a bit squashed as the uterus enlarges, making bowel movement a little slower.
Blame the supplements
Your pregnancy supplements contain calcium, vitamins, and iron. These minerals are binding, and they harden the stool. This makes an already slow digestive system slower.
Change in taste buds preferences
Pregnancy formats the taste buds, and you may end up craving foods that are not exactly helpful to your digestive system. Some pregnant women cannot stand the taste of some foods that were previously a favorite.
For instance, when a pregnant woman hates the taste of vegetables, then it becomes a real problem as constipation may get worse.
At-Home Remedies For Pregnancy Constipation
The good news is that constipation itself doesn’t pose any significant threat to a pregnant woman. The worst that can happen would be stomach cramps due to gas and anal fissures. But the discomfort of not being able to go is enough to cause misery.
Here’s what to do to keep the bowel machines moving:
Eat lots of fiber-rich foods.
Your food cravings will likely not include much fiber nutrient-packed foods, but you need to be very deliberate about eating fiber-rich foods.
Avoid processed foods and eat more whole grains and vegetables. Broccoli, cabbage, carrot, and kales will be beneficial in replenishing your fiber intake. If there’s a vegetable that you seem to particularly like, eat more of it.
If you can’t stand a plateful, nibble on fiber-rich foods during the day. Carrots, celery, and cucumbers are some of the foods that you could snack on in the day.
Water is essential not just to keep your intestinal machines rolling but also to keep you hydrated. Lack of enough water may also cause you to have Urinary Tract Infections (UTI’s). Drink up to flush out the toxins as well as aid in bowel movements.
If you can’t down a drop of plain water, add a slice of lime or lemon to make it palatable. Drinking the water chilled may also be better than room temperature water.
The trick is to find what works for you and do it. If you feel like drinking your water with cucumbers and mint-leaves, by all means, do it.
Making smoothies is also an excellent way to help you drink the water and give you the fiber your body needs.
Fruits have the essential nutrients that your body requires to grow a healthy baby. Juicing and smoothies are very easy to make. Choose the fruits that are not repulsive to your taste buds, and enjoy your nutrient-rich, constipation and dehydration remedy.
Eat smaller frequent meals
Eating large portions may also be worsening constipation. Give the stomach time to digest meals by eating smaller portions more frequently. Instead of three major meals, eat six smaller meals a day.
As the baby grows, you will be getting fuller faster. Smaller portions will be helpful to prevent heartburn or acid reflux as well.
Incorporate more movement in your workout routine
Walking, dancing and swimming are some of the exercises that will help ease up constipation. Physical activity is essential in pregnancy. It helps keep your blood flowing and gets your muscles ready for delivery.
Exercise will also ease some pregnancy discomforts such as back pain. Avoid vigorous activities such as running. A simple home workout can be beneficial in keeping things moving inside.
Medical Remedies for Constipation
If the DIY home remedies are not working as fast as you’d desire and you’re still suffering from constipation, talk to your doctor for medical assistance.
Mention your history of constipation and any other medical conditions you may have if your doctor was not aware of.
Do not take any over-the-counter medication while pregnant. Even if a particular medication worked for you previously, get clearance from your doctor before taking any drugs.
There are some natural medical remedies for constipation that your doctor may recommend.
Stool softeners will moisten the stool, making it easier to pass. Stool softeners are not harmful to your baby as they are minimally absorbed in the bloodstream.
A change of supplements
If your supplements are causing constipation, your doctor may recommend a different type depending on your pregnancy needs and history. Remember not to halt your supplements intake as they are beneficial to your growing baby.
Constipation during pregnancy
If you are prone to constipation, sorry to inform you but it does get worse with pregnancy. Take note and start eating right, early in the pregnancy. Constipation in pregnancy need not be an ongoing despair.
Pregnancy and its little discomforts may seem to be taking forever, but nine months fly by pretty fast. Do not miss the magic of it by being miserable but try to do everything you can to enjoy the season.
After you deliver your bundle of joy, keep up the healthy lifestyle. If you think pregnancy constipation is terrible, you don’t want to experience constipation immediately after delivery.