Many women now a days suffer with problem of constipation during pregnancy. In fact constipation during pregnancy is now a days so common that most people including doctors have come to expect this problems as a common thing to occur. However with proper care and having knowledge about this issue can help in avoiding constipation. Let us try to understand little bit more about this phenomenon and what can be done about this problem.
Reasons for Constipation During Pregnancy
Pregnancy changes the body of a women in more ways than one. The growing baby in the womb has its own needs for nutrients which is taken from the body of the mother. The bodily fluids of the mother is also passed on to the baby which can create fluid deficiency in mothers. It is a common knowledge that lack of fluid makes stool harder and more difficult to eliminate and causes constipation.
Another reason for constipation during pregnancy is hormonal changes in the body. There are several hormones which are released which can affect the functioning of digestive system. For example there is increase in release of progesterone hormone during pregnancy. Progesterone hormone is essential for pregnant ladies since this hormone performs several important functions including
- Increasing the blood flow and glycogen to the uterus so that baby gets all the nutrients it requires.
- Protects the uterus and prevents contraction
- Prevent bacterial infection in the uterus by creating mucous plug which prevents bacteria from entering the uterus
- Regulates the menstrual cycle
During the phases of pregnancy it is normal for progesterone levels to increase. When progesterone levels are elevated too much it causes constipation. Each hormone affect our bodies in a powerful and unique ways and the hormones release during pregnancy make women more prone to constipation. The metabolism of the body changes since the body needs to adjust to growing needs of the baby.
The third reason for pregnancy related constipation is many women stop doing much work and take more and more rest. During earlier generation women were more active even during the pregnancy which not only reduced the chances of pregnancy, but also improved chances of normal delivery.
The fourth reason is during pregnancy is there are many supplements which are prescribed by the doctors, especially iron which can make you prone to constipation. During constipation many women develop anemia since baby absorbs many nutrients and hence become weak. Doctors hence recommend iron supplements to overcome anemia. Iron can have several side effects including constipation and diarrhea. If you are taking iron supplements during pregnancy and suffer from constipation then you can take the supplements after meals. This way risk of constipation is reduced.
During pregnancy women also may not take proper and balanced diet since they lose taste of certain food which may be healthy and start eating more refined food which also causes constipation.
Another problem is due to pregnancy the body structure changes and caused intestines to relax and lose their normal ability to process and eliminate the food naturally. Many times women may suffer from abdominal pains and not able to sit comfortably on the toilet seat which can also cause constipation.
Cures and Remedies for Constipation During Pregnancy
1. Take More Water – As we advice all the time in this web site our recommendation would be include more water and fluids through out the day. This will improve the digestion. Remember that you should not drink water for 45 minutes after you take food and then you can take water. The best time to have plenty of water is to take it in the morning when you get up. Water is one of the natural remedies for constipation and can be safely taken by anyone. Since water also increases the fluid levels in the body it also helps the baby by proving required amount of water. The minerals and nutrients also reach the baby through fluids.
If you do not feel like taking water then go for coconut water which is tasty and refreshing and full of nutrients and also helps in controlling acidity. Do not take soda and other commercial cold drinks as they contain many chemical which are harmful for normal persons also, and more so for pregnant ladies.
2. Yoga and Exercise – You should include some exercise with the advice of doctors. Some simple yoga poses are also popular now a days called pre natal yoga which helps you maintain good health and improves chances of normal delivery also. One of the good yoga poses is Vajrasana (thunderbolt pose) which improves the digestion and prevents constipation. You can practice it after meals also. Apart from yoga you can also safely include walking as your normal routine. Try to take a walk everyday and you would be able to overcome many pregnancy related complications.
3. Natural Fibers – Include more fiber in your food. Fibers are good for elimination of waste. If you do not like a particular food look around for other options which can provide you the dietary fiber you need and include that in your diet. For fiber the recommended way is to eat more fruits as they contain fibers which act easy on our bodies, provide essential nutrients to the mother and the baby and safe for pregnant ladies. One of the best fruits would be Apple.
4. Amla – This is one of the magical fruits which is useful in any stage of life including pregnancy. Taking this fruit daily will provide all the vitamin C and iron you would require and also provide constipation relief. For more information on how amla can be useful read Amla as Solution for constipation during pregnancy.
5. Acupressure – Acupressure is another treatment which can be given safely to pregnant ladies since it is effective in many diseases and also provides relief in discomfort including abdomen pain and constipation. If acupressure treatment is given by near one of the patient it has other benefits also since it creates a bonding, relaxes the would be mother and also brings the hormone levels to a safe levels. For more information on acupressure for constipation read acupressure points for constipation relief.
If you want to learn about more options for constipation relief you can also see some home remedies for constipation where in certain fruits like apple are good for constipation problem.