Today I’m sharing my tips for how to handle constipation, one of the nastiest pregnancy symptoms. 🙁
Constipation is a common complaint during pregnancy and it is very uncomfortable. It occurs in about 11-40% of the women. By definition, Constipation is described as hard, a dry stool which is difficult /painful to pass out of the body.
Constipation treatment during pregnancy needs special attention due to concerns for the safety of the mother and child. For example, anthraquinone laxatives such as danthron are associated with congenital malformation etc.
Constipation cannot be managed by medication alone. Better short- and long-term outcomes are achieved with lifestyle changes, including a proper diet.
Understanding the symptoms of constipation:
- A recent change in bowel habits
- Bowel movements that feel incomplete
- Lumpy or hard stools
- Gas pains or a bloated abdomen
- Loss of appetite
Let us understand the causes of constipation during pregnancy.
Here we go;
- Constipation during pregnancy is mainly caused by hormonal changes. The increase in the progesterone hormone relaxes the muscles of the digestive tract, which slows down the movement of food through the body, causing constipation.
- Routine iron supplementation in the pregnant population.
- Fetal development in late gestation can cause constipation.
- Decreased physical activity during pregnancy.
and then, finally Constipation.
That means it is purely relay on an individual lifestyle, food, sleep, work pattern. The good news is that there are remedies for constipation, please go through it.
- Drink plenty of water:
Proper hydration helps support your growing baby and also helps to prevent from constipation, so keep the water bottle handy, drink up and check your urine – pale yellow is a sign that you’re on the right track.
If possible drink one glass of warm water after you wake up from bed, trust me that’s a good habit to be healthy.
- Eat more fibers:
It’s a great way to eat fresh fruits (pears, apples) after every meal and also include in your diet vegetables such as (beans, carrot, cauliflower, kohlrabi / nukal, spinach, peas), whole-grain cereals and legumes like lentils which helps to reduce constipation.
- Regular safe exercise:
Keeping active is one of the single most important things, which helps increase muscle activity in your intestines to help your stool pass more easily. (I preferred doing safe household work during my pregnancy and I felt great – This included sweeping home, using the stairs instead of lift, after every meal a short walk with my husband for 15- 20 mins). But considering on safer side, avoid any activities that may put you at risk for falling or injury.
- Is the consumption of probiotics helpful in constipation?
I would say yes, Probiotics are known as positive and friendly bacteria and includes two very famous types of Lactobacillus, Biﬁdobacterium which helps to improve gut health and soften stools.
Probiotics like yogurt, Yakult can alter the colonic ﬂora and might improve bowel function.
- If you strain to poo because of severe constipation, then it increases the risk of developing piles. Hence treat constipation before the symptoms worsen.
- Go to the restroom when you feel the first urge.
- If you are a lover of coffee, tea, and other soft drinks, then please avoid for your good health.
- If you are taking iron supplements (used to treat anaemia) and found that makes you constipated, then request your doctor to prescribe a different brand.
When do you need to see a doctor?
If your constipation doesn’t improve with home remedies and lifestyle change or if you feel severe or sharp abdominal pain, particularly if you are also bloated, and if you find thin pencil-like stools, pain in your rectum then talk to your doctor immediately for further treatment.
Remember constipation can be the cause of piles, so if you notice anything uncommon in your bowel movements, do get it diagnosed.
So, MoMsters I hope this content might be helpful for you to understand and say goodbye to stress. 🙂
Now, I request you to share your valuable feedback… 🙂
Sana Zahoor, Masroor Ellahi Babar, Muhammad Mohsin Javed, Tanveer Hussain. Constipation in pregnancy: causes and remedies: Progress in Nutrition 2018; Vol. 20, Supplement 1: 305-311.
Mirghafourvand M, Homayouni Rad A, Mohammad Alizadeh Charandabi S, Fardiazar Z, Shokri K. The Effect of Probiotic Yogurt on Constipation in Pregnant Women: A Randomized Controlled Clinical Trial, Iran Red Crescent Med J. 2016; 18(11):e39870.