Have you even wondered how to relieve constipation during pregnancy? Constipation isn`t a strange thing for any of us, right? And as unpleasant as it is, sooner or later it`s present in our lives, especially in the 9 months of pregnancy.
Table of Contents
- 1 Causes
- 2 Symptoms
- 3 How to Relieve Constipation during Pregnancy the Natural Way?
- 4 How to Relieve Constipation Fast? (Considerable Fluid Intake)
- 5 How to Relieve Constipation during Pregnancy Quickly? Food Rich in Fibers
- 6 Medicine and Constipation
- 7 Remedies for Severe Constipation
Constipation appears especially in the first months of pregnancy, most of the times due to hormonal changes within the mother`s body. During the first trimester of pregnancy the level of progesterone increases which leads to a slower movement of the stool in the intestines. These hormones are released to relax muscles and ligaments, an essential procedure to prepare the woman`s body in order to make enough room for the baby and later for birth.
This is an issue faced by almost all pregnant women, more or less. During pregnancy, the digestive system slows its functioning and becomes “lazy,” but with a noble purpose: the intestines extract even the smaller particles of nutrients from food, drinks or vitamins. The fetus in full development needs all the nutrients to grow healthy, and the digestive system slows its rhythm especially for the baby to receive as much as he can get from what`s healthy. Because of this, the water is absorbed by the body rather than going to the stool, which will make the excrements drier, leading to constipation along with the weakening of the pelvic muscles. In addition, as the uterus grows, it will push on the bladder, aggravating constipation.
Constipation is accompanied by stomach burning in the first months of pregnancy due to the fact that the process of emptying the stomach now is slower and this leads to more gastric acid being secreted to help with the digestion.
On the list of the causes that trigger constipation is anemia and iron supplements, lack of hydration and poor diets that don`t contain fibers.
Remember: We cannot talk about constipation if the elimination of the stool doesn`t occur on a daily basis and the stool has a regular consistency.
Constipation represents the difficult elimination of the stool, which has a hard consistency and which also brings the sensation of an incomplete removal of the stool.
These represent symptoms of constipation;
- Weight loss;
- Abdominal cramps and pains;
- Rectal pains;
- Fatigue & drowsiness; – More info!
- Difficulties when eliminating the stool.
Gas and bloating are common symptoms at pregnancy women, as well as the chances of developing hemorrhoids or rectum and anus due to straining, which may cause bleeding.
How to Relieve Constipation during Pregnancy the Natural Way?
Your pelvic muscles are essential for a rapid elimination of toxins from your body. If they aren`t trained, even a normal stool can be hard to eliminate, not to mention about constipation.
You have probably heard about the Keigel exercises, simple actions that everyone can do and which are meant to increase the efficiency of the pelvic muscles. These exercises involve tensioning the pubococcygeus muscle as hard as you can, then relax it for 10 seconds. The easiest way to do this type of exercises is to interrupt the flow of urine, you tense the pubococcygeus muscle, the flow of urine stops, maintain this state as much as you can, then you relax for 10 seconds and you start over. Training your pelvic muscles will help you not only to eliminate your stools easier, regardless if they are hard or soft, but also during labor. – Learn more!
In addition to daily exercise, doctors recommend moderate physical exercise, like walking or swimming for 20 to 30 minutes, 3 times per week. This helps digestion and emphasizes the general health and physical condition of the pregnant woman, preparing her for the birth. And most active pregnant women claim that they have an easier and shorter labor, and they also recover their previous figure more easily after giving birth.
How to Relieve Constipation Fast? (Considerable Fluid Intake)
It`s a condition just as essential as the Keigel exercises because the liquids are eliminated faster during pregnancy. Water is the favorite liquid compared with other beverages or coffee. In fact, coffee acts as a diuretic, worsening constipation, the same thing being true for alcohol or certain teas. Soups of any kind, fruit or vegetable juices are good sources of hydration. A cup of warm tea can trigger the stool.
Hydration is important for each of us, especially for pregnant women, who are in higher risk of dehydration than before the pregnancy. The water will soften the stools, making them easier to be eliminated. It`s recommended to drink 6 to 8 cups of waters per day if you are an adult, even more if you are suffering from constipation.
How to Relieve Constipation during Pregnancy Quickly? Food Rich in Fibers
Nutrition Rich in Fibers
Sources of fibers in our diets are bread, cereals, pasta, whole rice, fresh fruits and vegetables. The colon uses fibers to form the stool`s volume. If the stool doesn`t have the necessary volume, it doesn`t move fast enough in the rectum, drying out. Foods rich in soluble fibers are important, as bacteria from the digestive tube will transform them into mucus, which help the stool become softer and easier to eliminate. Insoluble fibers come from the plant wall cells, and the human digestive system can process them. These fibers pass through the colon and swell, offering to the stool the proper volume. A stool with a proper volume leads to muscle contractions of the digestive tube, which makes the stool move along the rectum. If there are no fibers, the stool would move much slower.
More than this, women who experience morning sickness lose a lot of liquids through vomit. The ones accusing a lack of appetite due to vomit and nausea are the ones who don`t consume enough fibers, increasing the risk of constipation. It`s required 30 g of daily fibers to maintain a healthy intestine and in good functioning, which translate by 5 portions of vegetables and 2 portions of fruits (for instance, a big apple has around 4 g of fibers).
Considerable Intake of Liquids during Pregnancy
It`s a condition just as essential as Kegel exercises, as liquids are eliminated much faster during pregnancy. Water is the favorite liquid of any beverages and the ones that contain caffeine. In fact, caffeine acts as a diuretic, worsening constipation, the same thing being true for alcohol and other teas. Soup or any kind, fruit and vegetable juices are good sources of hydration. A hot cup of tea may trigger constipation.
Hydration is essential for each of us, but especially for pregnant women, who are in more danger of dehydration than before pregnancy. In addition, the water introduced in our organism will soften stools, making them easier to be eliminated. Six to 8 glasses of water per day are recommended for adults, and even more for those who experience constipation.
Exercise Daily to Strengthen your Muscles
Pelvic muscles are very important for rapid elimination of toxins from your body. If they are untrained, it can be hard even to eliminate a normal stool, not to mention constipation.
Perhaps you heard about Kegel exercises, simple actions that anyone can do, meant to increase the efficiency of the pelvic muscles. This type of exercises involves strengthening the pubococcygeus muscles as much as possible, then relaxing for 10 seconds. The simplest way to do these exercises involve interrupting the flow of urine: while urinating, strengthen your pubococcygeus muscles, the flow of urine stops, maintain this state as much as possible, then relax for 10 seconds and then start over. By training pelvic muscles, it will help not only to eliminate stools more easily, either hard or soft, but it could help with labor as well. – Read more!
Among the daily exercises, doctors recommend moderate physical activity (20 – 30 minutes of swimming or walking, 3 times per week). It helps digestion, accentuate the state of well-being and physical shape of the pregnant woman, preparing her for childbirth. And most active expecting mothers claim they had a shorter and easier labor, and that they recover much faster after birth.
Don`t Force Yourself!
If you abstain too much or you visit the toilet too often having the thought of eliminating a stool, you`ll exhaust yourself quickly, you`ll cause yourself pain and hemorrhoids in the end. Hemorrhoids are a bunch of veins located outside the rectum and which are very uncomfortable. The common signs of hemorrhoids are pain, itching and burning. Sometimes hemorrhoids bleed, which may very well concern you. The discomfort created by them is very unpleasant, making you to avoid the bathroom and, therefore accentuating constipation.
So relax yourself and let nature run its course! Help yourself by a small chair or stool placed in front of the toilet that you can use to support your legs. It will relieve you of tension.
Medicine and Constipation
Prenatal vitamins are ideal for you and your baby`s health, but sometimes can lead to constipation. Iron, which is present in most prenatal vitamins, causes constipation – the stools have dark color and are sticky. However, iron is necessary to deal with fetal development and changes that start to occur within the mother`s body. It also maintains anemia in normal limits and is of real help for blood excess which is really required during this period. Most of the times, a healthy diet that is rich in fibers helps to eliminate any form of constipation due to vitamins. There are also supplements which can help alleviate the symptoms, such as magnesium, vitamin C, dried or fresh prunes, even peaches.
It`s recommended to avoid laxatives as much as possible, no matter if natural or synthetic because active substances present in them cause intestinal contractions which may lead to uterine contractions. The body becomes addicted by the effect of laxatives, making from constipation a long-term issue after giving birth. Also, castor oil leads to uterine contractions even though is known as a good laxative, mineral oils reduce the absorption of important vitamins for the pregnancy.
Get in touch with the doctor immediately if the constipation is accompanied by abdominal pain, diarrhea. Also, if the stool is accompanied by mucus, blood spots or is rare (once every 3 days) you should contact your doctor right away.
Remedies for Severe Constipation
- Ginger is one of the best remedies against constipation and indigestion during pregnancy. Add it raw to your diet!
- Garlic is good every time, even when you are pregnant. It help to eliminate gas and when bloating. It also strengthens the colon and alleviates constipation.
- Fresh and dry fruits or vegetables. Raw or slightly cooked, preferably with peel if possible. Cereals, bread, peas, beans are also good. You should remove white bread and refined rice as well if you can and choose bread from whole grains instead.
- It`s better to have 6 small meals per day than 3 big meals. You`ll be experiencing less gas and you`ll not feel so bloated all the time.
- The bravest pregnant women or the ones who are more affected by constipation can drink a glass of prune juice. It makes wonders.
So now you have improved your knowledge a bit and you have at least an idea of how to relieve constipation during pregnancy. Apply some of the methods above and try to get rid of your constipation.