Women complain of constipation at some point or the other during their pregnancy. This happens to mostly all women. The common signs of constipation are:
- pain in the abdomen
- infrequent bowel movements
- hard stool
Causes of constipation in pregnancy
The major cause of constipation in pregnant women are anxiety, worry, lack of physical exercise, a diet low in fiber as well as because of the hormones that release in the intestinal muscles. It is caused because the uterus expands on the intestines. When the intestinal muscles relax it cause the water to move slowly through the system and this causes the discomfort.
Pregnant women are on iron tablets and this also contributes to constipation. It is important that you take sufficient iron supplements. If it is very inconvenient then ask your doctor to change the iron supplement.
How to get relief from constipation in pregnancy?
Some ways in which you can get some relief from constipation during pregnancy are:
- Eat food that is rich in fiber. Your food should include whole grain, brown rice, and fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Increase the intake of water. You could also include some fruit juices in your diet. You could try drinking some warm water after getting up to give you comfort.
- Try to do some mild exercises like yoga or walking. You would get some relief when you exercise regularly. However, before you start exercising do check with your doctor about the intensity of the exercise that you can do.
- If you feel the need to go to the bathroom then do not put it off.
- There are many over the counter medications that give you relief from constipation. However, if you need to take one do consult your doctor before starting the medication
- Iron supplements contribute to constipation. You should talk to your doctor who can guide you on how to take the supplement.
The rise in the level of progesterone slows down your digestive system because your body needs the nutrients for your baby to grow. This causes the stool to get hard and leads to constipation. This happens during the early stages of pregnancy.
However, the discomfort does not end here. The problem persists into your second and third trimester as well. The pressure from the uterus on the bowel increases the problem. The iron and calcium supplements add to the problem. If you already had problems of constipation before you conceived then the problem is only going to get worse.
Constipation during pregnancy is not dangerous. In rare cases, it could cause fissures because of increase in pressure on the veins around your rectum. This, however, is not dangerous for you or for the baby. There are also many natural ways in which you can curb this problem by changing your diet and your lifestyle.
(Any health related information or any medical opinion in the Pregnancy news is gathered from secondary sources to give relative and informative enlightenment. The opinions expressed here are the views of the source and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Healtheoz.)