In this write-up, you will learn how to manage with constipation during pregnancy by making some lifestyle changes, medications, or by trying some recipes.
So, let’s get started…
Pregnancy is one of the happiest times in a woman’s life. However, that’s also the time when women undergo a series of physical, physiological and emotional changes.
As the growth of the unborn fetus depends entirely on the health of the expecting mom, it’s extremely important that all pregnancy-induced health issues are addressed effectively.
One health issue that bothers a large share of the pregnant women is constipation. In fact, it often serves as a major symptom of pregnancy.
If you are pregnant and experiencing uncomfortable or infrequent bowel movements i.e. constipation, this article is a must read for you.
Before getting into further details we would like to assure you there’s nothing to worry even if you have constipation during pregnancy. It’s a common situation and can be managed easily.
Read on to know more.
- 1 The Common Causes of Constipation in Pregnant Women
- 2 How to Prevent Constipation During Pregnancy?
- 3 Are There Any Medications for Managing Constipation?
- 4 A Natural Recipe for Managing Constipation
The Common Causes of Constipation in Pregnant Women
To manage the problem, you must first identify the causes. Progesterone,
Constipation can happen at any stage of pregnancy. However, statistics reveal that problem is more common among women in their second or third trimester.
The most common causes of constipation during pregnancy are as follows:
- An increase in the levels of progesterone, a common pregnancy-induced physiological change, often slows down digestion and causes constipation.
- Doctors may advise pregnant women to take iron supplements. These supplements are known to irritate the digestive tract and hinder bowel movement.
- You may also suffer from constipation during pregnancy due to increased weight of your uterus.
When your uterus becomes heavier, it tends to put excess pressure on the rectum. This change might worsen constipation in women who already have an history of the problem.
How to Prevent Constipation During Pregnancy?
Infrequent and uncomfortable bowel movements can make life really miserable.
If you have difficulty passing your stool, you will struggle even when in the pink of health. So, it’s pretty obvious that the problem would disturb you even more if you are pregnant and already experiencing several unknown pains and aches.
You must be wondering whether there’s any medical formula or miracle cure for the problem that would show instant results. Unfortunately, scientists and doctors have not yet come up with any treatment for constipation.
The only way to keep the problem at bay is by changing your habits and lifestyle. In addition, pregnant women should also address the underlying problems leading to constipation.
Here are some steps you should take to relieve or prevent constipation.
Lifestyle Changes to Prevent Constipation During Maternity Period
1) Increase your fluid intake. Start consuming more water and also add fruit and vegetable juices to your daily diet.
2) Add more high fiber food items to your diet chart. Your aim should be consuming a minimum of 25 grams of fiber per day.
Start eating fruits, vegetables, beans, bran cereal, whole-grain products, etc.
Here, we would like to note that sudden increase of high fiber foods in your daily diet might make you suffer from flatulence and bloating. These are symptoms of excess gas buildup in your stomach.
The problem can be managed easily by eating slowly.
In addition, you should also stay away from items like chewing gum and aerated beverages. Contrary to the popular believe, they often trigger gas buildup.
3) Get enrolled at a yoga class. If that’s not possible hire a trainer who can guide you about exercises designed specifically for pregnant women.
4) If none of the above options works for you, you can go for a walk every morning or evening. The bottom line is, you must remain active all through your pregnancy unless your doctor suggests otherwise.
If you remain active, you will digest foods consumed by you easily and your chances of experiencing constipation would reduce significantly.
5) Replace three large meals with six to eight smaller meals. This will make it easier for you to digest the items you eat.
Are There Any Medications for Managing Constipation?
While there’s no permanent cure for the problem, the condition can surely be managed using certain over-the-counter medications. However, if you are pregnant, you cannot take any of those medications without consulting your physician.
Your doctor will recommend such medications only if the above tips fail to improve your condition. Here are some recommendations doctors usually make:
Bulk-forming agents absorb water and add moisture to our stool. This makes passing stool much easier for us.
Don’t forget to increase your fluid consumption when taking a bulk-forming agent.
As their name suggests, stool softeners add moisture to our stool and soften it.
These products contain chemicals that work together for stimulating intestinal activities. Pregnant women are asked to take this medication only if it’s an emergency.
A Natural Recipe for Managing Constipation
When prescribed by your doctor, the above medications might not cause any serious harm to your health.
However, they would surely make you suffer from minor side effects.
So, instead of taking those medications, you can try the following recipe.
Cumin, Coriander, and Fennel Tea Recipe
This soothing, earthy herbal tea would do wonders to your digestive system. It is instrumental in reducing bloating and gas and also prevents constipation effectively.
The recipe below would prepare four servings of the drink.
- 1 teaspoon dried whole fennel seeds
- ½ teaspoon dried whole cumin seeds (if you like the flavor of cumin, you can increase the amount to 1 teaspoon)
- 1 teaspoon dried whole coriander seeds
- 6 cups of water
- Dried ginger or cinnamon
- Honey (optional)
- Arrange the seeds on a baking tray lined with baking sheet and roast them for 5 to 8 minutes at 350 degrees. This will change the color of the seeds to golden and also make them more fragrant.
- Grind the roasted seeds using your coffee grinder. You can also grind them using a mortar and pestle. You will need a fine powder for this recipe.
- Also grind some cinnamon or ginger based on your preference.
- Take 6 cups of water in a saucepan and add the powder to it. Heat the two together over medium heat.
- Once the liquid starts to boil, reduce the flame and simmer for 5 to 7 minutes i.e. until the solution becomes fragrant.
- Add the powdered ginger or cinnamon and stir the liquid using a spoon.
- Allow the solution to cool down slightly.
- Strain the liquid using a metal strainer and drink it warm. If you want, you can add half teaspoon of honey to the herbal tea.
- The remaining portion of the tea can be stored in the refrigerator. It would remain fresh for another 2 to 3 days.
Constipation during pregnancy is extremely common and can be managed pretty easily. Whatever might be the process you are looking to adopt for dealing with pregnancy-induced constipation, you must consult your doctor.