COMBATING CONSTIPATION DURING PREGNANCY
- 3 Months ago
Constipation is a common problem during pregnancy. It is one of the earliest signs of pregnancy, it usually occurs along with nausea, dizziness, mood swings and food cravings. As many as half of pregnant women get constipated at some point.
- Increased production of the hormone progesterone, which relaxes the muscles of the intestinal wall, which makes it less capable of moving waste materials.
- Oral iron supplements
- Lack of exercise
Constipation causes during late pregnancy
- The same causes as in early pregnancy
- The enlarged uterus pressing upon the intestine and rectum during later stages of pregnancy.
- Eat a high fiber diet: Ideally, you should consume 25 to 30 grams of dietary fiber per day from fruits, vegetables, breakfast cereals, whole grain breads, nuts and bran.
- Drink a lot of fluids: Drinking plenty of fluids is important, particularly when increasing fiber intake. Drink 10 to 12 cups of fluids each day. It is the combination of a high fiber diet and plenty of liquids that best help you eliminate your waste. Sweat, hot/humid climates, and exercise may increase your need for additional fluids.
- Exercise regularly: If you are inactive, you have a greater chance of constipation. Walking, swimming and other moderate exercise helps the intestines work by stimulating your bowels. Schedule exercise three times a week for 20-30 minutes each.
- Reduce or eliminate iron supplements: Iron supplements may contribute to constipation. Good nutrition can often meet your iron needs during pregnancy. Taking smaller doses of iron throughout the day rather than taking it all at once can reduce constipation. Talk to your health care provider about checking your iron levels and recommendations to manage iron intake during pregnancy.
- Start your day with a cup of warm water before you have anything else to eat or drink.
- Start each meal with a salad or raw vegetables.
- Eat a high-fiber diet which includes fruits, vegetables, whole grain cereal and bread.
- Exercise will help prevent constipation (Do consult your physician before beginning any exercise schedule).
Disclaimer: “The purpose of the article is to inform and educate. It can no way be used as a substitute for medical diagnosis or treatment. Always consult your physician before making any significant diet, exercise or lifestyle changes”