What is Constipation in Pregnancy: Apart from immense happiness, pregnancy comes with a few awful symptoms. One of this is constipation, means difficult and infrequent bowel movements.
In pregnancy there is a rise in progesterone hormone that relaxes the muscles of intestine, so the digested food moves slowly and thus causes constipation.
Constipation is a very common symptom in pregnancy and nearly more than half of all pregnant mother suffer from constipation.
Constipation in pregnancy symptoms
When a pregnant women finds difficulty in passing stool and takes longer than the normal time it is called as constipation. Following are the symptoms of the constipation.
- Feeling pain in the abdomin.
- Feeling pain the rectum while passing stool.
- Feeling uncomfortable or bloated
Why there is constipation in pregnancy?
As discussed above constipation in pregnancy is due to increased level of progesterone hormones in body. This hormone relaxes the muscles of intestine so that food remains in the intestine for longer time and thus constipation. There are other factors too which causes constipation in pregnancy, these are listed below:-
1. Decrease in water intake
Many pregnant women feels nausea till third trimester of pregnancy and thus they limit their water intake. This decrease in water intake also slows the bowel motion. You should take atleast 14-15 glasses of water per day.
2. Iron tablets
Iron tablets are prescribed from the second trimester of pregnancy. Many of the salts of iron causes gastritis, nausea and constipation.
3. Inadequate dietry fibre
The dietry habits of a pregnant female influence a lot. If there is inadequate fibre in the diet, there are more chances of constipation.
4. Other factors
As discussed above less dietry fibre and iron tablets can cause constipation in pregnancy. Less physical activity, anxiety, stress also slows down the bowel movement.
When does constipation in pregnancy start
The constipation during pregnancy starts when the hormone level in pregnant women start increasing in the body. Constipation level can occurs during any of the three trimester of the pregnancy.
What to do to prevent constipation during pregnancy?
Constipation is very common in pregnancy due to the reasons discussed above. Increased hormonal levels in pregnancy also causes constipation.
PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN CURE
So lets discuss first the things you can do to avoid or you can say prevent constipation.
1. High fibre diet
High fibre content in diet make your stools bulky. Foods that contain high fibre are green leafy vegetables, whole wheat flour for chapati, pulses, whole fruit, salad.
a) Take whole fruit instead of fruit juice.
b) Use multigrain flour for making chapati.
c) Always include a potion of salad in all your meals.
2. Daily exercise
A daily walk for at least half-hour is a must. Include thrice-weekly antenatal yoga/exercises in your routine. This helps in the movement of bowels. Before starting any exercise, first, consult your doctor as there are many conditions in pregnancy where exercise is to be avoided.
Also read: << What are the exercises for normal delivery ?>>
3. Plenty of water
You should drink at least 15 glasses of water. Increased water intake and fiber intake together will help you to control or prevent the constipation problem. Water intake will soften the stool and fiber will add bulk to the stool.
Remedies for constipation in pregnancy | home remedies for constipation in pregnancy
Apart from increasing water intake and dietry fibre, you can do the following things :
1. Iron supplements
Talk to your doctor. He/she may reduce the dose of iron or change the salt of iron. It has been observed that some patients may suffer less side effects from certain salts of iron. Take the iron tablets immediately after meals, this will cause less gastric side effects.
2. No refined flour
Avoid eating foods that are made of maida or refined flour.
3. Stool softener
Use stool softener like lactulose can be taken with doctors prescription in case of constipation.
What not to take for constipation during pregnancy?
DO NOT take laxative pills for the treatment of constipation as they may lead to premature uterine contractions and premature delivery. So always discuss your problem with your doctor and follow the advice.
Also Read : <<10 Pregnancy Planning Tips: How to Prepare for Baby? >>