Majority of pregnant women suffer from constipation. The reason is the sudden hormonal changes taking place in the pregnant woman’s body. A sudden surge of hormones, especially progesterone, in the body can disrupt the proper functioning of the digestive system. Even the growing uterus can cause problems regular bowel movements as it causes the other surrounding organs in the body to shrink in size.
Constipation can be a very uncomfortable condition in pregnant women and can lead to painful gas. However, constipation can be avoided altogether as well as treated easily. Let’s look at some of the most effective tips for relieving constipation during pregnancy.
Drink plenty of water. This is the advice that we hear from every corner. The importance of drinking 10-12 glasses of water every day cannot be emphasized enough. Drinking water during pregnancy is all the more important because it can help you avoid constipation altogether. Water helps in the digestion of food as well as in the movement of waste products out from the body. Water helps flush out the toxins from the body.
Pregnant women should drink enough water through the day to keep themselves hydrated. Never drink more than one glass of water at a time. Keep sipping on water through the day to avoid problem of bloating. Fresh fruits juices also help during the digestion of food. However, there is nothing that works better for constipation other than water. Eat plenty of fiber in your daily diet. Fiber adds bulk to the stool which helps in the batter movement of the waste products through the intestine.
Fiber is also helpful in making bowel movements less painful because bulk will ensure easier elimination of the toxic waste. Fruits and vegetables are good source of fiber. Green leafy vegetables like spinach and green turnip, tomatoes and raw carrots, fruits like watermelon, grapes and bananas all add roughage to the waste products and help in smoother movements of the bowel. Eat food like prunes to help relieve constipation. Prunes juice is also a good remedy for constipation during pregnancy.
Eat a handful of prunes first thing in the morning or have a glass of prune juice before going to bed at night. Begin this treatment from the second month of your pregnancy to avoid being constipated. Follow a regular exercise schedule to help the body digest the food better and faster. during pregnancy one has to be careful with the exercises you perform. However, walking, swimming and cycling are considered safe exercises for pregnant women and doing 20-30 minutes of any of these exercises every day will help prevent the problem of constipation in pregnant women.
Eat a handful of raisins every day. Raisins are a rich source of fiber and fiber is important for dealing with constipation. You can even add raisins to the glass of milk your drink every day. This will help the body absorb fiber from the raisins better. Be regular with your bowel movements. Fix a daily time for your visit to the toilet preferably in the morning before you begin your day. Relieving yourself early in the day will keep you relaxed and cheerful throughout because you will no longer feel the painful gas in your stomach.
Eat a well balanced diet of proteins, vitamins, carbohydrates, nutrients, minerals and fiber. A well-balanced diet helps the body perform all its functions in a proper and regular manner. Hence a proper diet will go a long way in preventing constipation in pregnant women. Never hold back your need to use the toilet. Holding back will cause loss of moisture from the stool making it very hard and painful. This will worsen the condition of constipation.
Eat about 350 grams of grapes every day early in the morning or before going to bed at night. Grapes are rich in fiber. Soak 4-5 figs in a bowl of water every night and have them in the morning. Don’t throw away the water in which you soaked the figs. Drink the water for additional benefits. Figs will help relieve constipation to a considerable extent. Squeeze juice of one lemon in a warm glass of water. Add a little honey or salt depending on your taste and drink it first thing in the morning. Lemon is very food for effectively flushing out the toxic waste from the body.
Drink a glass of warm water without adding sugar to it. Do this early in the morning when you have your breakfast or at night after dinner. You may add some honey to the milk. do not drink cold milk or you will aggravate the problem. Avoid eating oily and fried foods. Even junk food is known to cause constipation. Foods prepared from white flour like pizzas, pastas, cakes, pastries and burgers should be avoided completely. White flour is processed flour and can cause constipation. Do not eat processed foods and flavored foods to avoid getting constipated.
Use stool softeners available in market after checking with your doctor. However, during pregnancy laxatives should be the last resort for preventing constipation. Pregnant women should never use mineral oils, especially castor oil, for relieving constipation. Minerals oils can harm your baby and castor oil is known to trigger premature uterine contractions in pregnant women. Pregnant women should also avoid use of herbal teas for getting rid of constipation. There haven’t still been enough studies done on the benefits and harms that herbs and other spices can have on pregnant women and the fetus.
Do not ignore the problem of constipation during pregnancy. Not getting treated for constipation can lead to anal fissures which are a result of hard and dry stools. Anal fissures can be very painful and trying to relieve yourself when one is suffering from anal fissures requires a lot of pushing and effort. All this pushing can actually trigger off labor pains. Hence get treated for constipation or treat yourself for constipation at the earliest. Remember, constipation is a common problem among the majority of pregnant women and there should be no embarrassment in discussing the problem with your doctor.