Tips to deal with constipation during pregnancy
Pregnancy is often one of the most joyous times in a woman’s life. However, the profound changes your body goes through to nurture a new life may cause some physical discomforts, including constipation.
What is constipation?
When stool moves too slowly through the colon, the colon absorbs too much water from it, making the stool hard, dry, and difficult or painful to pass out of the body. The result is constipation. Typically, constipation is defined as having fewer than three bowel movements per week.
What causes constipation during pregnancy?
Constipation is common during pregnancy - as many as 38 percent of pregnant women experience constipation, and it is the second most common gastrointestinal complaint during pregnancy.
There are multiple factors that contribute to constipation in pregnant women. Hormonal changes during pregnancy relax the muscles of the digestive tract, which slows down the movement of food through the body, causing constipation. Decreased physical activity among pregnant women and the iron in prenatal vitamins can add to the problem. Later in pregnancy, as the baby grows and pushes against the intestines, constipation may get even worse.
Also Read: Homeopathy and pregnancy go hand in hand
Is there any way to prevent and treat constipation?
Many of the same lifestyle changes that may help you prevent constipation from happening can also help you treat constipation if you already have it.
Here are few tips to deal with constipation during pregnancy –
- Include fibre-rich foods in your diet: Eat plenty of high-fibre foods (whole grain cereals and bread, fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, dried fruits and legumes). Bran (Chokar) and psyllium husk (Isabgol) are good natural sources of fibre and can be sprinkled over cereal. Increase your fibre intake gradually to help prevent bloating and gas. It may be helpful to consult a dietician who can advise on maintaining a healthy diet.
- Drink plenty of fluids: Pregnant and breastfeeding women need to increase their fluid intake, so drink at least 7-8 glasses/day and even more in hot or humid weather. Water is best, but fruit juices (especially prune juice) are fine. Reduce your intake of caffeine in tea, coffee, cola and energy drinks.
- Get moving: Regular exercise helps increase muscle activity in your intestines to help your stool pass more easily. This does not have to be an aerobics class or running several miles. Simply adding more movement to your day can improve bowel function. It can be swimming at the pool, dancing with your partner, walking around the neighborhood, or practicing prenatal yoga.
- Reduce straining on the toilet: Go to the toilet when you feel the urge, ideally first thing in the morning, or half an hour after a meal. Make sure you have time and privacy and avoid straining when sitting on the toilet. Sometimes straining can lead to piles (commonly called hemorrhoids), where the veins in the rectum become swollen and itchy. Untreated constipation and constant straining also put stress on the pelvic floor which may lead to pelvic floor problems in later life.
- Monitor your use of medications: Some medications like multivitamins, iron and calcium tablets, strong pain killers, antacids for heartburn, can increase the likelihood that you will have constipation during pregnancy. Changing the medication or formulation may reduce constipation. Therefore, it is important that you consult with your doctor if your constipation doesn’t improve with lifestyle changes.
Homeopathy to relieve constipation during pregnancy
As a last resort, there are medications available to help with constipation. But, please make sure that you take medicines prescribed by your doctor, and not self-medicate. All medicines are not safe. Overuse of laxatives and stool softeners can cause a lazy bowel, dehydration, and occasionally electrolyte imbalances.
Homeopathy can be a safer alternative to deal with constipation during pregnancy. It has been proven that it is safe to administer homeopathic remedies to mother and child during pregnancy. They are made up of natural substances and enhance your body’s own healing powers. Some of the commonly used homeopathic medicines for constipation during pregnancy are Bryonia, Nux vomica, Sepia, and Sulphur.
If you have concerns related to pregnancy and want to take medication which is safe and effective for both, you and your baby, consult our expert homeopathic doctors on 9033001642 or book an appointment with us: https://www.drbatras.com/book-an-appointment