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Dealing With Constipation During Pregnancy And Post Partum
One of the more ‘not so pleasant’ signs of pregnancy is constipation. Affecting almost every other pregnant woman out there, constipation can cause extreme discomfort and in certain cases, pain. The issue would become harder to deal with as the pregnancy progresses.
Causes For Constipation During Pregnancy
Constipation is usually normal in pregnant ladies as the body would produce hormones that cause the muscles in the gastrointestinal tract to relax. When this happens, the body takes a longer time to pass the food through the digestive tract, thus slowing down intestinal motility to a great extent.
With time, the developing baby would start to crowd the bowels and narrow the intestinal passageways. This would again make it difficult for the food to pass through the tract, thus causing constipation.
As your baby grows inside the womb, he/she would require more fluids on a day to day basis. And so if your fluid intake does not compensate for the loss in fluid balance, you could contract constipation. Less intake of dietary fiber could also strip your body of the essential nutrients it needs to combat conditions like constipation. Finally, certain iron tablets or supplements prescribed for pregnant ladies can cause constipation.
Signs That Indicate That You Are Constipated
Even though you would most likely know when you are constipated, there are some signs and symptoms that can help you spot the issue as and when it starts occurring. These include stomach bloating, excessive gas, uneasiness, failure to pass stools for several days, hardened stools that are very difficult to excrete, incomplete bowel movement and blood in stools etc.
Ways To Combat Constipation During Pregnancy
Start including fiber rich foods in your diet as soon as you find out that you are pregnant. Foods rich in dietary fiber would be easy to digest and would help with digestion as well. So make sure that you include plenty of foods like fruits, vegetables, breads, whole grains and cereals etc. in your daily diet.
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In addition to eating more of the above mentioned foods, make sure that you stay away from certain foods that can cause painful contractions. These include instant meals, processed, pre cooked or reheated meals and empty calorie foods (including cakes, jelly, fizzy beverages, ice cream etc.).
The good thing about fiber rich foods is that they help quicken up the digestion process. The bad thing about them is that they need plenty of water to do their job. So along with fiber, make sure that you drink plenty of fluids every day.
This would include drinking plenty of water, preferably 5-7 glasses every day. Couple this with plenty of fresh fruit drinks like prune, apple or orange juices. Decaffeinated coffee/tea would also be a good option to
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It pays to start your day with a glass of warm water every day. In addition to relaxing the muscles of the gastrointestinal tract, the warm water would ease bowel movement, thereby preventing constipation.
Exercises That Help
Don’t opt for rigorous exercises during pregnancy. On the other hand, you can opt for light exercises that target the digestive tract and bowels. Accordingly, some exercises that you can opt for during pregnancy would include walking and swimming etc. However, make sure that you consult a doctor before opting for these exercises.
Answering The Call Of Nature
You may be held up in some important work and feel that you can pass your stools later. That would be a big mistake on your part as stools that are not excreted in time would harden up inside the body, thus making it extremely difficult for you to remove them later on.
So don’t stop the urge to pass your stools. No matter where you are at the moment or what your situation might be, quickly excuse yourself and head over to the nearest washroom to relieve yourself.
Avoid taking laxatives for constipation unless a doctor prescribes some for you. Certain laxatives can aggravate the condition and cause severe constipation in addition to causing painful contractions. So make sure you stay away from laxatives and stick to more natural ways to deal with the issue.
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