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Constipation during pregnancy is a common problem which is found in approx. 50% of pregnant women are looking for treating constipation rather than prevent constipation. Hormonal changes and a side-effect of medicines are the major causes. Many women experience constipation, diarrhoea or both in the weeks or months of their pregnancy. During pregnancy, your digestive tract works differently to help you pass stool, so you may not have experienced the typical constipation symptoms you were probably expecting. Constipation during pregnancy can be difficult to manage for any woman. One can always try out different pregnancy constipation remedies and stick to the one that suits their body the best. It is necessary to choose the best home remedies for constipation in pregnancy because it can also affect the health of your child. Here we are with some of the home remedies for constipation during pregnancy that can keep you away from this problem in this tenure. While usually, the first signs of constipation may occur in the third trimester, constipation during early pregnancy home remedies have also been included in this blog. Before we go to remedies we need to know the cause in depth. So here is a snapshot!
Causes of Constipation during Pregnancy
If you are wondering; why constipation occurs during pregnancy, we are here to guide you through the reasons.
- The major reason is, during pregnancy the progesterone hormone level elevates which makes the smooth muscles relaxed inside the intestine. For this reason, the food and waste material inside the intestine makes a slow movement in passage to other organs in the system. This enhances water absorption in the bowel which results in constipation.
- Moreover, the uterus expands in size during the second trimester which exerts pressure on other organs in the abdominal region. Intestine comes under huge pressure by an expanded and heavy uterus which distracts the movement of food and waste materials. Rectum is also affected by it.
- All pregnant women are given iron tablets which stimulate the factor of constipation. Also, some other drugs, medicines and changed food habits play a vital role.
What is safe to take for constipation during pregnancy?
- Pregnant women should consume around 30 grams of dietary fibre if suffering from constipation
- Fresh fruits
- Whole-grain foods like bread
When does constipation start during pregnancy?
As progesterone levels increase during pregnancy, it leads to the relaxation of muscles in your bowels, as soon as these levels rise, constipation is likely to occur in pregnant women.
How to pass hard stool during pregnancy?
- Drink as many fluids as you can such as prune juice or water. Prune juice pregnancy has been shown to work as magic.
- Include any kind of physical activity such as walking.
- Increase fibre in your diet.
Can constipation hurt the baby during pregnancy?
Usually, it does not lead to any problems for the baby however in some cases serious complications such as rectal bleeding or rectal fissures may occur. Constipation may get worse from first trimester to the second and third trimester as the pregnancy progresses, the uterus grows and progesterone levels increases
Is it safe to take stool softeners to treat pregnancy constipation?
Yes, stool softeners are usually considered safe during pregnancy, as it can make the passing of stool easier as the muscles in the bowel become weak.
Foods to eat:
- Fibre-rich foods such as fruits, vegetables, lentils, whole grain items such as bread etc
- Prune juice
- Protein-rich foods such as soybean might also help.
- Foods rich in soluble fibre such as lentils, barley, apples and blueberries.
- Foods rich in insoluble fibre such as green beans, cauliflower, wheat bran, nuts, potatoes and whole grains.
- Foods rich in probiotics such as tempeh, cheese, yoghurt, sourdough bread, kimchi and kefir.
Foods to avoid:
- Too much calcium such as excess of dairy products
- Fast or fried food
- Red meat
- Low fibre foods
Now, we will discuss some of the effective home remedies for constipation during pregnancy.
Home Remedies for Constipation during Pregnancy:
How to cure constipation in pregnancy? This is one of the most difficult questions for a pregnant woman to solve. However, our below list of natural remedies for constipation during pregnancy will help you solve your constipation problem. These constipation home remedies during pregnancy include changes in your lifestyle, diet, and medications.
1. High-Fibre Diet:
- You should consume 25 gm to 30 gm of fibre-rich Fruit, vegetables, cereals, whole grain bread, prunes and bran are suggestible.
- Currant or Munakka is very good. Take 10 pieces of Currant and then boil it with milk, approx. make it 1 glass full. Now you may eat the currants and have the milk before sleep at night. Repeating this for 3 to 4 days recovers constipation to a higher extent. This is one of the best home remedies for constipation during pregnancy.
- Taking prune juice regularly eases constipation. It also provides nutrition to pregnant women. You can also mix it with water or orange juice.
2. Increase water or liquid intake:
A higher intake of fluid is very important for everybody and especially for those who are pregnant. Every day take 6 to 8 glasses of water to keep the body hydrated. A properly hydrated body has a lesser chance of constipation.
- Before bed, you may take lukewarm water which helps to ease bowel movement. Along with that, you may boil ajwain or carom seeds to get the best result.
- Boil fennel/sauf together in the water. After that put off the flame and add a tablespoon full of desi ghee. Before sleep drink this in a lukewarm condition. The combination of fennel and ghee is a natural stool softener.
- Having herbal tea or a cup of hot water with a little lemon juice (a natural laxative) or honey may stimulate your colon as well.
- Keep water in the copper pot throughout the night and then intake the same in the morning on an empty stomach. It works for some people and there is no harm even if you make it a part of your morning routine.
- Mix two spoons of Aloe Vera gel with any juice. It’s best to use pure aloe Vera gel from the plant. But if not feasible, you can take one available in the market. Drinking this mixture also works as a wonder for relieving constipation.
3. Yoga or exercise:
You can do some prenatal yoga or exercise or walk for stimulating the intestine in moving bowels. Walking or freehand exercise, at least thrice a week is important. But take permission from a doctor for the same. And don’t try it if you have any complications.
4. Iron supplements:
Take natural iron supplements foods so that your doctor can reduce iron tablet dosage.
5. Lemon and Peppermint Oil Massage:
These two are great ingredients for aromatherapy massage to soften faecal impactions.
Water and dietary fibre are abundant in kiwis. The fruits help in easing out bowel movements and ease out constipation. Kiwis are ranked as the top fruit in dealing with constipation during pregnancy.
7. Chia Seeds:
Dietary fibre is abundant in chia seeds. It helps with bowel movements. Chia seeds may therefore aid in the treatment of constipation.
8. Lemon Juice:
Lemon is an excellent food for dealing with digestion and aids in the removal of toxins and other food particles. Your senses of taste and smell are stimulated as well as bowel spasms that aid with stool passage when lemon is added to warm water.
Oranges and other citrus fruits are rich in vitamin C and fibre. Lack of fibre in your regular routine is one of the main causes of constipation. One of the finest treatments for constipation is it. 30 g of fibre per day is the recommended amount. Additionally, grapefruits are high in fibre and can be used as a constipation remedy.
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What you should not do during pregnancy to get relieved from Constipation
Never take any constipation or laxative pills to get relief from constipation. As such pills make urine contractions which may lead to dehydration. You also should not have any mineral oil-rich food as it reduces the absorption of nutrition. Do not have spicy and oily food as it has a natural tendency to harden bowel movements.
Last but not least, relax and be stress-free as much as you can, eat well and have lots of green vegetables, and fruits and don’t overwork. Increase your intake of water and juices than normal and of course do exercise, keep the movement on that will not only help in relieving constipation but a smoother delivery as well.
1. Can constipation hurt the baby during pregnancy?
No. If you feel pressure due to constipation or if you push hard to pass stool, it won’t harm your baby. Having said that, it is important to remember that pushing too hard or straining might cause haemorrhoids or anal fissures which can be very uncomfortable for the mother.
2. How long is it OK to be constipated during pregnancy?
It is very common for women to experience constipation in early pregnancy or during the course when the progesterone levels are at the peak. Usually, pregnancy constipation isn’t a cause for concern but you should definitely contact your OB-gyn in case the constipation is accompanied by other symptoms such as stomach pain, too much discomfort etc.
3. How to cure constipation in pregnancy?
You can follow simple pregnancy constipation home remedies to relieve this problem. You can increase your fluid intake, include some form of physical activity and intake more fibre-rich foods in your diet to cure constipation during pregnancy.
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