Constipation is one
of the common concerns during pregnancy as it is caused due to the increasing
pressure of uterus. Read on to know about the common concerns about
constipation during pregnancy.
With the pressure from the growing uterus
falling on the bowels, their normal activity gets inhibited. Hormonal changes
also cause the muscles of the bowel to relax, leading to constipation.
Constipation or having hard dry stools
which are difficult to pass is quite common during pregnancy. Constipation
can start right from the time you conceive and last through your entire
pregnancy. It happens because of hormonal changes which makes the body sluggish
Constipation may also be due to the growing
foetus. As the foetus develops within the body, it applies pressure to
the lower abdomen and the intestines. This may cause faecal blockages that can
result in constipation.
As a pregnancy
progresses women tend to becomes less physically active and may also consume
fatty foods which contain less fibre. Both these factors can contribute to
Some of the other known contributing
factors include taking iron and calcium supplements, less or no exercise,
stress and improper diet. It is important to understand the effects of
pregnancy on your body, and be aware of factors which can cause any kind of
physical discomfort like constipation during pregnancy. This will help you
deal better with constipation and a whole lot of other health issues.
can I do to alleviate constipation?
The following changes in diet and lifestyle
are favourable for coping with constipation.
water throughout the day will make bowel movements less hard to pass. Ideally
you must drink at least 8 glasses of water per day. If possible your first
drink of the morning should be warm water.
Fibre - Fibre is found in natural sources of foods like fruits, vegetables and grains.
Consuming fibre rich food makes bowel movements regular and loose.
Many health practitioners recommend having dried fruits like prunes, figs and apricots during pregnancy to relieve constipation. Oats and bran are
also fibre rich foods. However, when you consume bran you must
make sure to have sufficient water also failing which it will worsen your
It is always good to eat fresh and lightly
cooked foods, vegetables and high fibre cereals during pregnancy. Eat several
small meals, rather than three large ones, and chew your food thoroughly and
carefully when you eat.
Stay away from processed, pre-cooked and
instant foods as far as possible. During pregnancy you must avoid eating any
refined or processed white flour products. Stay away from sugar and cheeses.
Exercise - Ensure to engage in some form of light exercise like walking every day. However, before enrolling for any formal
exercise program make sure to consult your doctor.
Home Remedies for Constipation:
- Milk is the most effective home
remedy for constipation. Consuming a glass of warm milk every night before
going to bed has immense health benefits.
- Cabbage soup also works wonders to regularise bowel movements. For preparing
the soup, boil cabbage and puree it. Add some shredded raw cabbage to it
and consume it two to three times in a day for relief from constipation.
In case you suffer from severe constipation
and are not able to figure out how to handle it, consult your doctor
immediately. Some women make the mistake of making use of home cures like
castor oil to relieve constipation without consulting a doctor. During
pregnancy you must never take any medication including over the counter laxatives,
castor oil or suppositories unless advised by your doctor. These products are
capable of causing harm to the baby in your womb and in some rare cases also
induce early labour.
In fact rather than going in for medication is best to
include plenty of fibre rich food in your daily intake and make sure to drink
at least 8 glasses of water every day to avoid getting constipated.