How To Manage Constipation In Pregnancy?

Pregnancy changes a lot in our body, internally and externally. We are in an emotional roller coaster all the time. Along with it all our organs are also in for a wild ride. Result of which we face a lot of symptoms which can be a bit tiresome for us. Major problem that affects almost 3 out of 4 women is constipation.

  • Why does it occur?
  • What are the precautions that we need to take to avoid constipation during pregnancy?
  • How to manage constipation during pregnancy?

Let’s take a look at all of these issues.

Why does one suffer from constipation during pregnancy ?

Constipation during pregnancy is caused because of the progesterone hormone. Progesterone is released in excess during the pregnancy. It makes the bowel movement slower as a result of which one isn’t able to pass stools and resultant is constipation. Prolonged constipation can lead to haemorrhoids. They are swollen blood vessels in the rectum and can be very painful. Progesterone hormone is an essential part of pregnancy. It helps with the relaxation of all the muscles of the body. But constipation is one slight side effect of it. Constipation during pregnancy can be controlled to much of an extent by managing a few things.

Manage Constipation in Pregnancy

How to manage constipation during pregnancy?

#1. Consumption of water is the key

Keeping yourself hydrated throughout the day will help you with your bowel movements. The need for water increases when you are pregnant. It is recommended to have atleast 8 to 9 glasses of water daily to keep yourself hydrated. When we suffer from constipation it is the bowel movement and also the stool consistency that determines the excretion of the waste. Now that the bowel movement are slow because of the progesterone one must focus on the consistency. Water is an essential part of it. It will help as a natural enhancer of bowel movement and indirectly help you remove the waste.

#2. Include Fibres in your diet

Dietary fibre helps as a natural stool softener and enhance bowel movement too. The ultimate goal is the make your nature calls a bit relaxing and less painful. Natural fibres include fruits like apple, banana, pears, rasberries. These fibre rich foods add bulk to your faeces and hence can be passed with ease. Also, you can also try adding these veggies to your diet which include broccoli, peas, leafy greens.

Fibre rich food also include legumes, lentils, brown rice, chick peas etc. Natural fibres have also seen to maintain blood pressure in pregnant women. High blood pressure leading to preeclampsia can be a major problem during pregnancy.

#3. Exercises to relieve the pain and enhance bowel movement

Constipation can be a very painful affair for many women. Exercises releases endorphins that can help relax your body. They also help to relieve the trapped gases because of constipation. Ancient Ayurveda states that most of our bodily functions are based on our breathing patterns. If we could control our breathing it could lead to healing of lot of ailments. Breathing is an excellent exercise during pregnancy. It can also help you calm down. Pranayam can be done by pregnant women and it has no side effects to it. Even a cycle of Surya namaskar can be done by pregnant ladies. It will help them keep themselves flexible and also maintain excellent bowel activities. If the actual version of Surya namaskar becomes difficult for you one can also try the chair version of it. For women who are late into their pregnancy it would be best if you consult your physical therapist before you do this exercise. This also applies for women who have complicated pregnancy. Otherwise, this is an excellent form of body workout. Practicing squatting from the beginning will help you keep your pelvic muscles flexible and also improve the bowel movement. Ask your physical therapist for the right way to perform squatting.

Manage Constipation in Pregnancy

#4. Keep yourself active and on the move

Walking is an excellent form of workout with many pros to it. It solves your purpose of excellent bowel activity plus it helps you maintain the body active during pregnancy. Brisk walking is recommended for women to maintain healthy weight during pregnancy. It is very good exercise for women suffering from constipation also for those who have been diagnosed with high blood pressure or diabetes during pregnancy.

#5. Over the counter stool softener

If you have been suffering from unbearable pains due to constipation your doctor would be able to hook you up with some medication that will help you relax yourself from the bowel troubles. These laxatives help with the bowel movement and relaxes your muscles. But it would be recommended of you try the natural ways to maintain your constipated first.

#6. Brands of iron, calcium, vitamins

During the second and third trimester the iron, calcium, vitamin pills can lead to the constipation. The increasing load of these supplement can sometime be adding to the symptoms of constipation. It would be better if you could try and find the brand that can reduce your symptoms of constipation. Ask your gynaecologist about it and discuss your problem in details with them.

The good take in this whole situation is that constipation will not lead to anything dangerous in your body. But only thing to be remembered is that it can quite discomforting and painful. Only in worst cases it might lead to haemorrhoids and fissures. In all the situation one must always consult the doctor about the symptoms and seek their help. If you have had constipation before pregnancy there is quite a chance that you would face constipation even during pregnancy. So one must be prepared and follow the diet and exercise schedule faithfully to avoid all the complication. Maintain and strict regime of hydration, food and workout throughout your pregnancy. Folks, I hope you have acquired an insight on how constipation can be tackled and how to maintain healthy bowel activity during pregnancy. Have you faced the problem during pregnancy? How did you manage it? Do let us know in the comments section of our facebook page.  

Dr. Krutika Kumaresan

Dr.Krutika. Kumaresan MPT is an Adult and Paediatric neuro therapist.                                                                                                                

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