Constipation is a very common problem in most of the pregnant women. More than half of pregnant women have to bear constipation that leaves them gassy, bloat, cranky, miserable, and irritated. Some women deal with the problem daily till they are pregnant, while some simply go unaffected by constipation. Usually, it is treated with some natural remedies, some light syrups, or medicines. But if it is severe, you may feel strained while passing the stool, and it is advisable to see the doctor.
The pregnancy hormone progesterone causes the muscles of the bowel to relax and lets the food hang in there for longer times. Though it also means that more nutrients are being extracted, it just congests your colon – leaving you desperately wanting to shake a move there. Even the growing uterus plays its game as it occupies more space, leaving little for the bowel.
Other probable causes for colon congestion are:
During pregnancy, all these factors contribute to inhibiting the movement of waste products in a regular manner. The digestive system works slowly, and the hormones relax the entire digestive tract, and the frequency of bowel movement decreases.
It is wise to take preventive measures before constipation becomes a regular problem. There are many home remedies that can be tried to avoid it. Some of them are as listed below:
The first trimester is the time when your body is still getting used to being pregnant, and add to it the pregnancy hormones playing havoc on your digestive system. Constipation, gas, bloating are all a result of progesterone causing the bowel muscles to relax and not moving them through the intestine. Have a fibrous diet, keep the water coming, and be physically active so as to deal with pregnancy constipation in the first trimester.
Apart from pregnancy hormones, your uterus is also starting to increase in size, leaving little or no space for the bowels to go about their business. Try eating a smaller portion of meals and have food that is rich in fiber. You would also be given some iron supplements which would worsen constipation – watch out for it as well.
Constipation worsens during the third trimester, and it is harder to manage because the uterus takes all the empty space in the stomach, making bowels much, much slower. Watch your diet closely, and take a walk every day.
Though rare, too much of straining while trying to pass a stool or passing a hard stool can cause hemorrhoids, which are the swollen veins in the rectal area. They are rarely serious but can cause you a great deal of discomfort, pain, itching, and sometimes slight rectal bleeding as well.
If you are still not able to poop, speak to your doctor or midwife about it. You may even try a few homeopathic medicines for constipation problems but after consulting with the experts. Go to the bathroom when you feel urges. Adding oatmeal, pears, plum, peaches to your diet can help in the smooth passing of stool. This phase gets over once you deliver the baby in most cases. However, in some instances, the problem may persist after pregnancy, which can be cured with the help of doctors. Discuss with the doctor before you decide to take any laxatives. After having a meal try to take a walk for a few minutes, do not sit, or lie down immediately after having meals.