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How to avoid constipation during pregnancy  

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Pregnancy period can be a testing as well as an exciting time in a woman’s life. There are a lot of changes happening in her body and mind. Along with these exciting changes is accompanied are some discomforts like constipation.

Constipation is one of the commonly seen discomforts in pregnant women. But, what is reason for constipation during pregnancy? Constipation is mainly due to the increased production of progesterone hormone in the body that relaxes and slows down the digestion. As you progress through the pregnancy, growth of the baby in the womb can pressurise your pelvic area and also cause constipation. In some women, they may develop a dislike for food and they won’t be able to eat as much food as they used to eat before, also lack of exercise can contribute to this situation. Many of the prenatal medicines like iron tablets can also be a reason for constipation. But the good news is that you can avoid all these discomforts and troubles with a little care.

Given here are certain tips which can help you overcome this difficulty during pregnancy.

Include fibrous foods in your diet

Lack of fibre rich foods in your diet can make constipation worse; hence include foods that are rich in fibre in your diet. Fibre can encourage the working of intestine, absorbs water from the body so that the stools do not get dried, making it easier to come out. Eating plenty of fruits and fresh vegetables can help you in solving this condition. Whole wheat grain cereals, beans, sprouts should be included in the diet.


Drink plenty of water

It is advised that one should drink plenty of water to keep your system fresh and healthy. It becomes more important when you are pregnant. You should take care to drink at least 1.5 litres of water per day. Drinking water not only helps in reducing the trouble with constipation but also protects you from urinary infections which you are prone to during pregnancy. In addition to water you can drink fresh juices and fresh coconut water will help you in digestion as well as reduce the constipation. But avoid drinks like tea, coffee, alcohols and aerated drinks that are known to make constipation worse.


Do some workouts

It has been found that doing some light exercises helps to improve digestion and stimulate bowel movements. Moderate exercises like walking, swimming, yoga and pregnancy exercise classes can help in reduce constipation.


Replace supplement medicines

It is common that doctors prescribe vitamin supplements and iron tablets during pregnancy and to certain extend the iron tablets cause constipation. You can reduce the intake of these medicines and in fact replace it with proper diet. Include lots of green leafy vegetables, prunes, milk, eggs and vegetables are good source of nutrients like iron and calcium so that you can reduce these supplements. Talk to your doctor and check iron levels in your blood and so that you can follow a proper healthy diet so that you can do away with the iron supplement medicines.


Do not go for self medication

People are so used to buying over the counter medicines and using them, but beware and do not use such medicines for easing the discomfort caused due to constipation. Moreover laxatives and stool softeners are not recommended during pregnancy. Do not use laxatives, as they may cause dehydration and also result in uterine contractions that may result in early labour. Mineral oils are also not recommended as it can hamper the nutrients absorption in the body.  In case if the pain is unbearable speak to the doctor who will advise you with medications and ways to solve the problem. 

Pregnancy is the time when you need to take proper care of yourself so that you and your baby are healthy. It has been found that constipation is the common problem in pregnant women. If you are prone to constipation even before getting pregnant, then you need to take extra care to avoid this condition during pregnancy. It is always better to avoid medicines and depend on diet and exercise, as medicines that the mother takes shall affect the baby and mother’s health. So, speak to your doctor and be advised and prepare yourself for welcoming a healthy baby. 

Constipation: Causes, Diagnosis and Management

Written by: Healthplus24 team
Date last updated: June 20, 2013