Digestion

Home Remedies of Constipation in Pregnant Women

Constipation is a common concern in most expecting mothers. In the United States, more than 4 million Americans suffer from constipation issues, which accounts for about 2.5 million visits to the physician in a year. The most common patients are the elderly mass over the age of 65 and women. Among the women, most cases of constipation are related to pregnancy, child birth or surgery. More than $725 million of dollar is spent on laxative products every year.

Symptoms of Constipation during Pregnancy

More than 50% of the total population of women have suffered from improper bowel movement at some point of time during pregnancy. The various symptoms are as follows:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Discomfort in the abdominal area
  • Feeling of fullness even after passing stool
  • Infrequent bowel
  • Hard stool
  • Irritation and painful passing of stool
  • Agitated mood
  • Headache and nausea

Causes of Constipation during Pregnancy

  • The body undergoes a drastic change in the hormone levels during pregnancy. This sudden change in the hormonal health of a women results in constipation.
  • During pregnancy, the body tends to retain water, causing loss of water inside the digestive tract and causing constipation.
  • Constipation might occur at any one of the trimesters or whole of pregnancy period.
  • Sometimes, due to the growth of the fetus inside the uterus, some disturbances occur within our digestive tract. This can also lead to improper bowel movement.
  • Expecting mothers have a low appetite during the first trimester. This results in the formation of gas, causing constipation.
  • Intake of medicines is a common thing during pregnancy. A few medicines might result in improper bowel movement. Taking calcium or iron supplements can even aggravate the condition.
  • During pregnancy, the muscles of the intestine and the stomach are relaxed. This can assist in increasing the problem. The food and the wastes move slowly inside the system.
  • The expanding uterus often causes pressure on the intestine, resulting in difficulty in passing of the bowel.

Home Remedies for Pregnant Women

Regular exercise

During pregnancy, it is important to do some simple exercises regularly under medical supervision. Moderate exercises can relieve improper bowel movement. Brisk walking, aerobics can help. Even swimming may help. But do it after consulting your personal physician.

Diet

  • Consume fresh fruits rich in fiber and moisture; example – bananas, oranges, plums and grapes. These will flush the wastes out of our body. Ideally, about 25-30 grams of dietary fiber per day should be consumed. Go for more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, prunes and bran.
  • Add ginger powder while preparing any kind of foods. Ginger aids the process of digestion. Ginger is an efficient home-based cure for gas, acidity, indigestion and constipation. Even ginger tea prepared out of chopped ginger can be taken for relief.
  • Dates can also help in stimulating the bowel. Intake of dates regularly can not only clear bowel but also provide strength and regulate blood level in the body.

Fluids

  • Drink water in plenty. It is advised that you body needs a least 6-10 glasses of water everyday.
  • Drink more soups and juices prepared from vegetables and fruits. Do not consume extremely warm soups. Drink them at decently warm conditions. Even juices should not be chilled enough. Drinking fluids at room temperature are beneficial in providing relief from constipation.

Over-the-counter Medication

Certain OTC medicines like Metamucil (Category B) can soften your bowel movements. But make sure you take them only after consulting your doctor.

Supplements
Reduce the intake of iron supplements after medical consultation because iron has been found to cause constipation. Avoid taking iron, but if needed, take iron in smaller doses throughout the day instead of taking it all at once.

Prenatal massage
Prenatal massage is an effective way to reduce constipation.

Laxatives
During pregnancy intake of laxative pills is a big no. Laxative pills can lead to dehydration and uterine contraction.

Mineral oils
Women have been observed using mineral oils to cure constipation. But if you are expecting, do not use them. These will reduce the ability of nutrient absorption of the body.

Image: imagerymajestic / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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