Becoming pregnant comes with unwelcome experiences because your body releases more hormones, particularly estrogen and progesterone. One of the most common that mums-to-be experience is constipation, which is mostly accompanied with abdominal pain, irregular bowel movement, discomfort, and a sluggish feeling.
Here are some ways to help you deal with constipation during your pregnancy:
Maintain a high-fibre diet
Fibre is vital if you want to have a healthy pregnancy. Pregnant women should consume around 25-35 grams of fibre daily. Good thing it’s easy to find—in whole grains, cereals, fruits, and vegetables—and therefore easy to include in your diet. It makes your digestive system function properly and helps waste pass through more easily.
Reduce or avoid iron supplements
Some medications you may be taking, like iron supplements, can worsen your situation. Iron supplements slow down digestion. The trick is to avoid them if you can and just get your iron needs from iron-rich food. If avoiding iron supplements is not an option for you, then try taking smaller doses every day instead of taking them all at the same time. Consult with your doctor about this.
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate
Hydrating is one of the most important things you have to do even if you’re not pregnant—and all the more if you are. Pregnant women are advised to drink at least 10 to 12 cups of fluids every day. Aside from water, prune juice counts, too. It’s known as a natural laxative that really helps in muscle contractions and relieving constipation.
Working out regularly comes with a number of benefits even while pregnant. Walk, swim, or try other moderate workout routines to aid in your digestion and improve your bowel function. Anything that keeps your heart rate up and lets you sweat a bit is good for your pregnancy.
Don’t overdo your calcium intake
Calcium is found in dairy products like milk and cheese and it’s also needed during pregnancy. However, having too much calcium can cause constipation. The advisable calcium intake is about 1,000 milligrams daily. Try to stick to it by combining both food and supplements as your source.
Massage your abdomen and the arches of your feet
Try massaging the arches of your feet in a circular motion because this part of your body is known to correspond to your digestive system. Abdominal massage may help in softening your fecal impaction, too. You can use peppermint or lemon essential oil when massaging these body parts for a more soothing effect.
Try over-the-counter medication
There are some over-the-counter medicines that can help relieve your constipation if none of the natural method works. However, make sure you consult with your doctor first before taking one. Also, avoid laxative pills because they might cause dehydration and uterine contractions, leaving you with an even worse problem.