Constipation is one of the early signs of pregnancy and may occur in the second and third trimester too. This is one of the most annoying pregnancy symptoms causing discomforts in almost all expectant mothers at some point during their pregnancy. Simple food habit and lifestyle changes can help you tackle constipation in an effective way. The key to ‘constipation free pregnancy’ is following a nutritious and healthy diet along with active exercises throughout pregnancy.
Why pregnant woman have constipation?
The elevated levels of progesterone hormone cause the smooth intestine muscles to relax which will slow down the passage of food. This increases the water absorption from the bowel resulting in constipation. Also, the growing uterus presses the intestine and pushes the stomach upwards which makes it worse. Apart from these changes, lack of exercise, low fibre diet, stress, insufficient amount of water intake etc., contributes to constipation during pregnancy.
Tips to relieve from constipation
- Drink at least 10-12 glasses of water every day. You can also try having a glass of warm water with lemon juice in the morning.
- Avoid caffeinated drinks like coffee. Although they help initially, they cause dehydration problem due to their diuretic effect.
- Include fibre rich food in your diet. Try fresh fruits like apple, oranges and pears with skin. They help in relieving you from constipation.
- Fibre rich vegetables can be consumed in the form of soup, salad etc. You can have carrots, nuts, legumes, greens, lentils etc., with a combination of easily digesting protein like eggs.
- Go for a long walk and keep yourself engaged throughout the day with simple fitness exercises. It can be prenatal yoga, cardio, swimming or walking.
- Break your meals and eat 5-6 mini meals to help your digestive system work with ease.
- You can also have tender coconut, butter milk and soups everyday to keep your body hydrated.
- If it is severe, consult your gynecologist for a laxative. Avoid over the counter prescriptions during pregnancy as stimulant laxatives you buy in pharmacy may cause abdominal cramps.