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Constipation during Pregnancy – Causes and Treatment

Constipation is a common problem during pregnancy. Nearly half of pregnant women suffer from constipation at some point.
One reason of constipation is an increase in the hormone progesterone, which relaxes smooth muscles throughout the body including the digestive tract. This means that food passes through the intestines more slowly. And the problem may be compounded later in pregnancy by the pressure of growing uterus on the rectum. Iron supplements, especially in high doses can worsen constipation.

Causes:
One of the most common reasons why you may feel constipated is because during pregnancy, the body retains too much water. Even water from the intestines is absorbed by the body. Therefore, there is enough water to soften the stool, causing constipation.
The second reason behind constipation is the loss of appetite, especially in the early months of pregnancy due to nausea and morning sickness.
In the first quarter it is caused by progesterone which decreases the intestinal activity. In late pregnancy the pressure of the uterus on the intestines and rectum makes the system slow.
– Iron supplement you need to treat anaemia has an astringent effect.
– Stress contributes to constipation.
– Being more susceptible to constipation is also a reason.

Treatment:
– Eat foods rich in fiber like whole grain cereals and breads, rice, beans and fruits and vegetables every day. The addition of a couple of tablespoons of unprocessed wheat bran (available at health food stores) to the cereal in the morning and after that a glass of water may help. It may take a couple of days before you notice the difference. Fruits help in having smooth motions. Having papayas in small quantities and bananas also helps.
– Drink plenty of water – at least six to eight glasses a day. A glass of fruit juice every day, especially prune juice, may also be useful. Some people find that drinking a hot liquid right after waking up helps get things moving. Drink as much water as you want. A good supplement can be tea, some coffee or fruit juice.
To ensure that the bowel function as well as possible, it is necessary to keep the stool soft.
– Exercise gently which stimulates the bowel movement leading to better digestion.
During pregnancy, walking or swimming for 20 to 30 minutes three times a week will help digestion. But also improve overall wellness and fitness.
– The intestines are more likely to be active after a meal. Listen to the body. Be sure to go when you feel the need. Include dry powdered ginger in your diet. This helps to relieve constipation. You can also choose flax seeds or flax seed (SAN) in your diet to relieve constipation.
– If the prenatal multivitamin contains a large dose of iron (and who is not anemic), ask the doctor about switching to a supplement with less iron.
– If the above measures do not help, talk to the doctor about taking a fibre supplement or over the counter stool softener.
– Drugs that are safe and can be used to treat constipation in pregnancy can be used.

Be sure to consult your doctor before taking any counter remedies or herbal preparations. Laxative pills and mineral oils are not recommended for the treatment of constipation during pregnancy.

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