Pregnancy: Constipation, a common challenge to deal with…by Julie Clarke

Pregnancy: Constipation, a common challenge to deal with…

Constipation is the term applied to painful bowel movements, which might be caused by slow, dry, hard stools to pass.

Commonly this is related to a lack of fluids particularly water intake for the woman and also clearly linked to the types of foods she is eating usually white starch, simple carbohydrates, such as white bread, pasta, cakes, biscuits and pastries.

Which foods will easily cause constipation during pregnancy?

An example would be toast or muffin for breakfast, white sandwich at lunch or burger with fries, and then at dinner; pizza, pasta, white rice and potato dishes would be a very quick way to create constipation. Anything containing white flour such as breads, donuts, cakes and biscuits. All white, refined, heavily processed foods will lead to constipation. Yes you are right it tends to be all the favourite foods!

Bowel function also slows down during pregnancy to allow for the maximum absorption of nutrients from foods to benefit the mother and baby, however, it can be more extreme in the last 3 months as the growing baby puts pressure on the bowel.

Improve your diet to include more fiber-rich foods, such as delicious fresh fruit and vegetables, oats and whole grains.

Increase drinking more water and juices, minimize tea and coffee as they are “dehydrating” – dehydration leads to constipation!

Carbonated, fizzy drinks such as Cola are very likely to create a lot of wind bowel pain for the pregnant woman and are best avoided.

The constant need to pass wind (smelly farts) and constipation often are linked and are associated complaints lots of women experience during pregnancy

How to get rid of painful constipation?

Want to know how to recover from constipation during pregnancy?

Life Hacks on how to avoid pregnancy constipation?

I’ve listed all the best ways to overcome constipation here below:

Eat prunes, dates, stone fruits, high fiber foods such as avocado, bananas, pears and almonds and drink prune juice

Eat one whole apple and one whole orange each day instead of drinking the juice pulp free.

Add more healthy oils to your daily food intake: Almond oil or Olive Oil or Coconut Oil or Udo’s Oil to assist all food to pass through your bowel easily, comfortably and more quickly. Approximately one tablespoon per day will make a world of difference to your level of comfort during bowel motions.  Udo’s oil is a brilliant healthy mixture of the best oils – you’ll find it in the refrigerator of your health food shop.

Going for a cool swim either at the beach, river, or in a pool will often stimulate the bowel into action – great for young and old alike.

Having a lovely relaxing warm bath, add some massage oil to your belly such as almond or coconut oil and massage your belly gentle to stimulate the digestion process. The relaxation will be a massive benefit and may be all that’s need to allow the digestive process to be more efficient.

Increase exercise to stimulate bowel movements, take a walk for about a half an hour everyday, swimming, Pilates, belly dancing and yoga are very beneficial as well,

Respond to the signals from your body when you get the message to open your bowels, go to the toilet without delay. It is so common that women will put it off because they are too busy and then the feeling passes and they have difficulty later.

When taking an iron supplement choose an organic one, often described as pre-chelated or pre-digested as the regular variety can often cause constipation – many women complain of this as the synthetic iron is not easily absorbed so most of it is excreted, which turns the poo black and sticky, leading onto constipation and hemorrhoids, a very unpleasant experience, which might have been avoided with better quality iron tablets. Refer to the health food shop or your qualified naturopath or other health professional for good natural guidance and advice,

Drink 2 teaspoons of psyllium seeds in water in the morning,

Drink 1 cup of rhubarb root tea at night

When sitting on the toilet relax and don’t rush, if you are uncomfortable and the toilet is too tall for you, then rest your feet on a small foot stool and this will assist the angle of your pelvis, facilitating a more effective evacuation of the bowels with less straining, particularly in the rectal and anal area. If you do strain and push hard for a long time you will almost certainly end up with Haemorrhoids which are sore, throbbing, painful lumps around the anus

Check with your midwife, pharmacist or doctor with regard to taking any laxatives as they are not generally considered safe for use during pregnancy, other gentle safe, natural solutions are okay such as Metamucil, are a good relief and safely use fiber to help loosen bowels. These are wise to use.

If problems persist always consult with your qualified health experts; Naturopath, Ostoeopath, Chiropractor, Massage Therapist, Physiotherapist, Acupuncturist, Herbalist, Homoeopath, and they will be able to guide you towards solutions to suit your unique individual situation.