Constipation is one of the most common complaints amongst pregnant women. In pregnancy women, this is mainly caused by the enlarged womb pushing against the intestines. This slows down the movement of intestines, thereby causing constipation. Constipation can also be brought on by dehydration due to morning sickness, as well as hormonal changes that in effect slows down bowel movement. This is why a good daily routine is of utmost importance, especially for pregnant women.
Having a high-fiber diet is a well-known relief for constipation. However, what most do not know is that this diet has to be accompanied by drinking plenty of water in order to be effective. A healthy diet combined with regular exercise can ease the passing of healthy stools. Having a good rest is another factor that might affect the passing of stools. Always remember that your body is an intricate and delicate system that requires a healthy routine that involves, amongst others, a good diet, regular exercise, and good rest. Whether you have a good routine directly affects your digestive systems. Therefore it is not enough to simply, increase your intake of water or fibre in your diet. It is important to have an overall healthy and good routine in order to foster a good digestive system to avoid the chance of constipation.
In terms of diet, 3 meals a day at regular intervals is the most ideal. Many skip breakfast in the name of convenience. However, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Breakfast is the meal that wakes up your digestive system – it “breaks” the “fast” you had experienced during the night when you were asleep. This is the key to healthy bowel movements. Food that aids healthy bowel movement includes food high in fibre, and probiotic food and drinks (e.g. yogurt). Remember, as mentioned before, your diet how ever healthy, is only healthy if you drink plenty of water!
A tip that many pregnant women swear by to wake up the digestive system, is to drink warm water when you get out of bed. You may also try running yourself a nice warm bath to relax in. Soaking and indulging in a warm bath not only helps you to relax and wind down at the end of the day, it also aids circulation. Good circulation can help bowel movements too, thereby preventing constipation.
We understand that constipation causes huge discomfort. However, it is important to remember that whilst you are pregnant, it is not safe for you and your baby to consume over-the-counter medication that you would otherwise take when you are not pregnant. Always seek advice from a doctor before consuming any form of medication, including all forms of suppository. Trust your doctors, and only consume medications prescribed by your doctors. We understand the taboo against taking medications. However, constipation is not good for your body or for your baby, so trust your doctors if they prescribe medications. You are probably in need of it!