Pregnancy Tips: Ways To Cure Constipation During Pregnancy

If you are pregnant, chances are you have been or will be constipated. Here are some tips for relieving yourself of this common pregnancy discomfort.

Pregnancy- a time for great joy, hope, dreams, and, unfortunately all too often, a time for constipation. If you are pregnant and suffering from irregularity, you are not alone. More than half of all pregnant women admit to having trouble with bowel movements on and off throughout their pregnancy.

Even if you have never suffered from irregularity before you are pregnant, be aware that the farther along you are in your pregnancy, the more you are at risk for constipation. This is because, as your pregnancy progresses, your lower intestines become more relaxed and your growing baby puts more pressure on them. Other factors that can contribute to constipation are iron and calcium supplements, less exercise, bed rest, stress, inadequate fluid intake and improper diet.

Avoiding constipation is by far a better option than having to cure it. Make sure that you stay well hydrated. Drink plenty of fluids during the day, and keep water at your bedside at night. Daily intake of high-fiber foods can help to keep your system regular. Good choices for your daily diet are plenty of fresh fruit, juice, roughage, legumes, and unrefined grains such as high-bran cereals, bran muffins and oat meal.

When you feel a bowel movement coming on, try not to hold it in for long. Holding it in will only cause stool to become drier and more difficult to eliminate. Try to get some light exercise every day, such as walking (be sure to check with your doctor before starting on any exercise program). Eat several smaller meals, rather than three large ones, and chew your food more thoroughly and carefully when you eat.

Chances are, no matter how careful you are to avoid it, you will at some point find yourself feeling a bit "backed up." If you find you are not having regular bowel movements (at least once per day), act immediately. The longer you wait, the more of a problem constipation can be.

Avoid eating any refined or processed white flour products, potatoes, and white rice, which can all be very binding. Sugar and cheeses should be avoided as well for the time being. Restrict your carbohydrate intake to the aforementioned high-fiber foods for a while. Increase your fluid intake. Prune juice is an excellent natural laxative that is mild enough for pregnant women. Having applesauce for a snack can also help get you functioning regularly again. Drinking hot beverages (or as warm as you can comfortably stand them) in the morning can stimulate bowel movements, just make sure that they do not contain caffeine.

If constipation continues or becomes too uncomfortable, seek advice from your health care professional. Unless it is specifically instructed by your physician or midwife, never take over the counter laxatives, castor oil or suppositories when pregnant. These products can be harmful to the baby, and in some cases induce early labor. You should also be careful of taking any over-the-counter herbal products. Just because a product is herbal, does not mean it is safe for pregnant women. Always check with your health care provider before taking anything to relieve yourself, other than high-fiber foods and plenty of liquids.

If you are careful about what you eat and to drink sufficient amounts of water (at least 8 to 10 glasses per day), and monitor your bodily functions to record your regularity, you may be able to avoid severe constipation, or- even better-- avoid it all together.

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