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Constipation is a common problem during pregnancy. According to ACOG, if you empty your bowels less than thrice a week, then you might be suffering from constipation. It is caused by a lot of factors.
- The hormone progesterone, which helps in relaxing the muscles, also relaxes the bowel muscles, and thus slows down the movement of food there. Although it helps in more absorption of nutrients for the baby, it also sometimes leads to constipation.
- The growing size of the uterus may press against the rectum and cause constipation.
- Prenatal vitamins such as iron supplements also lead to constipation.
- Eating a high fibre diet will help. Consume fresh fruits, vegetables, beans, and legumes. You can have fresh salads, as they will be healthy and have lots of fibre. Clean the vegetables and fruits thoroughly, and keep the peels on. Kiwi is such a fruit to add to your diet.
- Opt for whole grain bread and buns over their white counterparts.
- Eat small meals instead of three heavy meals. You can give a gap of 2 to 3 hours, and have six small meals. You can also include a glass of hot milk at bedtime, if you are not lactose intolerant.
- Soak 8 to 10 black raisins overnight, and have them in the morning, preferably with milk (if you are not lactose intolerant).
- You can have warm water with lime juice in the morning for easy bowel movement.
- Drink about 8 glasses of water a day. This will help with constipation, and also maintain amniotic fluid.
- For better digestion, you can sit in Vajarasana pose after meals, or during your antenatal workout session.
- Walking is very good exercise, which you should include in your routine, provided your doctor permits it. This will also alleviate problems like indigestion and gas.
- You can talk to your doctor about some safe laxatives to take during pregnancy, like Isabgol. Also, if iron supplements are causing the problem, then you can ask your doctor about taking slow releasing iron supplements. You can also talk to your doctor for magnesium supplements for constipation.
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