- Are you suffering from nausea, heartburn and constipation during pregnancy ?
- Are you facing digestive issues during pregnancy and looking for relief ?
On one hand, while pregnancy can bring a great deal of hope, excitement and joy in a woman’s life , on the other hand pregnancy can also invite digestive problems like indigestion, heartburn, flatulence, belching & constipation. A happy pregnancy can turn troublesome due to hemorrhoids as well and all this, can take the joy out of the pregnancy and cause a lot of discomfort discomfort for the expected mother to be.
A large chunk of pregnant women experience symptoms like nausea, dyspepsia and vomiting in the first few weeks of pregnancy due to changing hormones and growing womb. While sometimes, these symptoms subside with a little care, at times they can be hard to deal with too.
If you are facing digestive issues then simple steps can always be taken to deal with and avoid these problems to a great extent.
Here are some of the most common digestive issues during pregnancy :
This condition is very common in pregnant women for reasons like high percentage of hormones during pregnancy which relaxes the muscles of the bowels and makes it hard for them to work efficiently to push out stools. The growing uterus presses on the bowel and disrupts its normal function. The iron given as a pregnancy supplement is also known to make the stools dry and difficult to pass.
But just because constipation is common in pregnancy, doesn’t mean you have to accept it.
You can do many things to avoid constipation, including the following:
- Drink lots of fluids like water and fruit juices as it helps to soften the stool. Prune juice does wonders for constipation.
- Eat a fiber rich diet because foods that are rich in fibre are especially good at keeping stools soft and at making sure they pass easily through the bowel. These foods include fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes (beans and peas).
- Limit sugary, processed foods. They are bad for your gut health and can cause a variety of problems in digestion.
- Exercise to keep your bowels active as not only does exercise keep your muscles in shape, it also boosts blood circulation in the bowels and and brings more oxygen to them in order to help them do their jobs more efficiently.
Make a note that when you are constipated, don’t take a laxative. Do not take any over the counter drugs for the same because not only they can wash out the necessary nutrients out of your system but they might be harmful to your baby. Talk to your doctor before taking any medicated remedy for constipation.
Suggested Reading: Can Aloe Vera be a Natural Treatment for Piles ?
Most of the digestive problems of pregnancy begin with constipation. Straining during a bowel movement to pass hard stools is the major cause of development of hemorrhoids. Piles comes with a variety of symptoms like pain in anal region, dripping of blood while passing stools and itching around the area.
If you notice blood on your tissue when you wipe the anal region or in the pot after a bowel movement, it’s likely that you have piles. If you have pain or excessive itching at the opening of the rectum, meet your doctor so they can check for hemorrhoids.
It’s likely that If you have hemorrhoids, they will stay with you throughout the pregnancy due to the pressure and straining over the rectum. They will probably get worse during the final stages of pregnancy and during the stage of delivery when you’re pushing the baby out.
However, piles can be avoided during pregnancy and also disappear after the birth , try the following tips:
- Avoid constipation and follow all the tips mentioned above to keep your stools soft so that can move easily through your bowel.
- Don’t strain during bowel movements. In order to avoid straining during bowel movements, put your feet up on a small stool while you’re sitting to make the movement of the stool easier.
- Don’t take your phone along with you or read on the toilet because if you find an article or a video good enough you’ll sit there longer than necessary. Sitting longer than necessary on the pot is very bad as this puts unnecessary strain on the anus inviting piles.
- Try to avoid standing still at one place or sitting for very long periods of time as this can create pressure. Move around, change position and lie down to avoid stress and strain because when all else fails, get off your feet and lie down; this relieves the pressure and the pain.
Take a note that If the pain and pressure is so bad that you can’t sit comfortably in a chair, go to your doctor immediately and share your concern. You can also visit your pharmacy and buy a doughnut pillow which is an inflatable pillow with a hole in the middle, which keeps the buttocks lifted from the chair.
Flatulence and Belching
Flatulence and belching can definitely cause a great deal of embarrassment. However, these things are the body’s natural process, and especially during pregnancy it shouldn’t be a matter to get embarrassed about.
The problem of flatulence also known as “passing gas” or “blowing wind” is quite common in pregnant women and this is caused by a buildup of gases in the large intestine. Belching also called burping is the sudden expulsion of gases from the stomach.
So, If you’re getting irritated lately because of over excessive flatulence or if you’re belching after eating food try this to minimise it :
- Avoid constipation by drinking water and eating a fibre rich diet. Constipation can lead to buildup of gases.
- Stay away and steer clear of known gas producers like beans, onions, fried foods, cabbage, broccoli and Brussels sprouts.
- Chew your food properly and swallow it slowly as sometimes eating fast can also make you swallow more air than usual.
Heartburn is another culprit that makes pregnancy harder for most women. It’s usually caused due to changing hormones and your baby’s increasing size.
If you’re eating fatty or spicy foods, you’ll surely experience heartburn during pregnancy, due to the heat of the spices and heaviness of the fatty food. The food may also rebound back from the stomach to the throat causing slight pain, burning feeling and irritation.
In order to get relief from the symptoms of heartburn, try these tips :
- Wear loose-fitting clothes. Don’t wear clothes like tight pants or belts that leave a ring around your stomach as they are too tight.
- Sit up while eating so the food properly reaches your stomach.
- Avoid eating late at night.
- Eat at least an hour before you go to bed.
- Avoid lying down, after eating.
- Take a short walk to improve digestion.
- If you’re experiencing heartburn then chew gum, suck on a lemon or eat a candy to increase saliva flow, which neutralizes the acid in the stomach.
- Drink water or cold milk to get some relief.
- Relax, stress increases heartburn.
- If you’re stressed then sit down, close your eyes, and take 10 long, deep breaths to calm down.
- Sleep with your head raised several inches above the rest of your body.
Make a note that you should always consult your doctor before taking any over-the-counter medications, even antacids for treating your heartburn.
If you’re experiencing frequent digestive issues during your pregnancy meet your doctor and get a checkup done. Following a healthy diet and a good lifestyle will not only make your pregnancy smooth but it will also ensure the healthy development of your baby. Don’t use over the counter drugs or self medicate to treat your gastrointestinal symptoms during pregnancy. Always keep your doctor updated.