Each trimester of pregnancy brings new challenges to the pregnant mom. Constipation is one such problem that might begin in the first trimester of pregnancy and continue throughout the entire term of pregnancy, and often beyond.
Causes of constipation during pregnancy
Several factors can cause constipation during pregnancy. Constipation in the first trimester of pregnancy occurs due to increase in the progesterone level.
High progesterone level tends to delay the transportation of food through the intestinal tract, leading to constipation. In the last trimester of pregnancy, the growing uterus exerts pressure not only on the intestine but also on the rectum, slowing down the movement of the intestinal contents and impairing easy bowel movement. Women who were prone to constipation before pregnancy have a greater risk of developing constipation during this time.
Often iron supplements prescribed for treating anemia during pregnancy can cause constipation. Stress and anxiety could worsen constipation during pregnancy. Limited physical activities during this time could increase the risk of slow bowel movement.
If your bowel movement is infrequent, the stool is hard and you have difficulty in excreting it, it is possible that you are constipated. Bloating and flatulence would increase. Sometimes you might find blood in the stool.
Treating constipation during pregnancy
Constipation during pregnancy should be treated with diet. A fiber rich diet is essential for treating this condition. Fruits such as bananas and citrus fruits and leafy green vegetables could improve digestion and ease bowel movement. Plums and dates can help to provide relief from the discomfort.
To prevent constipation, mix two teaspoons of pysillium husk in a cup of warm milk or warm water and take it after dinner everyday. This is a wonderful time honored remedy for treating constipation without producing any side effect. If physillium husk is not available in your local store, you can mix two to three tablespoons of unprocessed wheat bran in your cereals and have it everyday. You can even treat your constipation problem by drinking a glass of prune juice. To reduce discomfort associated with constipation such as bloating and flatulence, you can have a slice of ginger. Remember to drink plenty of water and fluids. Exercises such as walking or swimming could ease bowel movement and provide relief from constipation.