Constipation During Pregnancy: That Helps!
The majority of expectant mothers suffer from constipation, especially towards the end of their pregnancy. Where do these digestive problems come from and what can be done about them?
As with so many other pregnancy problems, the hormones are to blame for constipation during pregnancy. They slow down digestion so that the food stays in the intestine longer and so more nutrients can be obtained for the growing baby and the mother. However, the sluggish bowel often leads to constipation. Although this is usually harmless even during pregnancy, it is quite annoying. Especially when it leads to another problem: hemorrhoids.
Everyone has hemorrhoids. The erectile tissue is located in the lining of the lower rectum. Usually we don’t notice anything. However, if one suffers from constant constipation, as is often the case during pregnancy, there is strong pressure during bowel movements, the pressure can cause the hemorrhoids to swell, grow and knot forward. This leads to uncomfortable itching, pain, oozing or bleeding.
In addition to the hormonal influence, other factors can contribute to constipation during pregnancy, for example: lack of exercise, stress, a possible change in diet or the use of iron supplements.
Also read: The best tips against nausea during pregnancy
Preventing Constipation During Pregnancy: That Helps
That’s the good news: with the right food and fluids, it is relatively easy to counteract constipation problems. After all, the best tool in the fight against constipation is a high-fiber diet. Fiber swells up in the intestines and ensures that the stool is excreted more quickly. Perfect for preventing constipation during pregnancy and not giving hemorrhoids a chance.
You can find out more about hemorrhoids during pregnancy, how they develop and what you can do about them in our video.
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Video by Aischa Butt
1. Food for constipation: dairy products
Yogurt is the perfect food for a well-functioning intestine. It contains plenty of bacteria that ensure a healthy intestine.
By the way: It doesn’t necessarily have to be expensive probiotic yoghurt, the normal natural yoghurt is completely sufficient to keep the tired intestine going.
2. Food for constipation: flaxseed
Simply sprinkle a few flax seeds over the muesli, yoghurt or salad and your bowels will get going. Because there is a lot of fiber in the small seeds! They swell up in the intestines and thus ensure faster digestion.
Wheat bran or Indian psyllium husks also support a healthy, fiber-rich diet and can serve as so-called “swelling substances”.
Tip: Make sure to drink plenty if flaxseed is regularly sprinkled over the food. Under no circumstances should it be more than 50 g flaxseed per day.
3. Food for constipation: whole grains
Hmm, light rolls or croissants taste so good! However, if you suffer from constipation, you should rather turn to the wholemeal rolls and the wholemeal bread. They contain significantly more fiber, which ensures good digestion.
Also recommended: oat flakes, muesli, whole wheat pasta and brown rice.
4. Food against constipation: dried fruits
If your digestion doesn’t work out properly, prunes are often recommended. A very good tip, because the dried fruits are full of fiber. This applies to all types of dried fruit: including raisins, dates, figs, apple rings and apricots.
tip For all those who cannot get used to the firm, sticky dried fruits: simply soak a few prunes in water overnight and add them to the muesli or yoghurt the next morning!
5. Food for constipation: vegetables & fruits
In addition to dried fruits, fresh fruits and vegetables also play an important role when it comes to having a healthy bowel and digestion. The German Nutrition Society recommends three servings of vegetables and two servings of fruit a day. Both fruits and vegetables contain fiber, especially blueberries, fresh dates, quinces, artichokes and salsify.
6. Also important: drink a lot
To prevent constipation during pregnancy, you also need to have an adequate supply of fluids: In addition to the right foods, the intestine also needs enough fluids so that it can work properly.
You should drink at least two liters of water (preferably rich in magnesium) a day, whether you are pregnant or not. Fruit and herbal teas are of course also allowed.
Tip: Drinking a large glass of fresh water in the morning before getting up helps get the whole organism and especially the digestive tract going.
1-2 glasses of sauerkraut juice per day should also help relieve constipation symptoms. Unfortunately, sauerkraut juice can also have a flatulence effect.
Also read: Weight gain during pregnancy: how much is healthy for mom & baby?
7. Exercise is good for you!
Walking for 20 minutes a day can help promote bowel movements. Swimming or pregnancy exercises are also great ways to stay active and prevent constipation during pregnancy.
Important: Under no circumstances should you take laxatives – or any other medication – on your own. Anyone who suffers from constipation during pregnancy and does not notice any improvement despite the recommended change in diet should ask their gynecologist for advice.
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Important NOTE: The contents of this article are provided for informational purposes only and are not a substitute for a doctor’s diagnosis. If you are unsure, have urgent questions or have complaints, you should contact your doctor or midwife.
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