Digestive problems during pregnancy – Schwanger.at
They are annoying and uncomfortable, but they are still one of the typical pregnancy complaints: digestive problems. More than 75% of all women are affected at least once during their pregnancy. Some complaints such as flatulence or constipation show up in early pregnancy, others (such as heartburn) only become more pronounced towards the end of pregnancy.
These can be traced back to physical and hormonal changes. Digestive problems cannot be avoided because, like so many other pregnancy ailments, they are connected to important processes that, in turn, are supposed to ensure the optimal development of the baby. Affected women can ease the unpleasant circumstance by simply accepting the problems as something that is part of a pregnancy. Apart from that, there are of course a few measures that each can take to prevent or alleviate specific complaints.
Constipation, as constipation is called in medical jargon, is one of the most well-known gastrointestinal complaints, and not only in pregnant women. Often, poor diet and lack of exercise are responsible for this condition. However, problems with bowel movements during pregnancy are mainly due to changes in hormone levels. The corpus luteum hormone progesterone has the task of making room for the offspring and ensuring that they find ideal growth conditions. So progesterone primarily has a relaxing effect on various muscle groups. The muscles in the gastrointestinal tract are also affected. They “relax” a little, the intestines become more sluggish, food is processed, digested and transported more slowly.
Slow motion transportation is beneficial for the baby. This gives the body more time to filter out important nutrients. If the stool is difficult, this is also due to the fact that the Processing in the gastrointestinal tract more water is withdrawn. This changes the consistency of the stool. It becomes hard and firm. This makes elimination difficult. Towards the end of pregnancy, the enlarged uterus also causes problems for the intestines. It increasingly presses on the intestines and anus. This can also lead to digestive problems.
First aid for constipation
Basically: Doctors only speak of constipation when there is between everyone A bowel movement will pass three or four days and elimination is troublesome due to the hardness of the stool. Other symptoms such as gas, nausea and bloating can occur at the same time.
If you want to get a grip on constipation, you should rely on the following three pillars:
Proper nutrition already plays a major role in pregnancy, and it is also not insignificant for a good “gut feeling”. Pregnant women who are prone to constipation should ensure that they consume sufficient fiber (fruit, vegetables, whole grain bread, wheat bran). Mild natural yogurts and whey drinks can also help get your digestion going again. Typical “fattening foods” such as chocolate, sugar or white flour are ideally only an exception on the menu.
The bowel can be stimulated with any form of movement. It does not matter whether it is light sports such as walking, jogging and swimming or simply the daily walk. Pregnant women should therefore exercise 20-30 minutes every day. Positive side effects: improved oxygen supply, faster stress relief, better blood circulation.
- To drink
Especially in the first trimester, some women find it difficult to drink enough fluids. Nevertheless, you should try to drink at least 2 liters per day (still water, tap water, unsweetened teas, natural fruit juices).
In addition, the following tips can help:
- Eat or soak dried fruit straight away and then drink the water.
- Prepare and drink plum water.
- Mix some wheat bran or flaxseed into the muesli or into a yogurt every day.
- Avoid “constipating” foods such as bananas or dark chocolate.
Important: Even if the temptation seems great, over-the-counter laxatives are not recommended. If you really want a drug for constipation, you must always consult your doctor or midwife. Since some laxatives can cause premature labor, special care should be taken here.
Heartburn is also one of the unpleasant but common digestive complaints. As the name suggests, it is a burning sensation extending from the chest to the throat pulls. This is due to the well-known hormone progesterone. It has a relaxing effect on the upper sphincter between the stomach and esophagus. Similar to the intestine, it reacts more slowly and this allows stomach acid to get into the esophagus. Soothing: Heartburn is sometimes very uncomfortable, but from a health point of view there is no risk.
Like other ailments, heartburn is simply a part of pregnancy. Half of all pregnant women suffers from it already in the first or second trimester, in the third trimester the number of those affected increases to 70%. With a few simple tricks, however, you can stop the annoying burning sensation a little:
- Spicy foods, spicy and fatty foods should be avoided.
- It also helps to eat meals in smaller servings throughout the day.
- When eating, you should allow yourself enough time, allow yourself to rest and chew well.
- Do not lie down until an hour after eating.
- If you suffer from heartburn in the evening or at night, you can try to take a more upright position in bed and thus counteract the force of gravity a little.
Every person separates daily up to 40 intestinal binders away. That sounds like a lot, but it is completely normal. How badly or how often you are affected by flatulence depends primarily on your diet. Anyone who regularly consumes flatulent vegetables (lots of onions, leek vegetables, legumes, broccoli, cauliflower, kohlrabi, cabbage, asparagus) or predominantly carbonated drinks will suffer more flatulence than someone who does without these foods. During pregnancy, the intestine usually produces even more gases than usual. The processing is slowed down by hormones, which means that half-digested food begins to ferment. The result is a bloated stomach and a feeling of fullness.
If the environment allows, pregnant women should allow the gases to escape. In some situations, however, this is simply not possible or uncomfortable (e.g. at work, visiting friends). The following measures help with severe flatulence:
- Drink warm teas. Prefers fennel, caraway, anise, peppermint or lemon balm.
- Avoid flatulent foods or try out which foods are well tolerated and which are not.
- Put on movement (walks, gymnastics, yoga).
- Eat meals in smaller portions, calmly and in an upright position.
- In the case of painful flatulence, a warm cherry stone pillow or a hot water bottle on the stomach can help.
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