By Dr. Chintan Gandhi, Gynaecology
In a recent study, it was said that around 75% of women experience constipation during pregnancy. This is basically triggered by hormonal changes. When a woman’s progesterone levels rise, the muscles in her body relax. There are muscles in your intestine which are responsible for churning food and digesting it. Therefore, it is crucial that these muscles do not get relaxed as that can lead to constipation. Here are some ways to deal with constipation during pregnancy:
1. High-fiber diet
25 to 30 grams of fiber are required for women to stay healthy. Fresh fruits, beans, lentils, whole grain bread and vegetables are rich in fiber. Fiber not only helps pregnant women with their constipation problems but it also gives pregnant woman their requirements of antioxidants and vitamins.
2. Drink lots of water
It is crucial that you drink as much water as possible. Even if you double the amount of water you usually take, it is not bad. Water helps keep your bowel soft and this makes it easier to digest.
3. Do not eat too much once
Eat around 5 or 6 meals every day. If you eat too much at once, you could be overloading your stomach with food and this might make it harder for the digestive system to digest food.
4. Move around
Physical exercise helps reduce constipation. For pregnant women, moving around 3 times a week for 30 to 40 minutes each helps reduce constipation. However, please do check with your doctor to be assured about the safety of such exercises.