Pregnancy is an amazing time in a woman’s life to experience wonderful changes in the body and to experience your baby growing inside you. Sadly, some hormonal changes during pregnancy can affect your digestive system and cause annoying discomforts.
So, want to know how pregnancy creates digestive and gastrointestinal problems?
During pregnancy, 90% of women experience nausea. Some women struggle with severe nausea called hyperemesis gravidarum (HG), which is caused by the abnormal blood pressure in hormones. Unlike normal pregnancy, severe nausea will not stop in the 14th week that creates dehydration. This condition requires medical treatment.
Constipation is a common condition in pregnancy. It occurs because of progesterone; a hormone produces by the ovary to regulate multiple functions and relaxes muscles in the body. Increased levels of progesterone cause the food to move slowly in the intestine that may lead to constipation.
According to evolutionary perception, developing additional progesterone helps to relax the uterus to prevent premature labour.
Another reason for constipation during pregnancy is because of the extra intake of iron which is present in the prescribed supplements by the healthcare provider, that causes dry stools which can be hard to pass.
Heartburn is a feeling of burning sensation in your chest caused by stomach acid reflux. When progesterone relaxes the muscles, the stomach muscles at that instance forces the digestive acid upward into the esophagus (a muscular pipe connecting stomach to throat).
Do not misunderstand, that you are producing extra acid. Heartburn is just a condition during pregnancy. If you take anti-acidic medication, then it will reduce digestive nutrient acclimatization.
Flatulence (Gas Problem)
While progesterone relaxes the body muscles in the gastrointestinal tract, food moves slowly and cause the gas to build up quickly. It will be very discomforting for you as your uterus feels pressed down on the rectum. Therefore, try to release this gas as much as possible.
Reduce digestion troubles during pregnancy
- Drink plenty of water. More liquid makes a soft stool that passes easily through the intestine.
- Eat more fibre such as vegetables, whole grains, and fruits, legumes to speed up your metabolism and keep the stools soft.
- Keep yourself active. Do exercise regularly for at least 20 minutes a day. If you cannot do any specific exercise, then you can just do walking for 15 minutes, several times a day at regular intervals. Walking stimulates bowel movements and regulates the digestive tract.
- Avoid stress because it will make your metabolism slow and create a digestion problem. To keep yourself healthy and stress-free, try various stress management techniques.
- Cut down on fatty foods. Eating more fat can make you more constipated. But still, your body needs good fats, such as avocado, coconut oil, olive oil and nuts.
- Avoid sugary food: Reduce intake of carbohydrates during pregnancy. More sugar can slow down the digestive system and cause constipation. Eat more green vegetables and protein.
- Scheduling eating time can help the digestive system. Eating a small meal can reduce the digestible time and speed up your metabolism. A small meal gets digested and makes space for the next meal. Therefore, plan your eating habits.
- Avoid smoking and alcohol consumption as it directly impacts on the baby’s mental and physical health. Smoking during pregnancy can disturb your digestive system and lead to ulcer and infections. Alternatively, drink enough water.
- During pregnancy maintain your morning schedule for the restroom. Try using the squat position to get your stomach free easily. While you are in the restroom, maintain your posture, such as stand straight, sit with your back. A good routine will help the digestive system.
Get advice from your doctor before taking a laxative, as an overdose of laxative can harm your baby. A healthy habit is essential for both the mother and baby’s health. Try out the above tips to help your digestive troubles and maintain healthy pregnancy.