Although it is very common (up to half of pregnant women suffer from constipation at some point during their pregnancy), it’s still an uncomfortable side effect to deal with. As your body produces increased amounts of the hormone progesterone, smooth muscles throughout your body will relax more, slowing down your digestive system and making it harder to pass food through.
Here are a few handy hints from our midwife on how to help relieve constipation during pregnancy, keep your bowel moving and your body feeling healthy:
- Try taking your multivitamin in the evening so that your body has the night to process it slowly.
- Eat lots of fibre-rich foods like vegetables, fresh fruits, nuts, and legumes, brown rice, wholegrain cereals and bread.
- If you are having trouble keeping your food down or finding the high-fibre diet difficult, consider taking a fibre supplement.
- Drinks lots of fluids, including water and fruit (especially prune) juice. Staying hydrated will help keep your bowel moving.
- Keep up your exercise, movement stimulates your digestive system and will keep you feeling fit.
Of course, as always, if the problem is causing your great distress, or you have other symptoms (like rectal bleeding, abdominal pain, haemorrhoids or alternating constipation & diarrhoea), please make an appointment to discuss your concerns with George, or our midwife Georgina Milne on 07 5444 6400.