Pregnant women usually have a lot to deal with! Mood swings, changes in the body and constipation are some of the troubles that a pregnant woman has to grapple with on a daily basis. I’m sure you would agree that something as mundane as bowel movement can actually make or mar the day. And when you have to deal with constipation in addition to a bulging tummy and overactive hormones, you definitely have an unpleasant situation at hand.
Apart from inadequate fiber and water in the diet, another trigger causing constipation during pregnancy is usually the iron tablets that are prescribed as a supplement. This too can be avoided by focusing on the intake of iron-rich foods (Leafy greens, egg yolk, beans, dry fruits like apricots, prunes, raisins, and figs) that can eliminate the use of iron supplements.
It is a generally accepted fact that during pregnancy, any medication should only be taken on the advice of the medical practitioner. So before reaching for the over-the-counter medicines to ease constipation, it is better to check with your doctor. Laxatives, when overused, could result in diarrhea and dehydration, which is not a good condition for a pregnant woman to be in. Even cod liver oil, which is normally suggested as a remedy to ease constipation, should be avoided during pregnancy, as it interferes with the absorption of certain essential minerals and vitamins.
While laxatives can help with reducing the discomfort of constipation, the safest and easiest ways would be to rely on natural remedies.
- Eating foods that are high in fiber (fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains)
- Increased intake of water (around 10 cups a day)
- Regular exercise (swimming, walking or yoga)
If constipation does not ease up with the above, you could always turn to the doctor for help. Doctors could prescribe mild laxatives like milk of magnesia or medicines that soften stool. But the best option really would be to pay attention to one’s diet and avoid the occurrence of constipation.