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Constipation is a common occurrence during pregnancy. However, most women choose not to talk about it out of embarrassment and other reasons. While you may want to go for over the counter drugs for relief, they can be harmful during this phase, and if you are looking for medicines, the wisest option is to consult your doctor.
Causes of Constipation During Pregnancy
Several reasons cause constipation during pregnancy. These include:
1. Reduced food and water consumption
Morning sickness affects most mothers, and makes it difficult to eat, and sometimes even drink water.
2. Changes in hormones
A surge in the production of progesterone results in the slowing down of the digestive process.
3. Changes in diet
Pregnant women tend to chance their diet to provide for their growing fetus, This change could cause cosntipation.
4. Due to iron supplements
One of the causes of constipation in pregnant women is increase in iron due to the precribed supplements.
Though constipation can be a cause of discomfort, it is easily remedied by a simple diet and lifestyle changes and a few easy home-remedies. While some offer immediate constipation relief during pregnancy, others help you get better gradually. Here are some remedies to help relieve constipation during pregnancy.
10 Effective Home Remedies to Treat Constipation When Pregnant
Lemon is great for digestion, and helps flush out the toxins and other undigested food. If you add a lemon to a warm glass of water it stimulates your sense of smell and taste and induces bowel contractions that help to pass stools. You may want to dilute the concentrated juice by adding a little bit of water. This decreases the intensity of the lemon and adds little fluid.
You should drink plenty of water. Around 10 glasses a day is recommended. This helps you get the desired amount of water in your body. The water will start softening the hard stool ensuring that food moves smoothly through the digestive system.
3. Citrus Fruits (Oranges)
Citrus fruits like oranges have a highfibre content, and vitamin C. A major reason of constipation is lack of fibre in your daily routine. It isone of the best remedies for constipation. You should consume around 30 gm of fibre in a day. Grapefruits also have a high fibre content and could be consumed to treat constipation.
4. Prune Juice
Prune juice is one of the effective cures for constipation during pregnancy. You can have the juice around 5 times in a day to ease constipation and soften the stool. If the concentrated taste of the prune juice is too strong, it can be diluted with a little water and a slice of lemon can be added to enhance the taste.
5. Ispagula Husks
Ispagula husks or Isabgol is one of the well-known home remedies for constipation in India. Ispagula husks contain mucilage that absorbs fluids and this mucilage adds to the stool. If you choose this remedy then you need to drink at least 10 glasses of water daily. However, you should not opt for this remedy if you have any heart ailments or blood pressure. This cure should be used only if prescribed by a doctor
This is another very popular home remedy for treating constipation during pregnancy. Flaxseed is full of dietary fibre which adds much needed roughage to your diet and it also contains omega-3S. Even for this cure, you will have to supplement it with around 10 glasses of water. You may also consider using flaxseed oil.
Constipation is inevitable during the early stages of pregnancy, however, you should not ignore it, else it can escalate to a more severe problem. Massaging the stomach gently can provide relief from constipation. It has to be done in a clockwise motion. This remedy should be avoided if you are at a risk of premature labour or the placenta is low lying.
This is a natural remedy for a lot of ailments. This is a safe method where pressure is applied to various unique points in the limbs. The method is completely safe and natural. You can ask someone in the family to help and gently massage the upper soles of the feet to relax and ease the digestive system. If you are alone then you can use the reflexology zones in the palm to get relief from constipation. Begin by massaging around the edges of the palm in a clockwise motion and working your way up. You may also place a water bottle under the sole of each foot and roll the bottle back and forth on the floor as you relax.
This ancient art of healing is found to be quite effective in treating constipation. The healer or practitioner believes that constipation is usually caused by blockage of energy (Qi).To release this block, you need to find the correct pressure point in the centre of the abdomen. It is located around 5 cm below the navel. Gently pressing this point, and gradually increasing the pressure for around 30 times daily helps. This remedy should be stopped at the latter stages of your pregnancy. If you have a disposition to premature labour, then this point needs to be pressed for about 30 times and repeated during the day.
There are of two types of laxatives. One that adds bulk to the stool and the other induces contraction of bowels. The laxatives which add bulk to the stool do so by increasing the water content. However, these could lead to a bowel cramp. The unintelligent use of laxatives can trigger a lot of side-effects. Hence they must be used efficiently and effectively. Laxatives help relieve chronic constipation. The chronic use of laxatives can lead to a lazy and twisted bowel. You should always consult a physician before you decide on using a laxative.
These natural remedies can help relieve you from the uncomfortable effects of constipation. If your constipation does not seem to respond to any of the home remedies, or alternative healing techniques, then it is recommended that you consult your doctor.