The Hormones Make You Constipated When You Are Pregnant

it is common to suffer from constipation during pregnancy. Constipation means that it is difficult to empty the bowel, and the stool can become hard and sluggish. It usually goes away on its own if you change your diet and daily routines.

When you are pregnant, just like at the end of the menstrual cycle, it is common to have temporary constipation. This is because the bowel movements do not work as usual as the pregnancy hormones cause the intestines to work more slowly than normal.

Iron, which you need extra during pregnancy, can also contribute to constipation as it can make the stomach sluggish.

What Is The Placenta? How Does The Placenta Work?

What happens in the stomach when you are pregnant?

All smooth muscles relax when you are pregnant. Smooth muscles are the muscles that you cannot control with the will and that is found in the uterus, but also in, for example, the stomach and intestines. When those muscles are not as tight as usual, you can have problems with constipation.

The reason for this relaxation is the increased amount of hormone that comes when you are pregnant. These hormones have the function of ensuring that you remain pregnant.

Unfortunately, these hormones cause food to be transported more slowly through the gut and can cause constipation. On the upside, however, this means that the intestines have more time to “suck out” nutrition from the food so that the child really gets his or her needs met.

It’s not just the hormones that are bothering your intestines. Your growing uterus takes up more and more space in your abdomen, which means that there is less space for the intestines.

How do you know if you are suffering from constipation?

There are several different signs that indicate that you have constipation. It often goes a long way between the stools, more than four days if you are constipated.

You may also have a feeling that you cannot empty the bowel completely, even though you have just been to the toilet. The stool is often so hard that it causes bleeding from the rectum. You may also experience bloating, fatigue, and nausea.

If you experience any or all of these symptoms, it could be a sign of constipation or something else. Consult your doctor if you experience any of these symptoms.

What Is The Placenta? How Does The Placenta Work?

What can be done to relieve constipation?

  • Drink plenty of fluids during pregnancy to facilitate bowel movements.
  • Eat enough fiber to properly stimulate the gut. If you have not eaten a high-fiber diet before, start slowly.
  • Exercise regularly. If you do not have the strength to exercise, take at least one walk each day.
  • Eat often and small meals at every opportunity. Also make sure to help your intestines by chewing the food properly.
  • If you try to live more regularly and make sure you have time for peace and quiet, your stomach can sometimes feel better.

If these tips do not help, talk to your doctor. Never take laxatives without first getting them approved by your doctor or nurse.

What should I eat to avoid constipation?

Eat a varied diet and make sure you get enough fiber and fluids. Feel free to eat some extra fruit, vegetables, wholemeal bread, wheat bran, and prunes. Fiber is important for digestion and ensures that the intestine stays going. Fibers also attract fluid from the intestinal mucosa and thereby ensure that the stool becomes reasonably soft.

If there is not enough fluid in the body, the stool will become hard and then follow the bowel movements worse than normal, which can cause digestion to stop. By drinking properly, you ensure that digestion is facilitated.

How does exercise affect you in case of constipation?

The movement when you exercise stimulates the intestine – when you move you massage the intestine. This “movement massage” stimulates the intestine to move more and thus contributes to better digestion, which can do wonders for your constipation.

It is enough to walk 20-30 minutes a day to improve your digestion. Even swimming once a week is good for keeping the whole body going. Read more about exercise during pregnancy.

More about: Pregnancy symptoms

Those who read the section on constipation during pregnancy also read more in our pregnancy calendar and about signs that reveal if you are pregnant with a boy or girl.

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