Being a mother is an incredible experience. But it can easily be marred by gastrointestinal problems like constipation. Constipation is a common pregnancy complication. Usually the villains behind this humongous distress to an already cranky mother are hormones such as motilin, progesterone, estrogen and relaxin. Though a multipurpose hormone, progesterone specifically helps to relax the bowel system. The muscles of the intestines grow stiff and the ingested foods have difficulty moving around in the guts. Experts say that the system tries to keep the food inside longer to extract more nutrients for the mother and the baby. But in the process, the mother suffers from intestinal difficulties like constipation.
With a little consciousness, this difficulty can be overcome. The easiest way to do that is to adjust the mother’s diet. During pregnancy dietary fiber added to the food habit will solve this problem to a great extent. Fiber adds extra bulk to the wastes of the body and makes excretion easy and smooth.
A pregnant woman should ingest 25-30 gm of fiber everyday. Whole-grain food rich in fiber, such as bread and cereals, are best for breakfast and snacks. For lunch/dinner, brown carbohydrates such as rice and pasta, instead of refined will provide a higher amount of fiber. It is better to avoid the refined foods for a while, at least until the baby is born.
Fresh fruits and vegetables from some particular baskets will supply a large amount of fiber to the mother. Cooked vegetables like sweet potato, seeds, beans, peas, spinach, broccoli and basil will make the bowels more easily accessible and the knots will loosen. Some veggies are most beneficial when cooked with their skins, namely sweet potatoes. Fresh fruits like the different berries (raspberry, blueberry, strawberry and blackberry), apples, oranges and pumpkins contain sufficient fiber to make the bowels move as smooth as silk.
Drinking plenty of water may increase the number of calls nature makes, but it is completely worth it. Sufficient water and fluids can only help with the bowel tautness. Instead of making juices, it is better to make nectar. Otherwise the fruits can be chewed down. Prune nectar is one kind of fruit extract specifically advised for pregnancy constipation.
Diving headfirst into a fiber-rich diet is not a good idea. Too much fiber in too little time causes abdominal pain and gas, with occasional bloating that has nothing to do with the baby bump. Adding 5 gm of fiber each day is the way to build a nutritious diet. Increasing fiber intake during the first trimester prevents constipation and decreases much of pregnancy risks.
If the constipation problem is not solved prematurely, it could cause severe gastrointestinal discomfort to the pregnant mother. The extreme case might be the occurrence of hemorrhoids, also known as piles. Bleeding might occur during excretion with constant discomfort and pain. If this condition occurs, Flaxseeds or Psyllium must be taken with plenty of water.