Constipation in pregnancy: is this normal? know what to do
What is constipation and why does it happen to a pregnant woman?
Constipation, bowel or constriction, is characterized by difficulty in defecation. The disease is seen when there is a bowel movement two or fewer times a week, using more force than necessary or when it is infrequent.
Is constipation during pregnancy harmful to the fetus?
Constipation during pregnancy does not affect the fetus. However, in addition to symptoms, if a woman experiences nausea or severe pain in the abdomen or on one side, an obstetrician should be consulted.
During pregnancy, as the uterus grows to accommodate the baby, the stomach and intestines compress, which affects their functioning. The retained bowel can get worse from the fourth month of pregnancy onwards, as the fetus will be larger and, therefore, further restrict the bowel space.
In turn, the increase in the sex hormone progesterone during pregnancy – responsible for the progression of the mammary glands, the uterus during puberty, as well as enhancing the appearance of the uterine lining during the menstrual cycle – exacerbates the appearance of gas in the body, leaving the intestines more lazy.
Supplements containing iron
When there is not enough iron in a woman’s body during pregnancy, it is common for an obstetrician to prescribe nutritional supplements to correct the problem. Iron is a mineral that helps in the production of hemoglobin (the blood protein responsible for transporting oxygen to cells) and ensures the proper functioning of the immune system.
In pregnancy, getting the right amount of the mineral in the human body is essential, as blood is more abundant during this period, and therefore more hemoglobin is required. Iron is also used by the growing baby and the placenta for up to the first three months. Despite the benefits, the use of nutritional supplements can affect the body’s biological clock.
Bad habits and physical conditions contribute to the emergence of the problem. are they:
Don’t go to the bathroom
In general, women generally prefer not to use public restrooms due to the lack of hygiene in the place. However, this practice obstructs the intestines and also changes the functioning of the biological schedule.
A tip for using public restrooms again is to clean the toilet lid with alcohol gel or cover it with toilet paper.
Being a sedentary person and not eating healthy food contributes to a stuck gut. That’s why it’s important to be physically active, drink plenty of water, and eat foods rich in fiber.
Drugs used for various purposes – antidepressants, cough suppressants (cough treatment), opioid analgesics (related to morphine), antihypertensives, and antacids containing aluminum and calcium – contribute to the onset of constipation.
Certain diseases, such as hypothyroidism, diabetes, chronic renal failure, and changes in hormones cause or impair the use and expulsion of substances, facilitating the onset of constipation.
Diseases of the nervous and muscular system
Spinal cord damage and multiple sclerosis impair perineal relaxation when stool is expelled.
Situations that cause trauma and changes in behavior, such as sexual abuse, depression, and dementia, impair bowel functioning. Stress and anxiety also decrease peristaltic movements, which are involuntary and responsible for bowel emptying.
The most common symptoms are:
- Abdominal stiffness.
- abdominal discomfort;
- Difficulty passing stool.
- hard or fragmented stools
- feeling that you have not completely left;
- you have the impression that there was an anal blockage;
- Defecate at least three times a week.
How is the diagnosis made?
Usually, most women do not feel the need to diagnose constipation. However, in cases with more serious symptoms, medical help should be sought.
To eliminate the obstructed intestine, an investigation of the patient’s history is carried out, as well as a detailed clinical examination. From there, the cause of the problem can be discovered and appropriate treatment can be obtained. are they:
Perianal inspection and palpation
Through examination and anal palpation, the appearance of the skin of the anus, the presence of scars, and the condition of the secretions are checked. On examination, it can also be ascertained whether there is fecal remains as well as the work of opening and closing the anus. The skin of the anus can be separated to better see the inside. If there is an anal fissure, for example, it can be observed.
The test is done by inserting the (gloved) index finger into the anus, looking for muscle relaxation. The purpose of this procedure is to detect possible rectal infections, the presence of blood, or tumors.
In the anus, an instrument called an anoscope is inserted, which investigates complications in the anal area. The collected material is noted whether it is feces, pus, or blood, in addition to the diagnosis of anal ulcers and fissures.
The examination is done by inserting a device into the anus that visualizes the intestinal parts, rectum, and colon, Wen. If a lesion is detected, then the analysis is carried out through a biopsy, which consists in removing the material with forceps.
What do I do to treat constipation during pregnancy?
In most cases, it is sufficient to modify the diet, drink water and engage in physical activities. Foods that help the intestines function and are rich in fiber should be eaten daily. Going to the bathroom at the same time also improves bowel flow.
If the problem persists, see a doctor.
The obstetrician may prescribe laxatives and suppositories in these or more serious cases. The described drug should be taken several times so that the body does not get used to it and is used constantly. And the suppository, in turn, should be glycerol, which makes the stool moist, facilitating excretion.
Home tricks against constipation
Foods rich in vitamins, calcium, iron, and laxative properties help the intestines function properly and relieve symptoms caused by constipation. However, the effectiveness of homemade recipes is not proven.
It is worth noting that even nutritional supplements containing vitamins and natural laxatives must be taken with a medical license, as some ingredients can promote uterine contractions, and should be prevented during pregnancy. Moreover, the effectiveness of homemade recipes is not proven. Always follow your doctor’s recommendations.
- half a papaya (remove the peel and seeds);
- 4 pitted black peaches;
- 200 ml of orange juice
- 20 grams of ground flaxseeds.
- How to prepare
In a blender, blend the papaya, prunes, and orange juice. Then add flax seeds and mix well. The juice should be consumed in the morning while fasting.
- 1 papaya (remove the peel and seeds);
- juice of 2 oranges
- 1 tablespoon of flax seeds.
- sugar as desired.
- How to prepare
Mix all ingredients in a blender. Drink one cup daily in the morning.
- 5 plums
- Half a cup (tea) of water.
- 3 teaspoons of honey.
- How to prepare
Soak the plums in water for 3 hours. Peel the plum and mash it. Return them to the water and add honey. Mix well and drink 3 tablespoons daily.
- bisacodyl (Dulcolax);
- sodium citrate (Microlax);
- lactulose (Lactulone);
- macrogol 3350 + sodium bicarbonate + sodium chloride + potassium chloride (Movenlax);
- Polydextrose + Lactitol (Norman Vet).
Never self-medicate or stop using a medication without consulting your doctor first. Only he will be able to determine the most appropriate medication, dosage, and duration of treatment for your particular case. The information on this site is intended to inform you only and is in no way intended to replace the advice of a specialist or to serve as a recommendation for any kind of treatment. Always follow the directions on the insert, and if symptoms persist, seek medical or pharmaceutical advice.
In general, changing some eating habits and lifestyle is sufficient to treat constipation. See recommendations:
Get used to your biological clock
Get used to having a bowel movement in the morning, as soon as you wake up or after breakfast, as your bowels work best in these conditions. In addition, defecation at this time allows for more calm and a reduction in the size of the abdomen, facilitating daily activities. So adjust your bowel mechanism and wait as long as you need to in the bathroom until you can have a bowel movement.
The correct way to sit
When we sit on the toilet, we usually leave our feet flat on the floor. However, this practice is considered wrong, as the position puts pressure on the rectum and stool does not move properly, which can cause problems such as hemorrhoids and hernias.
It is recommended to perform the evacuation in a squatting position, that is, the feet are lifted by stool. In this way, the rectum is lengthened, which facilitates the elimination of stool. This position also ensures that there is no trace of stool, which is common when sitting, which contributes to the expulsion of bacteria and toxins from the body.
Healthy eating improves the conditioning of our bodies themselves.
Whole grains, cereals, fruits, and vegetables should be eaten daily. Invest in all-bran cereals (wheat bran-based), peaches, passion fruit, unpeeled almonds, cabbage, sesame, peas, apples, unpeeled pears, and tangerines. There is a choice of products that are abundant in soluble fiber, however, you should consult your obstetrician before using them.
Food rich in water
Watermelon, strawberry, watermelon, radish, tomato, turnip are some of the foods that are found in abundance in water.
In case of swelling, avoid foods that can ferment, such as beans, cabbage, or lentils. Reducing the intake of sweets and fried foods is good for the body.
List of women suffering from constipation during pregnancy
Some menu alternatives help gradually improve constipation. The ideal is to maintain a varied and healthy diet that contains all the nutrients that the body needs:
Eat foods rich in vitamins and minerals (such as calcium, iron, and potassium). Among the options are whole-grain bread, white cheese, and natural orange juice.
Fermented milk is a great option, as it prevents the growth of bacteria that damage the intestines.
Give preference to foods that contain vitamins, fiber, iron, and antioxidants. Salads (watercress, carrots, tomatoes, broccoli, cabbage), brown rice, and meat such as chicken or fish ensure a balanced meal.
In the afternoon, bet on the kiwi fruit which has a laxative function. Yogurt and vitamins also help with bowel function.
Eat more fiber and vitamins to avoid the urge to eat at dawn. Among the options are salads (lettuce, chayote, beetroot, and tomato), puree, soup, beans, and brown rice.
tea J, like fennel and chamomile, contributes to the improvement of intestinal flow. Low-fat yogurt with fruits, in addition to being low in fat, are sources of calcium and fiber.
A defect in bowel function is associated with a lack of water. Therefore, drink 1.5 to 2 liters of water per day. To make it easier to control consumption, put water in a pet’s bottle and drink it during the day. For those who cannot drink water in its pure state, one way is to flavor it with fruit.
The physical activity of a pregnant woman should be moderate. Do light walking, stretching, yoga, and water aerobics. Exercises help control body mass and reduce the pressure the fetus puts on the intestines. This practice is recommended for all women, as it contributes to the proper functioning of the bowel movement.
A blocked intestine can develop into hemorrhoids precisely because of the dysfunction of the intestinal tract. Due to the lack of fiber in the body, the stool becomes hard, which requires more effort when evacuating.
As a result, there is pressure and abnormality in the veins in the rectum and anus causing hemorrhoids. The disease shows symptoms such as discomfort, bleeding, burning, and itching.
Diagnosis made at the initial stage of treatment allows to reduce symptoms and stabilize the pathology. However, it is only cured through surgery.
Anal fissures can be confused with hemorrhoids, as they have similar symptoms, such as pain and bleeding at the time of evacuation.
However, in this case, there is a “rupture” inside the anus caused by constipation. This happens because stools that are too hard or too large to evacuate can damage the anal mucosa, resulting in an anal fissure.
The appropriate treatment varies for each patient. It consists of numbing creams, and in some cases, laxatives as directed by a doctor.
Rectal prolapse occurs when part of the large intestine is exposed outside the anus. This is caused by the force made at the time of evacuation which in most cases causes constipation.
Symptoms include abdominal pain, difficulty defecation, and a burning sensation in the anal area. To get rid of the discomfort, it is necessary to undergo surgery to remove this visible part or fix it on the sacrum through the perineum or the abdomen.
how to prevent
In addition to eating a balanced diet and exercising your body to improve bowel function, betting on exercises that help with evacuation also reduce your risk of disease:
Try to evacuate at the same time every day for 10 minutes until your body gets used to it;
Make sure to go to the bathroom when you feel the urge, as stool can go back up into the intestines, causing stool to grow and prevent defecation.
Constipation during pregnancy is an unpleasant disease that does not harm the baby. Following a healthy routine prevents and treats the problem.
So, pay attention to the information in the publication. Share with your friends and moms! +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++