Pregnancy , for most women, is a journey of joyful anticipation, excitement and anxiety all at the same time . This is because along with the thrill of welcoming a new life into your life, pregnancy brings along a lot of hormonal and physical changes in your body which may disrupt your normal daily routine to a significant extent. Most important among these are the bowel and bladder problems which very few people anticipate, or look forward to.
Bowel ( Gastrointestinal ) problems in pregnancy
During pregnancy , the various involuntary smooth muscles of the body relax in response to the progesterone hormone and this leads to slowdown of the movement of the food through the stomach & intestines. As a result, the food takes a longer duration to pass through the intestinal tract & this leads to production of more gases due to the action of the bacteria in the intestines acting over the food . Hence there is a sensation of bloating & fullness as well as belching/ flatulence that is commonly associated with pregnancy. Apart from this, the slower movement of the intestinal muscles also predisposes to a tendency for constipation in pregnancy. This may aggravate the condition in women who already have a pre-existing constipation and they may develop haemorrhoids ( Piles ) during pregnancy. While there is very little that we can do to prevent the hormonal changes of pregnancy, they can surely be managed by a number of interventions which can minimize the unpleasant side effects.
Dealing with gastrointestinal issues in pregnancy:
The various steps to minimize constipation in pregnancy include :
1. Plenty of oral fluids : Make sure that you consume at least 10- 12 glasses of water If plain water seems distasteful, you can add a dash of lime/ mint/ orange or other natural flavours to the water….