Many women, being in an interesting position, complain about the appearance of problems with bowel movement. Unfortunately, such an unpleasant phenomenon as constipation during pregnancy is more the rule than the exception. They can begin with the first weeks of bearing the child and last until the birth, and in some cases and within a few weeks after them. In this article, we will consider the causes of constipation during pregnancy, what to do if constipation is formed, and what preventive measures will help prevent the onset of this condition.
Reasons for constipation during pregnancy
Reducing peristalsis of the large intestine during pregnancy is a natural defense of the body aimed at preserving the fetus, since the motor function of the intestine is directly related to the contractile function of the uterus and can provoke a spontaneous abortion. Therefore, constipation in the early stages of pregnancy can be considered not as a disease, but as a natural reaction of the body to the development
If a woman before pregnancy had chronic diseases of the gastrointestinal tract( for example, dyskinesia, gastritis), then during child bearing they can become aggravated and, as a consequence, lead to constipation.
Sometimes, the cause of constipation is the intake of medications, for example, tocolytics( preparations for regulating the tone of the uterus), iron and calcium-containing mineral complexes.
Also, constipation in the early stages of pregnancy appears due to an increase in the level of the hormone progesterone in the blood. This hormone helps to relax the muscles of the uterus, and since the large intestine is nearby, then its motor activity decreases, which in turn leads to constipation.
In late pregnancy, the growing uterus squeezes and displaces the intestinal loops, and this makes it difficult to move the stool. Therefore, quite often women complain of severe constipation after the 38th week of bearing a child.
Constipation may be confined to bed rest, recommended for women with the threat of abortion, lack of fluid in the body and foods that contain fiber in the diet, as well as inadequate physical activity.
Treatment of constipation during pregnancy
If a woman has constipation during pregnancy, then what to do in this case, she should be advised only by a doctor. Not a friend, mom or grandmother, but only a gynecologist or therapist. Since self-treatment of constipation during pregnancy can adversely affect the fetus, lead to an increased tone of the uterus or provoke the ancestral activity of the body.
Medication used to treat constipation during pregnancy should be safe for the child and should not affect the contractile function of the uterus. Usually, the action of such drugs is aimed at diluting the contents of the intestine, which facilitates the movement of stool. Most often, women who are expecting a baby are prescribed "Transipeg" and "Defenorm".They are not absorbed by the walls of the intestine and, accordingly, do not enter the bloodstream without exerting any influence on the development of the child.
The use of enemas during pregnancy is strictly prohibited, as they cause not only increased activity of the walls of the large intestine, but also hypertension of the uterus, which can provoke spontaneous abortion or premature birth.
Prevention of constipation
The best remedy for constipation during pregnancy is the timely prevention of the onset of this condition. As they say, constipation is better to warn than to cure. Therefore, a woman expecting a child must comply with three basic rules for dealing with constipation:
- Diet. It is very important to maintain a diet to prevent constipation. Of course, no one restricts the pregnant woman in choosing food, but her diet should contain a large number of foods that contain fiber. Non-processed fruits and vegetables are the best sources of fiber. But some of them should be eaten in small amounts to avoid excessive gas formation. The most appropriate food product from constipation during pregnancy is considered to be bran. Daily reception in the morning 3-4 tablespoons of bran on an empty stomach will help get rid of the existing constipation and will be an ideal prevention of relapse during the entire pregnancy. To diversify the diet, bran can be added to different foods, for example, they can be poured with yogurt or yoghurt, fruit juice, liquid mashed potatoes. It is also desirable to use "traditional" remedies for constipation: yoghurt, fresh yogurt, compote of prunes and dried apricots.
- Drinking regime. Many women who carry a child, specifically reduce the amount of fluid drunk, considering that during pregnancy, drinking a lot is harmful, as it contributes to the appearance of edema. In fact, it has long been proven that edema is caused by excessive intake of salt, which delays fluid in the body. Therefore, it is better to reduce the amount of salty foods and salt in the daily diet, rather than water. But the lack of fluid in the body will provoke the formation of thick feces, which will be difficult to move through the intestines. Proceeding from the above, we conclude: an effective remedy for constipation during pregnancy - compliance with drinking regimen, use fluids as much as you want. Especially in the summer, when the person sweats heavily due to high air temperature, and the liquid from the body evaporates intensely.
- Physical stress. A good prevention of constipation during pregnancy is physical activity. Hiking, breathing exercises, swimming, special exercises for pregnant women will saturate the body with oxygen, strengthen muscles and activate intestinal peristalsis. Therefore, gynecologists advise women who carry a child to walk at least 3-4 km a day. Of course, if there are no contraindications for health reasons.