Bowel irregularity affects many pregnant women as the digestive system is greatly affected by uterine growth and hormonal changes that occur during the 9 months of pregnancy. Here are 5 effective remedies to fight intestinal irregularity!
Who has never been the victim of intestinal irregularity during pregnancy? The physiological and hormonal changes that a woman is subjected to during this delicate period of her life can cause her to bloat and feel heavy. In addition, bowel movements can become more difficult. This is because the digestive system is particularly affected by uterine growth and hormonal changes to which the expectant mother is subjected during the nine months of waiting.
In particular, it is the increase in the level of progesterone and its more intense action that influences a possible state of constipation during pregnancy: progesterone has the function of inhibiting the contractions of the smooth muscles of the uterine wall. Its action also acts on the digestive system, in particular on the intestine, thus reducing the efficiency of peristalsis, these involuntary contractions of the smooth muscles of the intestine which facilitate the proper functioning of the intestinal transit.
In addition, during pregnancy the intestine has a greater capacity to absorb water, which causes the body to need more fluids, which are retained to a greater extent by food. The stools, which are harder because they are poor in water, therefore slow down intestinal transit, making it more difficult. Weight gain and decreased physical activity are two other factors that determine bowel irregularity during this period.
With a healthy lifestyle and a little help, however, you can combat the problem of constipation during pregnancy: here are five easy remedies to quickly regain bowel regularity during pregnancy.
1. Drink lots of water
As mentioned above, during pregnancy the water absorption by the body is greater, which means that the woman needs more fluids and, therefore, to drink more. While drinking water is a healthy habit to have, it is even more so during pregnancy. As we have seen previously, drinking water helps to drain, relieve the feeling of bloating and especially to soften the stools, thus promoting intestinal transit.
Drink water throughout the day and during meals, making sure to choose natural water. Avoid carbonated water if you can. In general, during this time, it would be best to avoid soft drinks and overly sweet fruit juices as much as possible. In short, water will be your best natural ally during this period! If you wish, you can also opt for herbal teas with a detoxifying effect, such as fennel tea, which is particularly recommended to aid digestion.
A little tip to facilitate bowel regularity: drink a glass of lukewarm water in the morning when you wake up or on an empty stomach, take a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil. You can also spread it on a slice of bread, preferably whole.
2. Choose the right diet
During pregnancy, it is essential to follow a diet rich in fiber, based on a massive consumption of fruits, vegetables and whole grains, then strictly follow the dietary indications and restrictions suggested by your doctor. Try to eat whole grains as much as possible and avoid foods made with refined flour. For example, opt for pasta and wholemeal bread in not excessive quantities, to consume every day. On the other hand, avoid rice if you are particularly constipated or choose brown rice, but be sure to consume it in limited quantities and not too often.
Fruits and vegetables in quantity, yes, but beware of certain fruits, they are not all indicated if you suffer from an intestinal irregularity. For example, avoid raw apples and carrots. On the other hand, cooked apples are perfectly suitable, as they have astringent properties. Green light therefore for cooked fruits and vegetables: in particular, cooked apples and prunes, dried figs and kiwis which are a panacea against constipation.
To combat the problem of constipation, yogurt will be your best friend, preferably natural white. You can also add shelled flax seeds to intensify the effect and perhaps eat it for breakfast with some figs or a kiwi. Yogurt is an ideal ally because it helps rebalance the intestinal flora, greatly improving its functionality.
Also avoid legumes and other foods that can cause bloating, such as sourdough baked goods, packaged snacks, sweets, and foods that are too high in sugar.
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3. Eat less and lighter but several times a day
To avoid making your digestion too painful or feeling too bloated, try eating more meals throughout the day, but lighter.
It is also important to eat slowly, in a sitting position and to chew for a long time for better digestion.
4. Avoid a sedentary lifestyle
It goes without saying that a sedentary lifestyle is not conducive to constant bowel regularity. Make sure you engage in physical activity consistently – if your pregnancy allows you, of course – and incorporate it into your days as much as possible. Several sports are indicated during pregnancy, including swimming and yoga, but it is also sufficient to walk at a steady pace for about half an hour each day. An activity which will be beneficial for your body, your mood and will help with bowel regularity.
Do not underestimate the use of good shoes during exercise: choose a comfortable and suitable model of shoe that will allow you to practice the physical activity of your choice in complete safety.
5. Eat calmly and avoid lying down immediately after eating.
Take time to eat quietly and, if possible, take a walk after lunch. Avoid lying down immediately after eating, as this will make digestion difficult and increase the feeling of bloating and heaviness.