Have you been having issues with bowel movements since you've become pregnant? Or did you have this issue before pregnancy or even afterwards? Could be a case of constipation. Unfortunately during pregnancy your digestion slows down which can increase your chances of becoming constipated. Not too clear on what constipation is? It's typically defined by having three or less bowel movements a week. This is something that I've struggled with in the past. Following the four steps I'm about to share helped me tremendously!
So what can you do to help you with constipation?
Increasing your fiber intake and including more fiber in your diet can make a big difference and decrease constipation. Eating foods like brown and wild rice, or whole grains like oatmeal can help. I started eating oatmeal once a day and I started seeing a difference after a week. Try to limit white bread, pasta, and rice. These contain less fiber. On the flip side some people say that eating less fiber has helped them ease their constipation issues so this may be a trial and error situation. I was huge on white bread, white rice, white pasta and I had severe constipation issues, so much so I went to see an Gastroenterologist. Eating less of these food items and incorporating more brown rice and pasta worked for me.
Drink Plenty of Fluids!
I have a problem when it comes to my fluid intake. Most people don't have a problem with this. In fact, most people drink plenty of fluids and many of them are unhealthy drinks like sodas and juices full of sugar. While these drinks are okay in moderation is best to drink water and warm teas. These fluids not only hydrate you but they help aid in digestion. I added a water app to my phone to remind myself to drink more often. I've gotten better with drinking fluids and my digestion has improved as well! So drink up!
Grab those fruits!
Fruit is definitely good for you (unless you have an allergy). Apricots, apples, kiwi, and blackberries contain fiber and vitamins that help with digestion. These fruits get things going so you can get going! Need help figuring out how to incorporate fruit into your diet? Try grabbing an apple in the morning or swapping out that ice cream for fruit as your desert choice after dinner.
Move, Move, Move
I know a lot of people aren't fond of this topic but exercising and being active can help with constipation. Cardio, yoga, and pelvic floor exercises are a great way to get moving and help improve digestion. One thing to remember is if your constipation is severe please consult with your provider to determine the reason why and to also make sure something more serious isn't going on. Gut health is extremely important so keep an eye on yours. If something isn't flowing smoothly there are always options.
Have you ever suffered from constipation or know someone that has? What worked for you?
Until next time, sending you peace, love, and light!
Tiffany Underwood - Prenatal Consultant