Dealing With Constipation in Pregnancy
Author: All-Bran | 21.10.2016
Each stage of pregnancy brings with it both hormonal and physical changes – as well as a whole lot of excitement! Along with some common symptoms – nausea, fatigue and all sorts of unusual cravings – many women will experience constipation in pregnancy, too. It’s not the easiest thing to talk about, but if you are suffering, don’t worry – you’re not the only one, and there are simple, safe ways to deal with it.
What causes constipation in pregnancy?
To find out exactly what constipation is to help you identify the symptoms, you can read ‘What is constipation?’.
"Pregnant women are particularly susceptible for a couple of reasons. Firstly, changes in hormones are natural during pregnancy; increases in the hormone progesterone can cause the movement of food through your digestive tract to slow down. Secondly, physical changes that happen naturally as your baby grows can hinder digestion. Other causes of constipation can include a reduction in physical activity, changes in dietary habits and iron supplementation. ."
What can you do to relieve it?
If you’re experiencing constipation in pregnancy, there are a few simple remedies that can help – here are three key things to try:
- Getting more fibre in your diet
Key food groups that are high in fibre include cereals, especially those containing wheat bran, fruit, vegetables, wholemeal bread, brown and wholegrain carbs, as well as pulses, beans and lentils. Wheat bran fibre, which you can find in breakfast cereals such as All-Bran, is well known for promoting a healthy digestive system and preventing constipation1. This is because it’s an insoluble fibre that acts as ‘roughage’ to bulk up waste and speed things up.
- Drinking more liquids
Dehydration will make constipation worse, so aim to drink plenty of water every day. It’s recommended that you take in between six and eight glasses of fluid every day – and more if it’s hot or you’ve been exercising2. Other fluid options are some herbal teas or a little fruit juice.
- Doing more exercise
Just a little gentle exercise while pregnant can aid constipation and helps keep things moving.
1NICE (2015) ref for digestion during pregnancy NICE Clinical Guidance (2010) Routine antenatal care for healthy pregnant women.
"Reducing bloating can have a number of benefits that may not be as obvious, for example the mental side effects from not feeling tired and sluggish can help you greet each day with a positive outlook."
10g of wheat bran fibre per day helps reduce digestive transit time. ALL-BRAN contains at least 3-6g wheat bran fibre per serve. Enjoy as part of a varied and balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle.