Keeping regular during pregnancy
During pregnancy, constipation is all too common with at least half of all expectant mothers affected at some point.
The hormones that ensure the pregnancy develops normally can slow down intestinal movements. This can result in:
- Reducing the frequency of bowel movements
- Leaving a sensation of sluggishness and bloatedness
- Making stools harder and more difficult to pass
- Potentially leading to the development of piles
- Iron supplements can make the situation worse
Eating a balanced diet and maintaining an active lifestyle is important whatever your stage of life. But during pregnancy - a time of significant physiological change for both you and your growing baby - it’s absolutely crucial. Understandably, Mums-to-be can be reluctant to use any unnecessary medicines during pregnancy. But, thankfully, there are lots of things that you can try first before having to opt for over-the-counter or prescription laxatives.
- Take some regular, gentle exercise. Pregnancy is no time to kick off a punishing fitness regime but – unless your medical practitioner has advised otherwise – it’s important to keep your body moving.
- Drink plenty of fluids. Water, milk, natural fruit juices and herbal teas are all excellent choices. Sunsweet prune juice, too is a great choice with its naturally occurring sorbitol and source of fibre. Why not start with the recommended daily serving of 120ml and see how that works for you?
- Make a concerted effort to include plenty of fruit, vegetables and whole grains in your diet to ensure that you have sufficient fibre. Sunsweet prunes make a tasty and nutritious addition to recipes – both sweet and savoury – and are a super-convenient snack food.
In this video, Nick Read, Consultant Gastroenterologist, discusses how women are 90% more likely to suffer from constipation than males.
Pregnancy and new Mum's guide
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