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Alleviate Constipation During pregnancy!

Constipation is generally a common complaint during pregnancy that mostly occurs in the first trimester. This is due to hormone progesterone, which relaxes the muscles of intestine thereby causing the food to pass more slowly. Also your expanding uterus can put more pressure on the rectum to make the bowel movement worse.

Here are some tips to alleviate constipation:

Include a high fiber diet – Make sure to eat 2-3 servings of fresh fruits and vegetables every day. Complex carbohydrates like whole grain cereals, brown rice and brown breads should be substituted to refined products, which can make a difference in you gradually.

Keep yourself well hydrated – Drink 8-10 glasses of water a day at frequent intervals. You can also opt for fresh juices without sugar and not every time as it may fill your appetite and starve you off vital nutrients.

Listen to your body - If you feel the urge to defecate, do not put off. This can make the constipation worse. Make sure you visit washroom if you feel the urge to defecate to get relieved.

Exercise regularly - Check with your gynecologist on the kind of activities you can do. Walking and swimming is generally considered safe during pregnancy provided there is no previous history of medical complications. 30 minutes to 1 hour a day is generally advised. Yoga is also said to help.

Some home remedies that may help to relieve constipation:

1. Add flax seeds and fenugreek seeds your diet regularly.

2. Consume warm water after every meal has shown to help clear bowels.

3. Include a fistful of dry fruits and nuts such as dates, figs, prunes and apricots and almonds, walnuts etc.

4. Adding 4-5 servings of rainbow colored fruits and vegetables per day prevents constipation during and post pregnancy. Fruits and vegetables are power-packed with fibers.

5. Include green leafy vegetable as a separate serving for lunch and you can bet to see the bowel movement functioning normal.

Ironically, many supplements that do a pregnant body good like prenatal vitamins, calcium, and iron supplements, may also contribute to constipation. You may be advised to stop certain combination of nutrients to get relief.

Note - Do not use any over the counter medication unless your physician prescribes it!

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