Hormonal changes during pregnancy have a relaxing effect on the digestive tract, which can slow down transit time through your bowels. Pregnancy constipation often occurs mostly in the first trimester, but 4 in 10 women get constipation during pregnancy.
What to eat to help pregnancy constipation
- Ground flax seeds can help form a soft stool
- Include prunes, dried figs and raisins
- Eat fresh fruit and vegetables to increase your fibre
- Include beans, lentils and pulses in your diet
- Keep moving, walking is excellent exercise and helps regulate the bowels. Aim for 30 mins a day.
- Drink lots of water or herbal teas.
- Raise your feet up on a low stool when doing a poo. Squatting is a more natural position and can help the bowels to open.
- Always go to the toilet when you feel you need to poo, holding onto it interferes with the nerve connection which allows us to let go.
- Set a certain time of the day when you try to go, perhaps first thing in the morning, and after a meal.
- Check your iron tablets if you’re taking them. Iron in the form of ferrous sulphate can cause constipation so look for an organic iron if this is a problem.
- Avoid taking bran which can irritate your gut and inhibit the uptake of iron, calcium, magnesium and other minerals.
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Anna, our pregnancy nutrition specialist can work with you on all the key nutrients you need in pregnancy, and what to eat to meet these targets. Contact us to book your free 15 minute consultation to find out how nutritional therapy can work for you.