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Pregnancy and Constipation
Seem To Go Hand-in-Hand
Constipation can ruin a regular day, let alone when you are pregnant. Difficult or infrequent bowel movements can cause enough pain and aggravation but the pain and discomfort is magnified when a woman is pregnant. Constipation that lasts for a few days is bad enough on the body but especially so when pregnant. Toxins and harmful bacteria will become reabsorbed into the blood stream if bowel movements do not happen in regular intervals which is precisely why pregnancy and constipation are such a dangerous combination. But as uncomfortable, untimely, and unhealthy as pregnancy and constipation might well be together, the truth is that they go hand-in-hand.
Pregnancy and constipation are indeed linked and it is a fact that over half of all pregnant women note periods of constipation during the pregnancy. But what is the actual connection between pregnancy and constipation? The stress of being pregnant can lead to constipation problems but so can: poor diet, dehydration, travel, medication side effects, lack of exercise, or any of the other known causes of constipation. So what exactly is it causing the undeniable link between pregnancy and constipation?
During pregnancy, it is common for doctors to prescribe iron supplements. The added iron is only necessary during pregnancy but it has been known to cause constipation. This is due to the fact that iron supplements cause the body to burn or use more water and thus leads to dehydration. But, while iron supplements can cause constipation like a lot of other medications, they are not the reason why pregnancy and constipation go hand-in-hand.
Hormones are a large reason behind the constipation experienced by women while pregnant. Released in larger quantities during pregnancy, the hormones actually relax the muscles of the intestines. This means that the entire bowel movement process slows down. Increased food consumption and the resulting additional waste caused by a normal pregnancy will overwhelm the entire bowel movement process if the intestinal muscles fail to operate properly. Therefore, hormones are one reason why pregnancy and constipation are so linked.
Another big factor behind the connection between pregnancy and constipation is the fact that the body is being pushed beyond its normal state for an extended period of time. As the fetus grows and develops, the uterus itself will begin to put pressure upon the intestines. This can cause cramping and delayed bowel movements.
Adhering to a diet high in fiber and recommending plenty of fluids is the best defense against constipation during pregnancy. Once the child is born, it may be wise to flush the entire gastrointestinal tract with a colonic cleanser. Be sure to use one made from only natural ingredients, such as PoopDoc, as those made from harsh chemicals may cause allergic reactions, especially after pregnancy. Just be sure to never, ever, take any laxatives or other such products that use stimulants to activate the digestive system as they can lead to premature contractions and will certainly dehydrate an expectant mother. As with any type of product of any kind to be used during pregnancy or while lactating, always consult your health care professional first.