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Why Women Become Afflicted with Constipation During Pregnancy
Constipation is one of the most annoying diseases known to man; more so, constipation during pregnancy. Imagine how incredibly hard it is to battle constipation for normal, UN-pregnant people, now think about pregnant women suffering from constipation.
Add ten fold to the difficulty factor, plus a growing belly, plus the incessant need to urinate again and again, plus the sudden mood swings, plus food cravings and you will know how a woman with constipation during pregnancy feels.
If it helps, constipation during pregnancy is pretty much widespread. Hormonal imbalance brought about by pregnancy brings about constipation. So rest assured that almost every woman who has ever been pregnant has had her share of constipation during pregnancy.
The HOWs and WHYs of Constipation During Pregnancy
Studies have shown that constipation during pregnancy is mainly due to hormonal imbalance in the body. During pregnancy, a woman's body goes haywire and produces a huge amount of female hormones more than the usual.
While these female hormones greatly help the developing fetus and the soon to be mother by ensuring a safe and normal pregnancy, the same female hormones also slows and lessens bowel movements; therefore resulting in constipation during pregnancy.
Specifically, the female hormone progesterone is the culprit behind constipation during pregnancy. Progesterone acts a muscle relaxant and as such, it relaxes the bowel walls and lessens the peristaltic action needed to properly pass out body wastes.
Another factor that contributes to constipation during pregnancy is prenatal supplements. While supplements are beneficial to both the developing fetus and the mother, those that contain calcium and iron have been found to have a hardening effect on stools. Antacids used to counteract stomach acidity can also trigger constipation during pregnancy.
Aside from hormonal imbalance and prenatal supplements, the force of the growing belly on the bowel may also trigger a bout of constipation during pregnancy. Because the bowel is constricted, stools become harder to pass out.
For occasional constipation, pregnant women can try incorporating fiber rich foods, fruits and vegetables in their diet, lots of water and mild exercise. For chronic constipation during pregnancy however, it is advised that you seek a doctor for treatments that are safe for you. Mineral oils should also be avoided as it reduces nutrient absorption. Stimulant laxatives like Dulcolax and laxative pills are a definite no-no since they can cause premature contractions.