Pregnancy is a rewarding period in a woman’s life. However, it comes with its set of the problems, like aches, morning sickness, bloating, water retention, constipation and more. These problems are a normal occurrence in pregnancy, but some of the, like constipation, can be very uncomfortable and frustrating.
Constipation in pregnancy
Most problems that occur during the pregnancy result from hormonal changes that take place in the woman’s body. The same goes for constipation. It happens because the body produces more female hormones, and progesterone is the one responsible for this problem. Progesterone acts as a muscle relaxant, and the walls outside the bowels are made of muscles. In pregnancy they are more relaxed and do not contract as usually, and their ability to move the food in the bowel is reduced. This leads to inability to pass stool, with other symptoms like abdominal pain and bloating, hard stool and hemorrhoids.
Since this condition is neither healthy or desirable, many women want to use laxatives to ensure a normal bowel movement. However, some laxatives are not recommended for pregnant women and it is always best to go for natural options that will not harm the mother or the baby.
Natural laxatives for pregnant women
Water is probably the best natural laxative and it has absolutely no side effects. It hydrates the system, loosens the stool and makes it softer, but it also puts pressure to the organs so they push against the bowel, provoking a bowel movement. Recommended amount of water to be taken daily is eight to ten glasses, and this amount will also cleanse the body and flush out the toxins.
High fiber diet is recommended for everyone who has problems with constipation. Foods that are rich in fiber make a bulky stool, because fiber is not digested and it is passed more or less integrally. Good sources of fiber include soy beans, soy flour, artichokes, apricot, beans, barley, apples, and many other fresh fruits and vegetables.
One of the most popular natural laxatives are prunes, either raw or cooked. Prune juice is believed to be the most effective form, and it basically works the same way as fiber.
Using certain oils, like castor oil and mineral oil, can stimulate the walls of bowels and relieve constipation. However, pregnant women should always consult their doctor before using them.
There are many other natural laxatives, like different kinds of husks, herbal preparations and formulas, teas and all-natural laxative products from health stores. However, it is always better to use remedies that promote a natural bowel movement than ones that provide instant relief for constipation, because laxatives, synthetic or natural, should be used with great caution and only as a last resort.