In the happy though delicate period of pregnancy, many functions of the female body undergo several modifications. All these changes are due to the adaptation of the female body to the new condition.
The gastrointestinal tract is definitely one of those parts that are most affected by these changes: one of the most common and widespread symptoms is constipation, which afflicts quite a large number of pregnant women.
The causes of this ailment are:
- so to say, mechanical.
The increase of progesterone in the female body, a hormone essential in the first 7-8 months to avoid damaging uterine contractions, is one of the factors that may cause the onset of constipation in pregnant women.Its muscle relaxant action extends indeed to the whole body and causes a reduction of the intensity of peristaltic contractions, resulting in irregularities of the intestinal transit.
A second factor is then to be found in the mechanical compression by the uterus on the bowel loops. This compression hinders bowel transit and increases, from month to month, as the foetus develops inside the maternal womb.
Other contributing factors include:
- increased fluid requirements of the female body;
- a reduced physical activity practised by the woman, especially in the final period of pregnancy.
Diet and useful tips to help the intestinal transit during pregnancy
Some measures and changes in your diet and lifestyle can help you prevent and reduce this discomfort:
- first, it can be useful to drink plenty of water, at least a couple of litres a day;
- secondly, add, to your daily diet, foods rich in fibres, such as fruits and vegetables, grains, legumes (also essential to give the foetus the nutrients and vitamins needed for its growth).
It is then advisable to practice regular physical activity.
If in doubt, you may also seek advice from your gynecologist to determine the best type of sport in this period: even simple walks, if done consistently, can help you stimulate your intestinal motility.
Finally, in the case of obstinate constipation, a good support can also come from specific supplements. Usually, during pregnancy, we tend to avoid the use of supplements containing plants such as aloe and senna, which can stimulate uterine motility.
Instead, you should take more delicate products (you can benefit, for example, from taking supplements containing agar-agar, alder buckthorn or marshmallow, which can promote regular bowel movement, in association with fenugreek, sacred bark, celery and cinnamon, useful in supporting normal digestive function).
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