A woman’s body goes through many changes during pregnancy. Gastrointestinal issues are common and can include:
?Morning sickness, nausea that usually occurs during the first trimester of pregnancy but can persist throughout a woman’s pregnancy.
?Constipation, a common issue during pregnancy that is often a precursor to other digestive problems, such as chronic gas and bloating, and hemorrhoids.
?Hemorrhoids (varicose veins of the rectum) are a common side effect of chronic constipation during pregnancy.
?Heartburn is common during pregnancy.
?Gas is especially common during the second trimester of pregnancy, as the digestive system slows down. Gas buildup can cause belly pain, cramps, burping, and flatulence.
?Pregnant women experiencing any of these issues should consult their doctor before taking any medications, even over-the-counter (OTC) formulas.
Tips for a Healthy Digestive System
A nutritious diet rich in whole foods is a key part of good health. Follow these tips for a healthy digestive system:
?Eat a high-fiber diet that includes both soluble fiber (e.g. whole oats) and insoluble fiber (e.g. leafy greens).
?Choose low-fat foods and lean meats; fatty foods like fried potatoes and fatty cuts of meat can be difficult to digest.
?Stay hydrated, which (along with eating enough fiber) helps your body form softer,
?Enhance your diet with superfoods, including berries, green tea, nuts, chia seeds, oats, dark leafy greens, and unsweetened yogurt.
?Exercise regularly; physical activity helps your digestive system function optimally.
?Manage stress, which can reduce immunity and cause a range of problems, from increased stomach acid production to esophageal spasms.
?Limit consumption of caffeine and alcohol, which can trigger or worsen heartburn and other digestive problems.
?To prevent hemorrhoids, women should eat enough fiber to help prevent constipation, avoid straining on the toilet, and prop the feet up on a stool during bowel movements, which allows for easier passage of stools.