Managing Pregnancy Digestive Discomforts
Pregnancy brings with it a surge in Progesterone, a hormone that makes it possible for your body to support the life of your baby but also changes a few other things about you too. Hormones travel through your blood stream and are picked up by every cell in your body, there is no express service to your uterus.
One of the main side effects of the increased progesterone levels is the sluggishness of smooth muscle. Smooth muscle is not like biceps and thighs, it is the muscle that makes up your digestive system and your circulatory system. So, just being pregnant makes your digestive system slow down a little bit.
This may be a big part of the reason that so many women experience morning sickness, heartburn, gas and constipation. With the system working slower than normal, things are bound to get a little held up.
The secret to overcoming these discomforts is understanding how to work with your sluggish system, nudging the food along its way and never overloading the system. Here are some suggestions that other women found helpful. Try them out, use the ones that work and just pass on the rest.
Eat Smaller Meals More Frequently: This can help by preventing the system from getting overloaded. By eating more frequently, you are ensuring that you do get enough food during the day.
Walk After Meals: Walking is a natural laxative. The movement of the pelvis helps to allow material to move through the digestive system easier.
Eat a Variety of Fresh Fruits: Fresh and dried fruits can help to keep your system working smoothly.
Eat More Fiber: Fiber absorbs water as the food moves through your digestive system, which keeps things flowing at a good pace.
Avoid Offending Foods: If there is a food that makes you sick or uncomfortable every time you eat it, stop eating that food. There is such a large variety of foods available that you are sure to find an adequate substitute.
Eat Protein Before Bed: Although all foods are broken down into glucose for use by your body, it takes your body longer to digest a protein than a carbohydrate or fat. By having a protein snack before bed you may be able to prevent having an "empty" stomach in the morning which is associated with morning sickness.
Eat Crackers Before Getting Out of Bed: Again, the idea here is to prevent the "empty" stomach that appears to be a cause of morning sickness.
Do Pelvic Rocks: Pelvic rocking allows the uterus to hang which gives the digestive system (which is getting more cramped every day) a chance to stretch out and flex its muscles so to speak. Try doing 100-200 about an hour after dinner or at bedtime.
Drink Water: Remember that fiber that absorbs water to keep things flowing smoothly. It has to have water to grab so drink up!
Put a Low Stool Under Your Feet While You Use the Bathroom: The squatting position is the natural elimination position for the human body. It allows the most room for everything to come out. Your cramped digestive system can use all the space you can give it.