You may be having the time of your life being pregnant and eager to welcome a new life to this world. While all the good things are happening around you, you may still have problems understanding your body and its transitions during pregnancy. Some can be overwhelmingly exciting, whereas others can leave you puzzled.
One of the bodily functions that change quickly during pregnancy is digestion. Due to pregnancy hormones, the muscles and intestinal walls start relaxing, which results in slowed digestion. While it is an obvious change in your body during pregnancy, you can go through some serious problems if your digestion gets imbalanced. That’s because you’re eating for yourself and the life inside you.
10 Ways to Improve Digestion
1. Drink plenty of water
Although it is quite a basic tip for your daily life, it can greatly help reduce indigestion during pregnancy. While pregnant, try making large eight glasses of water for your daily consumption; the more, the better. Also, ensure that the water you drink is clean and germ-free so that you don’t drink contaminated water.
2. Eat a high-fiber diet
Eating a high-fiber diet can be an excellent option to speed up your metabolism at any time. When pregnant, ensure that you eat fiber-rich food such as whole grains, vegetables, fruits, legumes, and more. Fibrous food help to keep food moving inside your digestive tract resulting in the prevention of constipation.
3. Regular exercise
Keep moving during your pregnancy, as it can be very helpful for your digestive system. Even if you take twenty minutes a day to exercise, you can always feel the difference. The logic is that keeping yourself moving can also get the food moving in your digestive tract and speed up your metabolism, sparing you from constipation during pregnancy.
4. Manage stress
Lowered metabolism can also be the result of a stressful pregnancy. The women who take extra stress during pregnancy are more prone to slow metabolism, while those who manage their stress suffer less from indigestion. So, try out different techniques for stress management, as they can directly affect your bodily functions, such as digestion during pregnancy.
5. Forgo fat-rich food
You indeed need more nutrition and energy during pregnancy, but it does not mean that you can eat anything you want. While food rich in fats is always noted for slowing down the metabolism, its effect can be seen hugely while you are pregnant. So, try to cut down on fats while pregnant, as it can directly affect your digestion and leave you constipated more often. The only tip is to not forget to eat good fat in the right amount.
6. Reduce refined carbohydrates and sugar
It is not unknown that you need to reduce refined carbs and excessive sugar while you are pregnant. The logic is that refined carbs and sugar can slow down your digestive system and cause many digestion problems. Thus, the only thing you can do is to use protein-rich, fibrous food instead of the carb-rich food on your plate.
7. Eat on schedule
While pregnant, you need to take care of your diet properly as a better diet can help you throughout your pregnancy period, during delivery, and beyond. The scheduled eating habits can train your system to digest food in an easier way. So, try to sit down for breakfast, lunch, and dinner at around the same time as you did the day before. Eating on schedule regularly can always be beneficial for speeding up your metabolism, even while you are not pregnant.
8. Eat in small proportions
Eating your food in small portions can give your digestive tract time to digest the food and maintain space for the next portion. While it takes a lot of time and effort for your digestive system to digest a large portion of food, eating small portions can fasten your metabolism and help your digestion.
9. Avoid smoking and drinking alcohol
Smoking and drinking during pregnancy can lead to digestive infections and ulcers while negatively affecting your baby’s mental and physical development during pregnancy. So, skipping these bad habits during your nine months is better to have a healthy and happy pregnancy, free of any digestive or other problems. Instead, drink a lot of water.
10. Maintain posture and bowel
During pregnancy, try not to skip your morning routines, as having a scheduled time in your restroom can benefit your digestion during pregnancy. Also, maintain your posture, stand straight, sit with your back straight while you are in the toilet, and use a squatting position to help you get a freed and empty stomach. These little routines can be very effective regarding your digestive problems during pregnancy.
Let us know what helped you the best to improve your digestion during pregnancy in the comments below.
Dr. Mashiach has completed his MD at the Sackler School of Medicine, TAU; specialization in gynecology at the Lis Maternity and Women’s Hospital, Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center; fellowship in Endoscopy at the Polyclinique de I’Hotel-Dieu, Universite d’Auvergne, Clermont, France.
He is a Senior Physician, Director of the Department of Gynecology, which provides routine and preventative care services to its patients and a full range of gynecological surgical procedures for adequately managing its patients with benign gynecologic disorders.
He offers advanced care in all gynecological subspecialties such as Urogynecology, Colposcopy, Fetal Loss Clinic, and Post Menopausal Clinic.