Constipation is another possible pregnancy complication affecting approximately 50% of pregnant women. Luckily, you can take measures to prevent constipation, which often leads to hemorrhoids in pregnant women.

What Can Cause Constipation?
Pregnancy hormones relax your intestinal walls, causing food to stay longer in your digestive tract. Your growing womb will also place pressure on your rectum, aggravating your intestinal situation.

How Do I Prevent Constipation?

  • Eat foods rich in fiber. Cereals (especially with a few tablespoons of unprocessed bran), whole-grain breads, prunes and fresh fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of fiber.
  • Drink at least eight glasses of water a day.
  • Fruit juices such as prune juice will also help make your bowel movements more cooperative.
  • Exercise regularly - low impact exercises such as walking and swimming are best for pregnant women.
  • Never fail to attend the call of nature - as soon as you feel the need, relieve yourself.
Remember: avoiding constipation helps prevent hemorrhoids, so really do heed the above advice!

Quick Lesson in Fiber
What is it about fiber that helps keep you regular? Fiber is a complex carbohydrate found in many foods that your body is unable to digest. This means the fiber makes it through your digestive system to the large intestine, or colon. Fiber expands in the colon, mimicking the wavelike contractions which help food pass through. It softens and bulks up stools, so they pass through easily and more quickly. This means that harmful substances are quickly being swept out of your colon, preventing serious diseases such as colon cancer.

Are you getting enough fiber in your fiet? It's recommended that you have 10 to 15 grams daily. Try to eat less processed food and more fresh foods!

Find more helpful advice on the discomforts of pregnancy in our forum

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