Gastrointestinal Symptoms

As the growing uterus presses on the rectum and intestines, constipation may occur. The muscular contractions in the intestines, which help to move food through the digestive tract, are slowed due to high levels of progesterone.

This may, in turn, cause heartburn, indigestion and gas.

With gas, some women become so bloated that they are prevented from eating regularly and properly. By ensuring you have regular bowel movements (see below), eating many small meals instead of few big ones and eating slowly, you will avoid the risk of bloating and minimize your own discomfort.

Also, be sure to steer clear of gas-producing food such as onions, cabbage, fried foods, rich sauces, sugary sweets and beans.

High levels of certain hormones circulating during pregnancy cause the muscles of the bowel to relax making bowel movements more sluggish.

Also, the growing uterus puts pressure on the bowel, cramping its normal activity. The result is constipation.

To prevent constipation, try to eat fresh or dried fruit, raw vegetables and whole grain cereals or breads everyday. Also, try to drink eight to ten glasses of water everyday. Some of these servings can be substituted with fruit or vegetable juice.

Try to avoid caffeinated drinks (coffee, tea, colas, and some other sodas), since caffeine makes your body lose fluid and won't help with constipation. Also, holding in bowel movements can weaken muscles that control them and lead to constipation. So when you have to go, go!


Dizziness, feeling lightheaded, and even fainting can occur at any stage of pregnancy, since there now is extra blood going down towards your uterus and legs.

Thus, sometimes there's not an adequate blood supply to fill the rapidly expanding circulatory system. This coupled with the pressure of an expanding uterus on the mother's blood vessels can lead to dizziness and sometimes faintness.

If you experience dizziness when you get up too quickly, this is due to a sudden shifting of blood away from the brain as you change positions. If this is the case, be sure to get up very gradually.

Table of Contents
1. First Trimester
2. Dealing with Fatigue
3. Morning sickness tips
4. Not that heartburn again!
5. Unsightly varicose veins
6. Prevent varicose veins
7. What are you craving?
Login to comment

Post a comment