Like the cause of heartburn during pregnancy, the increased in levels of estrogen and progesterone during pregnancy render the smooth muscle of the lower digestive tract lax. This makes bowel movements a bit sluggish.
If a woman is experiencing constipation during pregnancy, it is incredibly important to maintain an adequate intake of fiber and fluids.
Laxatives are not recommended to treat constipation during pregnancy, but there are a number of natural remedies, or “food cures,” a pregnant woman can use to treat constipation. But remember: Everything in moderation. Try:
- Increasing fiber intake in the form of fruits both fresh and dried. Dried fruits may cause you to become gassy, so start with small amounts first to judge your reaction.
- Increasing nuts and seeds, especially oily seeds like sunflower and flax. Ground black sesame seeds are also worth trying, but be sure to grind them fresh to avoid a batch going rancid before you can eat them. Sesame seeds and honey are a great combination for treating constipation during pregnancy or not.
- Increasing your fluid intake. Try warm teas without caffeine. A tea made of black sesame seeds and goji berries (Hei Zhi Ma and Gou Qi Zi) will nourish the blood and moisten the stool. It is also very delicious.