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How to Improve Food Digestion During Pregnancy

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During pregnancy, a woman goes through hormonal changes. Some of these changes can cause adverse effects on your digestive system. Know the factors that can help you improve your digestive system. Some of these factors include staying hydrated, eating fibre rich foods, exercising, quitting drinking and smoking.

Pregnancy is considered one of the most important time in a woman’s life. There are many hormonal changes that take place in your body during this time, as you are ready to bring a new life on earth. Some of these changes can also affect your digestive system and bring discomfort. So, it is necessary to know about foods that help in digestion during pregnancy and the ones that should be avoided at any cost. Here we are discussing how to improve your digestion during pregnancy. By following the given steps you can improve your digestion during pregnancy.

1. Drink a Sufficient Amount of Water

Whether you are pregnant or not, this tip is always helpful. Drinking plenty of water will always work in your favour. During pregnancy make sure that you drink clean and germs free. If the water will be contaminated then it will have many adverse effects on your body. Drinking clean and germ free water will improve your digestive system during pregnancy.

2. Do Regular Exercise

Be as normal as you can during pregnancy and perform your daily task by yourself only. Even a twenty minutes exercise as a daily routine can make the difference. Exercise can increase your metabolism rate. So, the food will not get stuck in your digestive tract.

3. Switch to Multiple Small Meals a Day

When you take food in a large amount, it takes time for the digestive system to digest that food. However, if you eat in small portion, then your digestive tract will have plenty of time to digest the food, and it can also make space for the next portion. So taking small meals three to four times a day will improve your digestion during pregnancy.

4. Stop Smoking and Drinking

Smoking and drinking cannot only affect you physically but mentally also. It can lead to digestive ulcers and infections. It will also affect the mental and physical development of your baby. So, for the betterment of you and your child, it is advisable to skip such habits during pregnancy. Instead, you should drink more and more water and vitamin and mineral rich liquids.

stop smoking and drinking

5. Follow a Schedule to Eat

During pregnancy, your diet becomes the most important factor. You should follow a proper schedule to eat your food. Your digestive system becomes habitual of a schedule. It will also become easy to digest the food if you take it daily at the same time. So, make yourself available for breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily at the same time.

6. Eat Fibre Rich Foods

You are pregnant or not, eating fiber-rich food will improve your metabolism anytime. Fiber-rich foods such as fruits, green vegetables, peas, and beans will help you improve your digestive system. Such foods keep moving in your digestive system tract, which results in the prevention of constipation.

7. Avoid Spicy and Fried Foods

At this time you will crave for spicy foods, curries, tikka masala and all but keep in mind that they will surely affect your digestive system. Eating spicy and fatty food will always worsen the condition. If your cravings are strong and you can not stop your tongue, then just remember that you will have to bear the consequences.

8. Drink Milk Everyday

Drinking milk is also an option to improve your digestion during pregnancy. However, it does not have a positive effect on everyone. Some women say that it makes their digestion worse. If milk is not a great choice for you, then you can prefer its alternatives as yogurt or ice cream.

drink milk everyday

9. Do Not Eat Late at Night

Try to avoid eating late at night. It will improve your digestion during pregnancy. When you lie down, your stomach content has risen up, and it takes more time to digest your food. Make it a habit to take your dinner two hours before you are going to sleep. However, if you feel hungry afterward then you can take snacks. 

10. Maintain a Food Diary

You can keep a diary with you and write in it that which foods affect your digestive system. For some women, caffeinated drinks can be a cause, while for others tomato sauce can be harmful. So, by making a list of such items you can avoid them.

There are also other smaller steps that you can take to improve your digestion during pregnancy like eating slowly, chewing your food well, avoid drinking while eating and wear loose fitting clothes.

food diary

Changes that occur in the Digestive System During Pregnancy

After knowing the steps to improve your digestive system during pregnancy, you should also know the cause of digestive problems during pregnancy. Pregnancy hormones definitely affect our digestive system. Progesterone hormone causes smooth muscle relaxation. It also causes relaxation and slowing of digestion in the stomach and the small and large intestines. The gallbladder is also affected by delayed emptying. It can increase the chances of gallstone formation. Many digestive discomforts of pregnancy like morning nausea or vomiting, constipation, and heartburn are all related to the relaxed tone and slowed action of the digestive system.

The growing uterus also affects the digestive system. As the uterus grows, it can press on or even block parts of the digestive tract. This leads to slowed movement of food and constipation. Always ask your doctor before taking any medicine for this condition.
Many women face appetite changes in pregnancy, including other conditions like:

  • Increased hunger
  • Decreased appetite
  • Cravings
  • Aversions
  • Nausea and vomiting

A few women develop pica which is a rare craving to eat things other than food. This includes things like dirt, clay, and coal. The craving means there is a nutritional deficiency in the body.

FAQs

Q. What are the digestive problems that occur during pregnancy?

A. Pregnancy hormones definitely affect the digestive system. There are many digestive problems that occur during pregnancy like indigestion, belching, heartburn, constipation, hemorrhoids, and flatulence. 

Q. What are the foods that can help you indigestion during pregnancy?

A. List of foods that can help you fighting indigestion during pregnancy:

  • Dairy products
  • Legumes
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Salmon
  • Eggs
  • Broccoli and dark, leafy greens
  • Lean Meat
  • Fish liver oil
  • Berries
  • Whole grains
  • Avocados
  • Dries fruit
  • Water

Q. What are the foods that should be avoided during pregnancy?

A. List of foods that should be avoided during pregnancy:

  • Alcohol
  • Processed junk foods
  • Unpasteurized Milk, Cheese, and Fruit Juice
  • Unwashed produce
  • Raw sprouts
  • Caffeine
  • Organ meat
  • Raw eggs
  • Under cooked, raw and processed meat
  • Under cooked or raw fish
  • High- mercury fish

Q. Why is the food digestion process slow during pregnancy?

A. During pregnancy, the muscles of the body are all relaxed and this also includes the muscles of the intestine. Hence food moves slowly through the last phase of digestion during pregnancy causing constipation. The weight of the fetus on the colon is another reason for the slower final step of digestion.


Hope this article gave you all the details about how to improve digestion during pregnancy. Follow Clanswomen blog to get all the latest updates regarding infertility, IVF and surrogacy-related information. You can also call on the given number for any pregnancy or infertility related issue +917899912611.

Dr. Pushpa Kaul

About The Author

Obstetrician, Laparoscopic Surgeon Dr. Pushpa Kaul
Noida

Dr. Pushpa Kaul is a well known gynecologist and IVF doctor in Noida. She has pursued her MBBS and MD in Obstetrics and Gynecology from the University of Kashmir in 1976 and 1989 respectively. She is a respected member as a Vice President of COGS, Nursing Home Association, Ghaziabad as well as Kash Medicos. Dr. Kaul specializes in fertility treatments like High-risk pregnancy care, Laparoscopic surgery, Natural cycle IVF, Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) procedure, Tubectomy, and Hysterectomy. She is practicing at SJM Hospital and IVF Center Sector 63 Noida. You can find details regarding her expertise and medical services on elawoman.com

SOURCES AND REFERENCES:

  1. Exercise during pregnancy for normal delivery Exercise, Elawoman - 2018
  2. Must know risk factors of pregnancy after 30 Pregnancy, Elawoman - 2017
  3. First symptoms of pregnancy you need to understand nausea or vomiting, Elawoman - 2017

1 Comment

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Sudhanshu Choudhury

Food digestion can be improved by taking very light food. Women should keep control on their carvings and they should indulge in healthy eating. Also, taking smaller portions of food at a time helps a lot.

Oct. 20, 2018, 5:51 p.m. 4.5

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