Digestive Difficulties


Many pregnant women complain of constipation. High levels of hormones in your pregnant body slow down digestion and relax muscles in the bowels leaving many women constipated. Plus, the pressure of the expanding uterus on the bowels boosts the chances for constipation.

Try these tips to stay more regular:

  • Eat fiber-rich foods like fresh or dried fruit, raw vegetables, and whole-grain cereals and breads daily
  • Drink eight to ten glasses of water everyday.
  • Avoid caffeinated drinks (coffee, tea, colas, and some other sodas), since caffeine makes your body lose fluid needed for regular bowel movements.
  • Get moving. Mild exercise like walking may also ease constipation.

Heartburn and Indigestion

Almost every pregnant woman experiences indigestion and heartburn. Hormones and the pressure of the growing uterus cause this discomfort. Pregnancy hormones slow down the muscles of the digestive tract. So food tends to move more slowly and digestion is sluggish. This causes many pregnant women to feel bloated.

Hormones also relax the valve that separates the esophagus from the stomach. This allows food and acids to come back up from the stomach to the esophagus. The food and acid causes the burning feeling of heartburn. As your baby gets bigger, the uterus pushes on the stomach making heartburn more common in later pregnancy.

Try these tips to prevent and ease indigestion and heartburn:

  • Avoid greasy and fried foods.
  • Eat six to eight small meals instead of three large meals.
  • Don’t gain more than the recommended amount of weight.
  • Take small sips of milk or eat small pieces of chipped ice to soothe burning.
  • Eat slowly.
  • Ask your doctor if you can take an antacid medicine.