What is digestion?
Digestion is the process of breaking down food and drink into smaller molecules of nutrients to be absorbed into the blood and carried to cells throughout the body, so that the body can use those to build and nourish cells, and to provide energy.
Changes may occur in the digestive system during pregnancy
Pregnancy hormones do affect the digestive system. The hormone progesterone, often causes smooth muscle relaxation, slowing of digestion in the stomach and the small and large intestines. The gallbladder is also affected with delayed emptying which can lead to the gallstone formation. The growing uterus itself can affect the digestive system, as it can press on or even block parts of the digestive tract. This can slowed the movement of food and constipation.
Appetite changes in pregnancy
Many women have appetite changes in pregnancy, such as:
1. Increased hunger
2. Decreased appetite
5. Nausea and vomiting
A few of them develop pica, which is a rare craving to eat things other than food, which includes things like dirt, clay, or coal. This craving may mean there is a nutritional deficiency.
Types of digestive problems during pregnancy
One should learn what causes the pregnancy digestive system disorders like indigestion, heartburn, flatulence, belching, constipation, and haemorrhoids, and what she can do to minimize them.
• Heartburn or Indigestion
Heartburn is a burning feeling which starts in the stomach and seems to rise up to the throat. As a prevention expectant should eat several small meals each day instead of three large meals and eat slowly. Drink warm liquids. Avoid fried, spicy, or rich foods, or any fatty foods that seem to give indigestion. Shouldn't lie down right after eating.
Most of the digestive problems of pregnancy starts with constipation. This condition is universally common for pregnant women. The iron supplement is known to make stools dry and difficult to pass. One can do many things to avoid constipation. Such as, drink lots of fluids, like water and fruit juices. Eat fibre-rich foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes. Exercise regularly.
Haemorrhoids are commonly a mass of swollen tissue at the opening of the rectum. Straining during a bowel movement to pass hard stools can cause this issue. To keep one’s stools soft and moving easily through bowel, she can follow this tips. Do not strain during bowel movements. Do not stand still or sit for very long periods of time. Move around, change position. When all else fails, must consult with her care provider.
• Flatulence and Belching
The problem of flatulence is caused by a build-up of gases in the large intestine. Belching is the sudden expulsion of gases from the stomach. Constipation and certain foods can cause these problems. To avoid this embarrassment and pain or discomfort, first avoid constipation and steer clear of known gas producers, including beans, onions, fried foods, cabbage, broccoli and Brussels sprouts.
• Nausea and Food Aversions
Up to 90% of expectant women experience some form of food aversion, nausea or vomiting during pregnancy. The most common food aversion women can experience is aversion to proteins.
Increasing fluids, regular exercise, and increasing the fibre in one’s diet are some of the ways to prevent pregnancy digestive system issues. Always ask healthcare provider before taking any medicine for this condition.