Friday, 28 September 2007

Pregnancy Health - constipation

The GlowMama blog isn't only about maternity fashion. We also supply information and tips from experts on how to stay healthy during pregnancy. Naturpath Juanita Emmerton from Red Suva joins us this week to provide helpful advice on how to alleviate and avoid constipation during pregnancy.

Constipation, although a topic many of us would choose to avoid discussing, is extremely common during pregnancy, especially in the later stages as the baby grows and presses on the intestines. So what can you do?

Eat a diet rich in fibre, for example vegetables and salad greens and ensure you have enough soluble fibre in the diet such as apples which provide a food source for good bacteria in the bowel. Another fibre source is Slippery Elm. Slippery Elm is a fantastic herb which is safe during pregnancy and has a bulking action on the stools. It also soothes the mucus membranes of the gut which makes it great also for morning sickness.

Increase water as this helps to move the stools through the intestinal tract and prevents them from drying out and becoming “hard” to pass.

Avoid refined and highly processed foods as these can contribute to constipation and are devoid of nutrients. Instead, choose wholegrain foods, which not only are higher in fibre, but contain many important minerals in their husks such as zinc, magnesium and calcium.

Listen to your body. Never suppress the urge to move your bowels as this can further contribute to your constipation.

Snack on nuts and seeds as these not only provide a valuable source of essential fatty acids to help lubricate the bowels but are a rich source of calcium and magnesium and help keep your blood sugar more stable.

Exercise regularly. Walking and swimming internally massage the intestinal area and help move your stools through the intestinal tract.

These are just a handful of helpful tips that may provide you with relief from constipation during pregnancy. If the constipation does persist however please consult with your Doctor or Naturopath so they may provide more specialised assistance.

Red Suva is conveniently located in the same complex as GlowMama in Clayfield, Brisbane. Red Suva recently won the 2007 Quest Business Achievers Awards. Juanita can be contacted on phone 07 3357 6295, email or visit the Red Suva website at

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