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Steps You Can Take to Avoid Stomach Problems During Pregnancy

Dr.Ayushi Bansal 126 Views
Updated: 13 May 2024
Published: 13 May 2024

During pregnancy, several physical and emotional aspects happen in your body. While awaiting your new baby brings numerous joys, other experiences make the pregnancy process daunting and uncomfortable, such as early pregnancy stomach pain. It includes multiple complications like: 

  • Nausea
  • Heartburn
  • Indigestion
  • Constipation

These problems occur due to hormonal imbalance, extra pressure on the abdomen, and changes in diet, among others. Fortunately, you can take some steps to facilitate better digestive health during your pregnancy.

10 Steps You Can Take to Avoid Stomach Problems During Pregnancy

Here are 10 actionable steps you can employ to prevent stomach problems during pregnancy:

  1. Eat Small, Regular Meals - 
    During pregnancy, your stomach produces more acid and may become more sensitive. When you eat large meals, you put pressure on your stomach and intestines, raising the risk of early pregnancy stomach pain. To avoid combatting your sensitive digestion, eat small meals regularly. You should have something every couple of hours to ensure your blood sugar levels remain stable and that you and your baby receive a constant supply of nutrients.

  2. Eat Foods High in Nutrients - 
    Certain foods are high in vitamins and minerals and fibrous foods that help support your baby’s growth and digestion. Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and plant-based proteins with healthy fats. Whole grain foods help nourish beneficial bacteria while also supporting your food waste. Pass up sugary snacks or refined carbohydrates.
  3. Stay Hydrated - 
    Sufficient hydration is essential not only for proper digestion but also for preventing constipation during pregnancy. You should aim to drink approximately eight to ten glasses of water daily and consume hydrating foods such as fruits and vegetables. Proper hydration can also help to soften stool, facilitating regular bowel movements and reducing the risk of constipation. If you dislike the flavour of plain water, you can infuse it with fresh fruit or enjoy herbal teas, such as peppermint or ginger, which can aid digestion.

  4. Avoid Trigger Foods - 
    Certain foods and beverages may aggravate stomach issues during pregnancy. Spicy, greasy, and acidic dishes, as well as caffeinated and carbonated drinks, may contribute to heartburn, indigestion, and nausea. Avoid food that causes complications with your body. Consider learning how to keep a food diary to keep track of your symptoms and speaking with a registered dietitian for individualised dietary recommendations.

  5. Mindful Eating - 
    Mindful eating requires paying attention to the body’s hunger and fullness cues while savouring each bite. Eating slowly and mindfully reduces the risk of overeating. Eating too quickly places a strain on your digestive system, leading to an increased risk of stomach problems. Therefore, eat slowly and remember to chew your food as much as possible to relish the experience without any diversion. Similarly, avoid eating while looking at your smartphone or watching TV.

  6. Manage Stress - 
    Pregnancy is an exciting period but also quite stressful. High-stress levels may significantly affect digestive health. They may further deteriorate conditions like indigestion or irritable bowel syndrome. To reduce stress and ensure proper digestion, adopt stress-reduction behaviours, such as deep breathing, prenatal yoga, meditation, or any gentle exercise. Choose the exercises that make you relaxed and happy and practise them daily. Also, engage in self-care activities you like and enjoy, and seek personal support from your partner, relatives, or friends.

  7. Stay Active - 
    Regular physical activity can facilitate digestion and eliminate constipation during pregnancy. Perform low-impact exercise, such as walking, swimming, or yoga, to move your body and increase bowel function. Consult your physician before starting physical activity during pregnancy, listen to your body, and never overburden yourself. Strive for at least 30 minutes of exercise at moderate intensity most days of the week. Incorporate physical activities that you like and feel comfortable doing.

  8. Consider Probiotics - 
    Probiotics as health-friendly bacteria can help keep a balanced environment in your gut flora and may assist in alleviating digestive issues, including constipation or diarrhoea. Discuss taking a probiotic supplement with your prenatal care provider or consume natural probiotic-rich food, such as yoghourt, kefir, sauerkraut, or miso.

  9. Sleep on Your Left Side - 
    You may experience better digestion when you sleep on your left side while pregnant. Sleeping on your left side also reduces the risk of heartburn and acid reflux. That is because gravity prevents stomach acid from flowing back into the oesophagus. This might decrease night time discomfort and improve sleep quality. While sleeping on your side, use pillows to raise your belly and legs. You may want to experiment with different sleeping positions to figure out which one is most comfortable for you.

  10. Consult Your Healthcare Provider - 
    Speak with your healthcare provider immediately if you believe you have severe gastrointestinal problems. Your healthcare provider can provide personal recommendations and treatment to improve your quality of life and your child’s health. Certain specialised measures they recommend include treatments.

    You can get over the counter or prescribed medications to manage certain digestive problems or be directed to other physicians. Discussing your misconceptions or questioning your health team is necessary to address your digestion issues during pregnancy.

Final Thoughts

Stomach problems are almost inevitable during pregnancy, but by adhering to the above steps and adopting proactive measures, you can minimise the inconvenience associated with them and take care of the health of your digestive system. Navigating digestive health challenges during pregnancy becomes smoother and more bearable by doing so. 

However, remember to keep in touch with your doctor to figure out what may work for you and prioritise your overall well-being. Preventing digestive discomfort helps you focus on preparing for and connecting with your new baby. 

If you’re a pregnant mother and want to give your baby the healthiest life possible, then get screened for potential problems early on! Book a full-body test at Pathkind today and secure your baby’s future!

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