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Digestive discomfort during pregnancy.

Excerpt from I Want A Healthy Pregnancy -- journal entry, pregnancy week 11: "Although no one can really tell I'm pregnant yet, I feel like my insides have gone on strike. My digestion seems to have taken a backseat to all the baby-making stuff. I'm constipated, bloated and very uncomfortable. It feels like whatever I eat just sits there doing nothing."

Before I had kids, I read in a health book that when it's time to push your baby out during labour, 'other things' come out too; basically you're pushing out the baby as well as the contents of your colon. I was horrified. "That's disgusting," I thought, and I hoped to God that I would be the exception to that rule.

But the truth is that it's very difficult to separate digestion from pregnancy or birth.

As soon as you find out you're pregnant, the whole digestive system starts getting affected. That's why I'm dedicating a whole chapter to digestion so that you know (like I eventually did) that digestion and pregnancy are forever intertwined. The healthier your digestion, the more smooth-sailing you'll have throughout.

When you're pregnant, your whole digestive tract gets pushed upwards, which can create a lot of pressure and discomfort. Also, digestion tends to slow down when you're pregnant so that food stays longer in your intestines for better nutrient absorption.

Furthermore, the whole muscular structure of the digestive system relaxes due to the increasing levels of pregnancy hormones circulating. The result is various digestive symptoms that may differ in severity from one woman to the next.

l Quick digestion tip: If you are bloated, think more carefully about the foods you are eating. Eating foods which you are sensitive to can make you bloat, and the biggest suspects are wheat and dairy (e.g. cheese sandwich or cereal with milk).

Do you get digestive discomfort when pregnant? Get great tips from my latest book I Want A Healthy Pregnancy, sold in bookstores around Bahrain or online at Amazon, iTunes or Kindle store. The Arabic version is due out this month so stay tuned! For more info, visit

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Publication:Gulf Weekly
Date:May 29, 2013
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