During pregnancy most women experience gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms of one kind or another, from nausea and vomiting, to reflux, or diarrhea and very commonly constipation. These symptoms can be caused by hormonal fluctuations, medications, diet changes, lack of physical activity, stress, dehydration and anatomical changes.
When the baby comes, for some, GI function and motility may return to normal relatively quickly, for others, they may be dealing with haemorrhoids, new sleep cycles, more medications, and other factors exacerbating their symptoms.
With constipation being the most common GI complaint we hear of during the post partum period, our nutritionist shares her top tips!
FIBRE - eat plenty of fibre rich plant foods (fruit, vegetables, wholegrains, nuts, seeds, legumes) at every meal. Inclusions may be:
Breakfast: chia pudding, oatmeal/granola, nuts, fruit, wholegrain toast, prunes or prune juice.
Lunch: brown rice, quinoa, cooked veggies.
Dinner: sweet potato, barley, beans, lentils, more veggies including dark leafy greens.
WATER - we all know it, but we all need the reminder. Drink. More. Water. Aim for 2-3L per day. The body likes warm or room temperature water, not cold from the fridge. Add some lemon/berries/mint to make it more appetising. Herbal teas are also great.
MOVEMENT - this doesn’t mean going out for a run or a gym class before you are ready. This means a gentle walk or stretching, to improve circulation.
RELAXATION - take time for you, don’t fill every moment that the baby is sleeping with work-like-tasks. Take a bath, lay down, close your eyes, listen to some music, breathe, meditate.
IRON - Ask your health practitioner for a non-constipating supplement
Our menu at The Whole Bowl Co. is rich in fibre rich plant foods to help keep the gut happy and you stay regular! We have had reports of our oat-lactation cookies producing perfect poos! Really!