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Lowdown on the down below

Hemorrhoids? Constipation? Horrible gas? No one said pregnancy was always ladylike. Get the lowdown on the stuff that can be so hard to talk about, let alone live through.
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Pregnancy changes your whole body, including your digestive system. Even before you get a positive test, you might notice your stomach is more easily upset than usual. Over the next nine months, there will be even more changes. Understanding can help you deal.

Ok. It was me. Pregnancy also makes the digestive process slow down. That helps you and baby get more nutrition from your food, but also lets foods spend more time fermenting in your stomach. And like a shaken beer, all of that fermentation can cause gas to build up. If flatulence is a big problem, it’s safe to take an enzyme-based anti-gas dietary supplement, or over-the counter anti-gas medications.

So, why can’t I go? Slowed-down digestion can also lead to constipation, which, in turn, can lead to hemorrhoids. Hemorrhoids are veins and connective tissues around the opening of the rectum that have become swollen or inflamed. The pressure from the baby’s weight in late pregnancy can also be a major aggravating factor. Take care not to strain or linger on the toilet — if nothing’s happening, try again later, and ask your health care provider to recommend or prescribe a stool softener.

Help for the pain in the... You may be able to prevent (or at least postpone) hemorrhoids by getting lots of fiber in your diet — experts recommend 25 to 35 grams a day during pregnancy. Drinking lots of water and taking a quick walk after meals can also help your digestive system keep moving.

For really severe hemorrhoids, try sitting in a tub filled with a few inches of warm water with a cup of Baking Soda. Medicated ointments and pads for hemorrhoids are also safe to use in pregnancy. And boy, they can be really helpful, too.

Sandy and Marcie Jones are the authors of Great Expectations: Your All-in-One Resource for Pregnancy & Childbirth. Order your copy from Barnes & Noble

An article from the HUGGIES® Brand

  • Rated 0 out of 5 by 79reviewers.
    Rated 0 out of 5 I FOUND THAT FIBER ONE WAS MY BEST FRIEND DURING PREGNANCY AND IT ALWAYS HELPED TO WAIT UNTIL YOU REALLY HAD TO GO BEFORE ATTEMPTING THAT WAY NOT TOO MUCH TIME WAS SPENT ON THE TOILET. THANKFULLY I NEVER EXPERIENCED HEMOROIDS BUT THIS WAS A VERY INSIGHTFUL ARTICAL. October 22, 2014
    Rated 0 out of 5 by I never really had this problem. If i feel I can not poop I eat lots of corn. Yummy fiber. September 21, 2014
    Rated 0 out of 5 by This is my 3rd pregnancy and by far the worst for constipation. Good article. August 17, 2014
    Rated 0 out of 5 by this is so different for me i have 2 boys 5 and 7 years old and both born during fall and winter so i dressed them in layers of clothing now my only lil girl and shes 6 weeks born in may 2014 and i just cant get enough of the spring and summer clothing .... my mother in law insist that shes cold and that i should layer her and put baby mittens and hats but why would they make so cute summer clothing is it wasn't meant to be worn? July 10, 2014
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