How to Handle Stress During Pregnancy

Pregnancy Stress

(GI) distress during pregnancy is nothing new. The normal stresses of pregnancy are morning sickness, cravings, constipation, cramps…and gas. Have you experienced these symptoms? We’re going to dive into the causes behind these uncomfortable symptoms now.

Let start with the causes. There’s not one problem causing a pregnant women’s GI issues.

  • Changes in hormones
  • GI motility disorders
  • Poor diet
  • Physical internal changes as the uterus grow
  • StressT
  • Food intolerance or allergy

The influx of progesterone during pregnancy slows down digestion. The placenta produces gastrin, increasing the gastric acidity of mom’s digestive tract, causing heartburn. Nearly 40-85% of pregnant women experience heartburn. 

The body changes a lot during pregnancy. The uterus enlarges and the growing fetus compresses the abdominal organs, causing physical changes. This results in compression and displacement of the abdominal organs (intestines and stomach). The lower esophageal sphincter, decreases its tone, allowing gastric contents to move up into the esophagus. Gastric pressures at the end of pregnancy increase the potential for gastroesophageal reflux.

What should you do to help combat these uncomfortable symptoms? You should increase physical activity, and maintain a healthy well-balanced diet. You also might want to  limiting acidic foods. Consider reducing tomato-based products, coffee, and citrus.  Keep a food log and recording how you feel after each meal. Doin this will be helpful in determining which foods make you feel sick.

Lastly, drink adequate amounts of water (10-12 cups)  and eat the daily recommendations of fiber (25-30g). Here are some examples of high fiber foods: 

  • Lentils
  • Broccoli
  • Beans
  • Chia Seeds
  • Avocado
  • Blackberries
  • Almonds
  • Apples
  • Bran
  • Barley
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Whole Grains

If physical activity doesn’t move things along, TUMS may help combat the feelings of discomfort.   Contact your doctor before taking any medications, especially during pregnancy.

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