Pregancy & Constipation
Answered by: Susan Eagles
Question from: Judy
Posted on: March 18, 2000

I am 8 weeks pregnant and suffering with amazing constipation and indigestion. I have been drinking 8 cups of water/day and have recently started taking "blonde psyllium seed" soaked in water. Is this safe for me to take in the long run? If not, what other herbal remedy can you suggest? My appetite is not what it should be and eating large amount of fruits and vegetables is so difficult right now. Also, any suggestions for nausea and fatique?

Constipation and indigestion are common problems in pregnancy. The following suggestions can help:

increase exercise. Take a brisk walk daily

eat at least five servings of fresh fruit and vegetables daily

consume 3 or 4 stewed prunes daily

eat only whole grain foods (no white or refined flour)

eat yogurt daily. A spoonfuls of yogurt with live bacterial culture, taken every few hours, ensures that the digestive system has the bacteria necessary for proper digestion and elimination

a glass of water with one teaspoon of fresh lemon juice at bedtime or first thing in the morning helps to relieve constipation

Avoid:

cheese, which can cause constipation

excess dairy products, red meat, fried foods and bread

Herbs:

Dandelion root is a mild laxative and digestive stimulant that is safe in pregnancy

Ginger is anti-nausea and a digestive stimulant which can be used occasionally in pregnancy

Simmer a teaspoon of dandelion root and fresh ginger in two cups of water for 15 minutes. Strain and drink one half cup three times a day.

German Chamomile tea promotes digestion and relaxation and is safe in moderate quantities in pregnancy.

It is normal to need more sleep during pregnancy. Make sure you are getting sufficient protein and other nutrients in your diet. Kelp and spirulina are nutrient rich and can be taken daily in pregnancy. A tea made from nettles, red clover and rose hips helps the circultation and is refreshing. If you are iron deficient, a herbal iron supplement such as Floradix should be considered.

Psyllium or flax seeds can be used, but must be followed immediately by two glasses of water to avoid blocking up the intestines.

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