Keep your digestive system running smooth
Your growing baby puts a lot of pressure on your pelvic floor, the group of muscles that support your bladder and bowel. And keeping these muscles strong makes it easier to go to the loo, even if you’re constipated. Stand or sit in a comfortable position, then lift the muscles in your vagina and back passage up, and hold for one minute. Release these muscles in a slow, steady movement and repeat five times.
The pregnancy hormone progesterone smooths the muscles of your intestine, slowing digestion, which can lead to constipation. Eating oats, which contain both soluble and insoluble fibre, will speed things along and ease symptoms. For a no-hassle, yummy breakfast to kick-start your system, pop 40g oats, 50g live natural yogurt and a handful of frozen berries in a pot and refrigerate overnight.
KEEP A DIARY
Tummy ache? Wind? Gurgles loud enough to wake the neighbours? Your digestive system may start complaining as cravings, food aversions or a bid to eat more healthily alter your diet. You may also find you’re suddenly sensitive to foods you happily ate prepregnancy. All this can make it tricky to pinpoint what’s troubling your tum, but keeping a food diary and noting changes in the Pregnancy Tracker app (free, itunes.apple.com) will help you figure out what causes or worsens symptoms.
In your third trimester, the increased pressure on your digestive system from your growing uterus can also slow digestion, which allows gas to build up. If you’re feeling uncomfortable, this yoga stretch will help get things moving: kneel on all fours on the floor, then bend your arms so you’re resting on your forearms. Hold the position for five deep breaths.
Hormonal changes in your first trimester can leave you feeling bloated, so you’re reaching for those maternity jeans before you really need to. Swapping your usual cuppa for a mug of peppermint tea, such as Teapigs Peppermint Leaves can help. Peppermint encourages your stomach muscles to relax, easing that bloated feeling. It can also help with nausea.