How to Deal With Gastrointestinal Disorders While Pregnant

Pregnancy can have its ups and downs, both emotionally and physically, and dealing with Gastrointestinal Disorders (GI) during pregnancy can be very stressful. GI issues are some of the most common complaints from expectant mothers, and they tend to take place in a high percentage of women. Fortunately, there are some natural ways to help alleviate GI symptoms during your pregnancy.


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    Document all of your GI symptoms in a health journal. The most common GI complaints are constipation, belching, flatulence, nausea and vomiting.
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    Include a detailed food log in your journal. Pay attention to when your symptoms develop so that you can determine if there is a correlation between them and the foods you eat.
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    Drink plenty of fluids. Aside from the importance of staying hydrated during pregnancy, drinking fluids is a good way to alleviate constipation; constipation tends to be a sure sign that you aren’t getting enough fluids in your body, especially during pregnancy. Being pregnant increases your body’s fluid requirements, and it is especially important to listen to your body during pregnancy.
    • Drinking fluids tends to soften stool, making it easier to pass. Also, keeping your body well hydrated during pregnancy can help boost sluggish bowels, a common side effect of pregnancy.
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    Start a mild exercise routine. If you have not exercised prior to the pregnancy, consult with your physician and ask if you can start a mild exercise program. Exercise helps every part of the body to work more efficiently. It allows for more optimal oxygen distribution to the various areas of the body that need it most, including those that are responsible for digestion.
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    Take in a high-fiber diet. Eating lots of fruits and vegetables will provide your body with all of the nutrients it needs to maintain a healthy gastrointestinal system. Fruits and vegetables are high in fiber, which acts as a natural, gentle laxative. Unlike synthetic laxatives, the natural laxative effect of eating high fiber fruits and vegetables will not harm your baby, and in fact, will provide him with an abundance of nutritious vitamins and minerals.
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    Schedule an appointment with your physician if you experience itching or sharp pain at the opening of the anus or rectum. The cause is likely hemorrhoids, another very common problem among pregnant women. If your doctor confirms that the itching or pain is caused by hemorrhoids, follow any suggestions she may have. Perform as many home remedies as possible to help alleviate the discomfort.
    • Purchase a specially designed pillow that is made for people suffering from hemorrhoids. These pillows have a hole in the center, reducing the surface area that your bottom will come in contact with, making it more comfortable for you to sit.
    • Be sure to get enough fiber and fluids. Aside from the pressure of a growing fetus, constipation is one of the leading causes of hemorrhoids. Follow the above steps on how to deal with constipation.
    • Check with your doctor and see if any of the topical creams sold over the counter at pharmacies and drugstores are safe to use during pregnancy. These creams can help reduce or eliminate the pain, itching, and inflammation associated with hemorrhoids.
    • Try not to strain during bowel movements. Straining tends to put undue pressure on the anal opening, causing hemorrhoids to appear. If you already have hemorrhoids, straining can make them worse.
    • Avoid sitting or standing for long periods of time. Doing so can place added pressure on the rectum. You will want to move around and switch positions frequently throughout the day.
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    Avoid eating foods that cause flatulence and belching, such as beans, broccoli, fried foods, onions, and cabbage. Keep track of the foods you eat and eliminate those that seem as if they are contributing to the problem. Constipation can be a major cause of flatulence, so be sure to follow the steps above. Unfortunately, beyond that, you don’t really have many options. It is just something that occurs more often during pregnancy as a result of the pregnancy hormones.
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    Take precautions to avoid nausea and vomiting during your pregnancy. Although nausea is one of the most common side effects of pregnancy, you do not have to suffer through it. There are steps you can take to help alleviate morning sickness and queasiness in general.
    • Avoid spicy foods. Hot peppers and other fiery foods can irritate your esophagus and cause heartburn, which often leads to nausea.
    • Avoid greasy foods. Stay away from fatty and fried foods that serve no purpose during pregnancy. Aside from being unhealthy and devoid of nutritional value, these foods are heavy on the stomach and can cause nausea and vomiting.
    • Eat lots of healthy carbohydrates. Opt for whole grain breads and muffins, brown rice, oatmeal or cereal. Carbohydrates naturally coat the stomach and can help alleviate nausea during pregnancy.
    • Suck on sugar-free lollipops when nausea strikes. Doing so will increase saliva, which helps prevent nausea and vomiting.
    • Fill up on ginger. Ginger is known for its anti-nausea effect and is a popular natural remedy for expectant mothers. Drink ginger tea, suck on ginger lozenges or eat some crystallized ginger.
    • Purchase a set of homeopathic sea sick wrist bands. These are tiny cloth bands that are worn on the wrist. They help alleviate nausea by applying mild pressure to trigger points that are associated with nausea and vomiting. Although some women report no improvement of symptoms when wearing these, many expectant mothers swear by their effectiveness.
    • Speak with your doctor about possibly starting anti-nausea medication if none of the tips above work for you. Your doctor will weigh the risks of taking medication during pregnancy versus suffering with severe GI distress that can lead to complications during the pregnancy.


  • When suffering from GI issues, it is important to try to find the most natural approach to dealing with symptoms.
  • Remember that sometimes there is nothing you can do to alleviate GI symptoms during pregnancy. Fluctuations in hormones and a growing baby can wreak havoc on your body. Take comfort in knowing that everything you are experiencing is temporary, and your body will likely return to normal after the baby is delivered.


  • Always speak with your doctor about any GI issues that develop during pregnancy. While it may seem like a normal pregnancy side effect, it is best to have your doctor rule out any other possible causes.

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Categories: Pregnancy