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How To Pull The Plug On Constipation

 
Woman Toilet Sign. Kiria Vandekamp
 
Today we´re gonna talk about a very intimate topic.

Constipation.

Honestly honey, do you feel very sensous when you are constipated?

I bet you don´t.

Anything that has to do with our excretion is usually quite a taboo in our society & in many relationships. But many women are suffering from constipation.

Especcially in pregnancy it can get worse or maybe appear for the first time.

This is due to the hormone progesterone (supports gestation=makes sure you stay pregnant) which slows down the muscle contractions that normally move your food through your intestines. Progesterone not only calms your intestines but also your uterine muscles which constist of the same type of muscles as your bowels. Those two organs often work together as a team & affect each other.

Later in pregnancy the pressure from your uterus on the rectum may also contribute to the problem.

If you are supplementing iron additionally things get worse & you can easily feel bloated & full without being able to go to the toilet regularly (meaning once a day minimum). If it is really hard work to get your stool out & you are pressing a lot it can even lead to nasty hemorrhoids. Not at all sensuous, girl.

Pre-pregnancy coffee addicts or smokers that have quit due to being pregnant are oftentimes missing the stimulus of the morning coffee/cigarette to easily clear their bowels in the morning.

Air freshener is man’s pitiful attempt to have his food smell as good, after digestion, as they did, before ingestion.
― Mokokoma Mokhonoana

And now during the holiday season it can become even worse because we´re usually not eating very healthy during these days. Lots of sugar & white flower, chocolate, lots of meat, often less exercise & we usually eat way too much.

But our digestive health is very crucial for our overall wellbeing. If your digestion is not working properly it´s no fun. Our gut is a primary line of defense in our immune system & also affects our primary nervous system – altering our moods, keeping our mental acuity sharp, affecting our memory, and more.*

Bowel movements are also a way of clearing & cleaning our system to get rid of waste products we don´t need & that could even be harmfull if they are staying too long in our body. It´s a bit like not taking out the garbage when it´s full. We know it is neccessary and has to be done regularly.

As a pregnant woman you don´t want to overload your organism with a constipated bowel, your body has enough other things to take care of. And often when you take care of your digestion your skin gets better, too, if you were having spots.

Happiness for me is largely a matter of digestion.
― Lin Yutang, The Importance Of Living

If you want to find out whether you are in good digestive health or not you might want to take ask youself questions like:

– Do I have a bowel movement at least once a day?
– And can I let it go with ease?
– Do I get a lot of gas after meals?

And if you want to know it in more detail & are not squeamish you can take a look at the Bristol Stool Chart to find out whether or not the consistency of your stool is acceptable (type 3 and 4 are the normal ones).

Click here to see the Bristol Stool Chart at Wikipedia to choose your Poo 😉

 

And since it is my mission to help you feel more sensual in your pregnancy & birth I am going to give you 20 tips & tricks to get rid of your constipation (HINT: those could also be helpfull postpartum) plus one of my favorite recipes to prevent and treat constipation forever.

 

You can get the pretty downloadable PDF version HERE

 

20 Tips & Tricks

To Pull The Plug On Constipation

 
1. Drink more water. Your body needs at least 2 liters (66.66 fl.oz.) of fluids per day & those shouldn´t consist of soda. Good water or unsweetened tea is excellent.

2. Increase movement. Exercise. Do pregnancy yoga. Take a walk every day. Ride your bike. Dance to you favorite songs for 30 minutes. This will not only help you get rid of your constipation but is an excellent birth preparation & lifts your mood.

3. Fresh fruit & veggies should be part of your diet daily. I recommend choosing organically grown food as much as you can.

4. Increase your fiber intake with whole foods, whole grains, foods with roughage, spinach, cabbage, bran, brown rice, oatmeal.

5. Fresh Whole Grain Muesli. Last but not least cause this is really my favorite one.
In the evening take 3-4 tbsp of shredded grains (I usually use a mix, the fresher the better) into a bowl, add a few dried fruit (maybe cut into pieces) & just about cover it with water. Let it soak overnight. The dried fruit give it some natural sweetness so you don´t need extra sugar. In the morning add about a tbsp of lemon juice & some cream or cream alternative. Et voila! You can add nuts (in the evening or in the morning) or fresh fruit. Try this for a couple of days for breakfast. It tastes good & should do the work.
 

 

6. Hot water. The Ayurveda recommends to drink a cup of boiled water on an empty stomach (drink it as hot as possible). Then you take a deep breath. After you´ve exhaled you hold your breath & pull your upper belly in slightly a couple of times. Then you exhale. (Should your belly get hard doing this, don´t do it.) Drinking hot water is an important aspect in the ayurvedic diet. In ancient texts it says “water is medicine for everything”. You can drink it throughout the day & with your meals to help keep your digestive system in order. You can add a little bit of lemon juice & maple sirup if that makes it easier for you.

7. Green Smothies. This is a great way to include more raw fruit & veggies into your diet. There are thousands of tasty recipes in the net for you to explore & find your favorite ones. Do include some greens & not just fruit. Too much sugar & the greens are great for fibers.

“A smoothie a day keeps constipation away”. – Kiria Silke Vandekamp

8. Flax seed/Linseed. You can put it in your muesli or cereal (whole seeds or shredded), into your salad, onto your veggies or chew a spoonful raw. Chew until it becomes really paste-like & drink a big glass of water afterwards. Chia seeds & fleawort/psyllium also work very well. You can also use flaxseed oil, it contains the highest level of the omega-3 fatty acid ALA among vegetable oils and is rich in antioxidants.

9. Avoid sugar & white flower. Period. They are constipation boosters. Sorry, honey.

10. Sauerkraut juice. Have a glass in the morning. Can also try plum juice.

11. Raw sauerkraut. Some like to mix it with pineapple.

12. Milk sugar. If you´re not lactose intolerant or allergic to milk protein you can add 1-4 tbsp to your cereal, muesli, yoghurt, juice or tea. It´s a white powder you can get in most supermarkets or drugstores. It activates the establishment of the enteric flora & the body doesn´t get used to it.

13. Try dried fruit with a big glass of water (otherwise they enhance constipation) like figs, dates, apricots, prunes (may cause bloating). You can also soak them over night & eat them in the morning or put them in your cereal.

14. Ca-Po-Fla-Wa. Put 1 teaspoon caraway, 1 potato peeled & hackled, 2 tsp flax seed (whole seed) in 1 liter water (33.33 fl.oz.) & cook for 20 minutes. Drink throughout the day. (I translated the name from the German “Kü-Ka-Lei-Wa”)

15. Buttermilk. If you drink & like dairy you may also try this in the morning.

16. Warm apple juice. Gently heat a cup of apple juice. The fresher the better.

17. Osteopathy. If constipation is a chronic problem for you, you might want to consider an osteopathic treatment for your belly & pelvis. This could be very beneficial for the birth too and is a gentle & natural method.

18. Pelvic floor exercises are a great way to enhance your digestion.

19. Do not use laxative agents or teas. They are contraindicated during pregnancy & might possibly cause contractions. And they are not really a good solution.

20. Relax. This is probably the most important tip. Cut out some stress factors. Eat regularly. Make time for relaxing things. Create enough stress free toilet time. Don´t get stressed by this list. Start by choosing 1 to 3 tips to try out & see if it helps you (I recommend to always include the drinking enough part). If not try another one. Relax. Smile. Everything´s gonna be fine. Om.

 
You can get the pretty downloadable PDF version HERE

Talking about unpleasant things during a meal is not good for digestion, not good for health.
― Betty Jamie Chung

 

Before I let you go on with your X-Mas preparations I have another song from my Sing With Me Series for you. I have combined Peter Makena´s “There is so much magnificence” with “Hallelujah” and I sing it to the sound of George Winston`s “Variations on the Kanon of Pachelbel” from his beautiful album “December”. It´s a little low for my voice but then, it doesn´t have to be perfect, it´s just supposed to be fun. So, before you get busy again, take a short singing break with me, create some feel good oxytocin & smile.

You can also find it on my FOR YOU page.
 
If you liked this post LIKE it & share it with your friends & tell me in the comments what you think about it & if you´ve tried out some of the tips.
 


 

Love and Pleasure Kiria

 
 

* from “beautiful babies” by K. Michaelis

 


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