Postpartum constipation is a real thing and many women who hoped to get rid of the constipation after delivery may find themselves experiencing painful bowel movements for weeks after childbirth.
Constipation results from a lot of things but is worsened especially by sleep deprivation, lack of exercise, and unhealthy snacks & meals. While sleep and physical activity may not be things that you can control immediately, food choices can be made thoughtfully to help ease the situation. Here are a few tips in this regard.
Consume foods rich in fibre
Adding plenty of fibre to your diet is one of the easiest and most effective ways to avoid rigid and painful bowel movements. Fruits, vegetables, lentils, and whole grain cereals are fibre-rich foods. To increase your intake of fibre, begin with a cup of whole grain cereal and a piece of fruit or berries in the morning. During snack hours, munch on raisins or apples. Even better, grab a glass of yogurt smoothie (but mind your sugar intake) as probiotic bacteria found in yogurt keep your digestive system healthy.
Say no to fast foods
Fast foods fill the tummy easily and keep you full for a longer time. They are also easier to grab when you are left with little time after attending to your baby, but they’re definitely not your friends when troubled by constipation. Stay away from oily and fried foodstuff during meals or snack time, as they are not advisable when you are breastfeeding.
Drink plenty of fluids
Dehydration is known to cause constipation or worsen it. To prevent this, consume plenty of fluids. Drink at least 8 to 10 glasses of water every day. This will also help with the breastmilk supply. You could also drink juices of fibre-rich fruits like prunes. Stick to freshly squeezed juices than packed ones as the latter usually lack enough pulp and fibre which are necessary to soften stools.
Cut down caffeine
Caffeine can have a dehydrating effect on your system. When troubled by postpartum constipation, limit your intake of caffeinated drinks, soda, or tea. Also, cut out alcoholic beverages from your diet. This is even more important if you are nursing your little one.
Seek medical help
If your constipation continues in spite of adequate water intake and consumption of fibre-rich foods, speak with your doctor. Your doctor will advice you on your condition and remedies that are safe for you. Additionally, if you have had a C-section, discuss diet plans with your doctor, especially before consuming fibre-rich foods or laxatives. A doctor will be able to guide you through this period without being troubled by the side effects of diet changes or medication.