Early Pregnancy Constipation: Is It Gas?

By Ashley | February 12, 2010
Pregnancy - It'S A Gas!

Pregnancy is that time of a woman’s life when one could be forgiven for thinking that the body is actually rebelling against one. There are changes that range from the skeletal to the hormonal and this in addition to some of the psychological changes that one can suffer. Gastrointestinal problems that can occur during pregnancy are primarily caused by the occurrence of constipation. This is because of the effect of the pregnancy hormone in women called progesterone. This hormone is initially created in the corpus luteum of the ovaries during the first trimester but the secretion of this hormone switches to the placenta after that. Once the center of production changes, the amount of secretion jumps to very high levels.

Gas is one of the side-effects of increased progesterone production because progesterone increases the amount of water that is absorbed from the colon into the blood stream. When this happens, feces that is normally created ends up being harder than usually and ends up plugging up the intestines.

Constipation During Pregnancy

This is simply constipation and has to be relieved by taking laxatives. An increased intake of vitamin C is also quite useful in tackling the problem because vitamin C in high amounts is known to reduce some of the effects of excess progesterone secretion. Note that progesterone secretions should not be tampered with in the first trimester as it could cause a miscarriage. Increasing vitamin C intake is something that should only be attempted during the other trimesters. The other major cause of gas is the reduced space available in the stomach. Gas is normally produced during the course of digestion but since there is normally an adequate amount of space to accommodate gas this doesn’t really get noticed. However, during pregnancy, the digestive organs are compacted and squeezed together. This causes the available space for gas to become significantly reduced.

When the volume of space available for gas expansion is reduced, bloating and flatulence results and this causes the more visible signs of gas. Dealing with this problem requires that you consume foods that are not so fiber rich because these types of foods are not easily digestible and have to be broken down by bacteria in the colon, which results in gas. It is also a good idea to get you fiber requirements from wheat instead of cellulose and plant material. Cellulose is a complex sugar that can only be broken down by stomach bacteria and will cause gas.

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