Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) During Pregnancy

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) During Pregnancy

Although irritable bowel syndrome can make you feel uncomfortable but this digestive disorder is unlikely to affect your pregnancy or cause any harm to your baby. IBS can causes cramping, bloating, constant abdominal pain, constipation and diarrhea.

In some cases, women find that being pregnant improves their IBS symptoms. This maybe because of the protective effect of high hormone levels. However, other women find their IBS symptoms become worse during pregnancy. There is no sure way of knowing which way it will go. Pregnancy is a time when you need to watch what you eat. With IBS in the picture, you need to be extra careful.

Pregnant With IBS?

Depending on your symptoms, you can manage your IBS by taking the following steps:

  • Check for the food triggers. Foods like wheat and dairy products, onions, and apples are common culprits. Caffeine can also be one of the triggers for IBS. Cut back on problematic foods for a few weeks before reintroducing them one by one to see whether they cause any symptoms. During pregnancy, it is best to take advice from a qualified dietitian to ensure you’re getting a balanced and healthy diet.
  • If you are experiencing diarrhea due to IBS, try increasing the amount of soluble fibre in your diet by eating more oats, barley, root vegetables such as carrots, green beans and potatoes and fruits such as bananas, kiwi and raspberries.
  • If you are experiencing constipation, have lots of fluids and eat more insoluble fibre, such as wholegrain cereals, wholegrain bread, and nuts and seeds (except golden linseeds). If you are facing problem with wheat, choose gluten-free wholegrain substitutes or try rice bran or oat bran.
  • Do regular exercises, such as brisk walking, light jogging, or swimming. This may help to improve your digestion and bowel activity.
  • Stress can make make IBS worse, so avoid them if possible. You can also try to relieve stress using relaxation techniques such as yoga or by exercising or by doing physical activities.
  • Keep yourself hydrated as fluids improve the bowel movement. Drinking warm water in the morning is especially recommended.

If the IBS symptoms is not controlled in time, it can be harmful for your pregnancy. If diarrhea continues for long, it may lead to serious problems like preterm labour. Constipation is detrimental for the health of muscles, tissues and nerves in your pelvis. In extremely rare cases, uterus can slip out of place. Women with IBS are also at a greater risk of miscarriage.  

For all pregnancy related information download Pregnancy Health, Diet and Fitness by Ango!