Why am I suffering from digestive issues during pregnancy?

Are you suffering from stomach pains, cramps and bloating during pregnancy?

Are you suffering from stomach pains, cramps and bloating during pregnancy? Don’t worry, you’re not alone!

Poor digestion can be a regular occurrence during pregnancy due to an increased sensitivity of the nerve endings in your gut. Doctors call it ‘Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

What is Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a condition affecting your digestive system that may cause you many uncomfortable symptoms, ultimately impacting the functioning of your bowel. This condition can not be cured but the way your stomach is feeling won’t be permanent and can be treated and monitored with the right advice.

The main symptoms you may notice are:

  • abdominal pain
  • bloating
  • diarrhoea or constipation and/or
  • excessive wind

These symptoms can be embarrassing and distressing, and are usually triggered by an infection, food intolerance, stress or your hormonal changes. During pregnancy your gastrointestinal tract is already under immense pressure, and IBS can cause significantly more strain and stress within your body.

It is easier said that done, but it is important not to worry. Unfortunately stress only aggravates IBS symptoms, increasing their intensity. It is important to lessen your stress in order to help you and your baby thrive. To help lessen the burden of these digestive issues, seeking guidance from a specialist dietitian who understands and will help you to tackle this debilitating condition is definitely a good idea.

How can I get help?

These symptoms can be addressed with the help of a specialised prenatal dietitian.

Firstly, seek guidance from a specialist dietitian can who help you address the root of your condition. Discussing your future goals and medical history, as well as assessing your current diet and physical activity can help to pin-point any triggers.

Secondly, after your initial consultation your specialist dietitian will work closely with you to provide dietary support through creating a tailored nutrition plan to help alleviate your IBS symptoms and address any other dietary problems you may be experiencing.

Lastly, seeing a specialised dietitian will help to keep your IBS symptoms in check as well as reduce the risk of possible complications. If you suffer from severe and constant diarrhoea it can lead to nutritional deficiencies and increased risk of preterm labour. Constipation can affect the muscles, tissues and nerves of your pelvis which in severe cases can increase the risk of miscarriage.

Being proactive and taking charge of these uncomfortable symptoms can make a big difference to enjoying your pregnancy. Working alongside your specialist dietitian to gain knowledge and support will help ensure that you and your baby are in good health throughout your whole pregnancy journey.