The biology of a woman’s body is nothing short of incredible. However, a woman’s body does take strain during and after pregnancy. We look at five possible digestive problems new moms can experience post-birth and how to deal with them.
According to Dr E Francisco, constipation is one of the most common ailments during and after pregnancy due to the physical changes and stress of pregnancy. “The vitamins you take during your pregnancy can cause you to be constipated while the hormonal changes in your body can cause your digestive system to slow.” This continues to happen after you give birth. In order to resolve this issue, Dr Francisco suggests you go back to simple solutions. As a new mom, it’s easy to forget to eat a balanced diet between sleepless nights and the adjustment to motherhood. But it’s important to ensure you increase your fibre intake and make sure you stay hydrated and eat lots of fruits and veggies.
Wind and faecal incontinence
You might think flatulence is part of pregnancy, but it can easily continue after giving birth. “Due to the movement of your organs while pregnant, wind is something patients often complain about post-pregnancy,” explains Dr Francisco.
Problems with flatulence can be linked to faecal incontinence. According to Dr Francisco, this is due to the birthing process. “If you tore during birth, or doctors had to intervene with suction during the birth, it sometimes causes damage to the valves of your anus”.
Unfortunately, the damage to your pelvic floor could be the culprit behind this. Seek medical advice if you suspect this. In worst case scenarios, it has to be resolved with surgery.
“Hemorrhoids are a problem both during and after pregnancy. Some patients have heard about hemorrhoids, so many don’t want to push too hard while passing a stool, which leads to constipation,” explains Dr Francisco.
Hemorrhoids can be treated and it’s nothing to be ashamed of.
As a new mom, it can be hard to control stress levels. It is an overwhelming change in your life as you try to balance your new role as a mother. Stress can easily be overlooked as the cause of problems, but it can lead to an array of symptoms.
Dr Francisco says, “Stress can cause everything and anything. Patients can complain of one bout of diarrhoea and then constipation next. This is an example of irritated bowels − mostly to due to stress”.
“It’s one thing to be pregnant and another to have a baby. Now you have to be responsible for this baby. When you give birth, your whole life changes. It can cause various gastro-intestinal symptoms.”
Never underestimate your level of stress and how it affects your body as a new mom. Try to be easy on yourself and ask for help.
The annoyance of heartburn during your pregnancy might not leave you post-pregnancy. A few dietary and lifestyle changes can help alleviate the symptoms, otherwise pay a visit to your doctor.
Our experienced editors work with trained journalists and qualified experts to compile accurate, insightful and helpful information about pregnancy, birth, early childhood development and parenting. Our content is reviewed regularly by our panel of advisors, which include medical doctors and healthcare professionals.