What happens to digestion in pregnancy

What happens to digestion in pregnancy

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During pregnancy, especially as the weeks go by and the baby grows, the space left for the breast's organs decreases. The changes that the digestive system undergoes are the most significant in the entire body. During the third trimester the digestive tract is relegated to a minimal space, making its task more difficult, but the changes actually begin to take place from the first trimester. These are the changes in digestion during pregnancy.

- In the first trimester, the hormonal torrent that begins to flow through the body of the future mother has numerous connotations in the functioning of the digestive system, causing, for example, nausea and vomiting, heartburn or gas, very frequent symptoms during these first weeks. In addition, digestion begins to slow down much more, in an attempt by the body to get the most nutrients from the food consumed, to meet the needs of the mother and the fetus. Interestingly, the solution to these symptoms is usually not to let the digestive tract rest, and to offer food frequently so that it works slowly but continuously.

- As the pregnancy progresses, Nausea and vomiting problems are usually overcome, but others such as constipation and heavy digestions arise due to the pressure that the fetus puts on the end of the gastrointestinal tract, while gas and heartburn can continue throughout the 40 weeks.

By reviewing the stages of digestion, mouth, stomach and intestine, we can estimate how affected each of them will be due to the changes that occur in this phase of pregnancy.

- In the mouth, the increase in saliva causes food to break down much faster, facilitating that first step in digestion, while the decrease in its pH affects the gums, which can cause bleeding and inflammation.

- When food reaches the stomach, he finds that space has been drastically reduced, increasing the need to eat more frequently and in less quantity in order to provide the necessary amount of energy and nutrients for the mother and the growing baby.

- The small intestine and the large intestine they are the last stage of digestion. During pregnancy the muscles are more relaxed causing food to move very slowly through the intestinal tract, facilitating maximum absorption of water and nutrients - increasing the effectiveness of digestion - but increasing the risk of constipation. In addition, the pressure that the baby exerts on this part of the gastrointestinal tract also makes the expulsion of stool more difficult.

In general, increase drinking water is usually the solution to most digestive problems caused by pregnancy, in addition to alleviating the feeling of bloating and fluid retention.

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