Am I Getting Enough Fibre?
Feeling bloated and gassy? You must be newly pregnant! Many women are prone to constipation during pregnancy. Fortunately, you can keep things running smoothly with a fibre-rich pregnancy diet.
If you’ve been struggling to poop, you are not alone. Constipation is a common complaint among pregnant women. Really, you can’t help it because your growing baby is putting a little pressure on your gut! (American Pregnancy)
In fact, during pregnancy, your body experiences increased progesterone levels. This causes sluggish bowel muscles, so waste stays in your large intestine for longer. As a result, your body reabsorbs water from the stools, making them firmer and harder to pass2.
Easing the Huffing and Puffing
Introducing fibre – the part of the plant that the body can’t digest. As fibre moves through the body, it helps other waste pass through more efficiently. Constipation can also be a result of not drinking enough water2 to meet increased fluid needs3.
By reaching your daily fibre goal, you can keep your digestive system running smoothly1. You can also minimise the discomfort by eating more fibre, drinking plenty of fluids and staying active.
Types of Fibre
There are two types of fibre: soluble and insoluble. Insoluble fibre does not dissolve in water and does not break down in the body. Instead, it passes through your system, absorbs water along the way and helps other foods move through.
Like insoluble fibre, soluble fibre also absorbs water. Soluble fibre makes stools softer and easier to pass.
How Much Fibre Do I Need?
Research suggests that most people aren’t getting the recommended 18 g of fibre per day4. During pregnancy, you will need up to 28 g a day8.
Key sources of fibre1 include:
• Bran and wholemeal wheat flour — used in breakfast cereals and bread
• Brown rice
• Root vegetables, such as carrots and potatoes
• Dried fruit including apricots and figs
If you think you aren’t getting enough fibre, here are some simple fixes to increase your intake. For instance, choose wholegrain versions of foods such as bread, pasta, cereals and rice, or add extra vegetables, nuts or seeds to your meals. Leaving the skins on your fruit and vegetables where possible is also a good idea.
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Questions about feeding and nutrition?
Our midwives, nutritionists and feeding advisors are always on hand to talk about feeding your baby. So if you have a question, just get in touch.