It sounds like you need some fiber in your diet!!
You folks ready to talk about poop?
During pregnancy, most people sort of cycle between total constipation and total diarrhea. Expect constipation. Progesterone is a great hormone for pregnancy because it relaxes smooth muscle (the type of muscle the uterus is made out of) so that it doesn’t contract and expel the pregnancy. Good thing, right? But guess what else is smooth muscle? Your bowel. So when high levels of progesterone relax your bowel, it doesn’t have the same oomph behind it to poop it out. You’ll be sitting on the pot, straining and feeling bloated, and all you’ll do is give yourself hemorrhoids. So what should you do about that? I really suggest trying to get your poop schedule a little more frequent to begin with, at least so that you can figure out what does and does not work for your body in case you get constipated when you are pregnant.
- Drink at least 8 glasses of water a day. You need fluid to keep your poop flexible and moist enough not to either hurt you or just get stuck.
- Eat at least 6 fruits or vegetables a day. Let’s imagine that scenario: banana with breakfast, peach midmorning for a snack, apple at lunch, 2 carrots at lunch, side salad and a serving of kale with dinner. Easy!
- Switch all your carbohydrates from simple, white carbs to complex carbs. For example: no more white bread. Switch to multi grain. Eat high fiber breakfast cereals (they’ll say if they are on the box). Try whole grain spaghetti.
- Add legumes to your diet - that means more black beans, more kidney beans, lima beans, lentils. They are so high in fiber. You’ll be wowed.
- Switch from fruit juice to fruit.
- Add nuts and seeds to your diet. For example, walnuts in a salad, or sunflower seeds for a snack. Remember, though, nuts and seeds are also quite high in fat, so maybe keep the portion size small here if that’s concerning to you.
Ok, so you’ve done that, but you’re still not pooping the way you want to. Let’s kick it up a notch:
- Make yourself green breakfast smoothies. The taste is going to take a little getting used to, and it can be expensive to buy so many fresh fruits and veggies, but the impact on your poop is pretty impressive. A smoothie recipe, for example, might include: 2 cups of spinach, 2 cups water, 1 cup pineapple, 1 cup mango, and 2 bananas. Pop them in a blender and WOW. Delicious. Or try:
- 2 cups kale and dandelion greens, fresh
- 2 cups orange juice, fresh squeezed
- 2 cups strawberries
- 2 kiwi
- 1 bananas
- 1 lemon, squeezed
Go here for more recipes.
- Still not pooping enough? Try adding in fiber supplements like Metamucil, Benfiber, Fibercon, etc. Find instructions for that here.
Important note: a sudden increase in fiber in your diet can cause you to have stomach aches, lots of gas, and feel bloated. Increase your fiber slowly by starting with the simpler methods listed above, and give everything a week or so to show its effects before moving on to the next intervention.
So how much should you poop? Everyone has a number of poops per day or per week that’s normal for them - each gut is slightly different. The very basics, though, are that you should poop at least 3 times a week, and between 1-3 times a day.
Good luck deciding to parent!!