Updated: Oct 30
Constipation can be tricky to manage... especially for moms.
We are so busy chasing kids around, working, or both, it can be difficult to maintain our bowel health.
This, coupled with anxiety, can result in a bloated and unhappy gastrointestinal tract (GI).
But that's not all, constipation can create hormonal imbalances as the GI tract is how we excrete excess hormones.
When we are having difficulty fully emptying, we will end up reabsorbing those unwanted hormones.
This is not just a problem in new moms. It's actually a gigantic issue in all chronically stressed, busy and anxious humans!
Any simple google search on managing constipation is going to tell you to drink water, eat foods with fiber, and maybe take a stool softener or magnesium.
Although those are helpful tips that I often recommend as well, it can be more complex than that.
So here are my 5 tips for healing constipation!
1. Sleep. Sleep is an incredibly important component of GI health. The less you are sleeping, the less you are digesting and moving food through the gastrointestinal tract. If you're a new mom with a little baby, don't worry. Aiming to sleep between 10 PM- 2 AM will give you the most bang for your buck as far as REM sleep. Not an option? I totally get it. Sleep as much as you can and hold on tight. This will get better.
Move. Gentle movement such as walking or yoga can be helpful to open up tight muscles and get your GI moving in the right direction. Strive for 30 min a day of light to moderate movement.
Relax Your Pelvic Floor. If you are in a full-blown kegel ALL DAY, and squeezing your anal sphincter is second nature to you, then your are probably having trouble relaxing on the toilet when it comes time to poop. Pushing stool out through a tight pelvic floor can result in hemorrhoids, fissures, pain with pooping, incomplete poops, pencil thin stool, and overtime it can lead to prolapse. Getting pelvic floor physical therapy is important to make sure you're doing it right. Also, getting your feet up on a stool or squatty potty will help the muscles relax.
Belly Massage. If you are not rubbing your belly, it's time to start! Gentle belly rubs on a regular basis can help manually move stool through your GI. Start with a broad palm on the bottom right of your belly and gently massage circles around your belly button from right to left. Do this 5 minutes every evening and reap the rewards!
Spend time on the toilet. We are moms, not many of us have time to camp out on the toilet. Unfortunately, hurrying out poops along will work against us. We don't poop well when we are stressed and tense. I recommend sitting there for 5-10 minutes, breathing deeply and trying to relax. I know this is the hardest one! But it's important. When we rush through pooping we are more likely to experience difficulty completely emptying and can increase straining.
Try these tips for constipation, and if you're still having trouble don't hesitate to reach out to us a book a session.
Relaxing your pelvic floor can be more challenging than it sounds, and we often need expert guidance to help us understand what this looks like and how to do it.
Ready to get help? Book your session here today!