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Fibre During Pregnancy: What to Eat During Pregnancy

Fibre During Pregnancy: What to Eat During Pregnancy

Many women experience digestive tract problems during pregnancy. These range from constipation to hemorrhoids. These problems can be easily minimized or eliminated by having enough fibre during pregnancy. A well-planned diet including a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, peas, beans and lentils, nuts and seeds will help you reach the recommended daily fibre intake of 28 grams. For most digestive problems, there's a simple explanation and a way fibre can help to alleviate it.

Digestive Disturbances 

Each trimester brings with it changes to your body, and therefore new cravings, new eating habits and new strains on the digestive tract. Here are some of the things you might experience over the course of your pregnancy:

First trimester 

Even before you're wearing maternity clothes, you may have some nausea, food aversions, or cravings that can disturb the normal digestive process. Any change in your diet can keep you from being regular.

Second trimester 

The hormone Progesterone has kicked in by now. This relaxes the smooth muscles lining the digestive tract. Slower digestion can result in constipation. 

Third trimester 

Your growing baby is now engaging and pressing on some of your internal organs and blood vessels, making your digestive system work less smoothly than you'd like. Elimination can become difficult, sometimes leading to hemorrhoids. 

Fantastic Fibre

Fibre is part of a healthy diet, and can be a real asset in keeping you regular. Maintaining an active lifestyle and making sure you drink at least 8 glasses of fluids each day, especially warm or hot liquids, can also help relieve the discomfort of constipation. Fibre is only found in plant foods, and there are two types, each with a different function. 

Insoluble fibre is the type that helps keep the digestive system in good working order. This natural laxative helps soften stools (making elimination easier) and speeds up the movement of waste material through the digestive system so you can avoid constipation. Good dietary sources include whole grains, wheat bran cereal, vegetables, fruits, and dried peas and beans.

Soluble fibre  helps lower blood cholesterol levels and regulates blood-sugar levels. You should aim to make about 10 grams of your daily fibre intake soluble fibre. Good dietary sources include fruits, vegetables, oats, barley, dried peas and beans and psyllium fibre. Here's what to eat during pregnancy to help take advantage of fibre.

Fibre-rich snacks

One serving

Amount of fibre per serving

125 mL / ½ cup / 30 g flaked bran cereal

5.0 g

166 g / 1 medium pear     

5.0 g

140 g / 1 medium apple                   

2.6 g

70 g / 2 slices whole wheat bread   

6.2 g

60 mL / ¼ cup raspberries               

2.0 g

173 g / 1 medium baked potato with skin

4.0 g

Remember: Aim to eat 28g of fibre each day.

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