Different Types Of Enemas For Pregnant Women

By Patricia | June 18, 2009

Constipation is a very common problem that many women complain about during pregnancy. You may experience this symptom right from the first trimester and it will probably worsen, as the pregnancy progresses to the third trimester. Fortunately, there are several ways by which you can ease this problem.

Several women also ask their doctors if it is alright to cure constipation with the help of an enema during pregnancy. Enema is a procedure in which fluid is sprayed into your rectum, in order to empty your bowels. To administer an enema, you will need a kit that contains a water bag, a nozzle and a hose. Some hot liquid is filled in the bag and passed through the rubber hose as well as the nozzle, which you need to insert into the rectum. There are several different types of enema that you can choose from, such as Fleet enema, Tap Water enema, Coffee enema and Yogurt enema, to name a few. This is one of the most common colon cleansing techniques adopted by men and women around the world.

However, it is absolutely essential to check with a doctor before using an enema during pregnancy.

Is an enema safe during pregnancy?

There are a few pregnant women who have used an enema during pregnancy for relieving constipation and have gone on to deliver healthy, normal babies. However, the safety of using an enema during pregnancy depends entirely on the trimester you are in.

Spraying hot water into the digestive system during pregnancy is not safe, especially in the first trimester. Some health experts claim that the use of an enema in the first trimester of pregnancy could lead to complications or even a miscarriage.

The use of an enema in the third trimester is not safe either, as it could induce labor. In fact, all women are given an enema just before childbirth, in order to get rid of any obstructions in the birth canal. Using an enema in the third trimester could cause you to go in to premature labor.

This does not mean that enemas are absolutely safe in the second trimester. It is important to check with a doctor before getting one administered.

Types of enema

Enemas are commonly used by people for cleansing the bowels and easing constipation. There are several different types of enemas that you can choose from, depending upon your age, preference and the purpose of the procedure. Given below are some of the most common enema types -

  • Barium enema: Mainly used for enhancing colon visibility during a medical exam
  • Coffee enema: Generally employed for detoxifying the body
  • Mineral oil enema: Useful in curing fecal impaction
  • Soap suds enema: Often used for cleansing the rectum
  • Yogurt enema: Best known for treating soft constipation and irritable bowel syndrome
  • Sodium phosphate: Used for cleansing the rectum for a medical test

While it is best for an enema to be administered by a medical expert, several people are quite adept at using an enema at home, with or without any assistance.

In case you have no option but to take an enema during pregnancy, it is best to opt for a soap-and-water one. Also make sure that the enema is administered by a qualified nurse after the approval of your doctor.

Alternatives To Enemas in Pregnancy

During pregnancy, the use of laxatives or enemas should be considered as the last option, i.e., if the constipation is severe and does not get better with the help of natural remedies. Some of the safer alternatives for managing constipation during pregnancy include -

  • Drinking more than 8 glasses of water and other healthy fluids (like coconut water) during the day
  • Increasing the amount of fiber-rich foods you eat, which include vegetables, fruits and whole grains
  • Getting at least half an hour of exercise every day, as physical activity helps regulate the bowel movements to some extent
  • Practicing safe relaxation techniques such as yoga, meditation, aromatherapy, reflexology or deep breathing exercises
  • Using a mild stool softener to moisten bowel movements.
  • Cutting down on unhealthy practices such as smoking, drinking and the use of recreational drugs.
  • Foods that contain refined flour should be strictly avoided. This includes white bread, cakes, cookies, pies, doughnuts, pastries, pasta, white sauce, and so on.
  • There are some varieties of meat, which are difficult to digest and are not easily processed. Therefore meats, like beef, pork, mutton, veal and venison should be strictly avoided by pregnant women.

In most instances, constipation during pregnancy is hardly a cause for concern. However, do consult your doctor in case the problem is severe.

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