Can I Have Colonic Cleansing While Pregnant?

Q: I have done some research about colonic cleansing during pregnancy, and have not been able to find the answers I need. Can I have colonic cleansing treatments while I am pregnant?
Expert Answer

The symptoms of many gastrointestinal disorders, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) can become more severe during pregnancy, leading many women to seek additional treatment. It is not advisable to take the majority of medications during pregnancy, in case they cause harm to your unborn child, and this is the reason why increasing* numbers of women are choosing to undergo alternative therapies such as colonic hydrotherapy. Changes in bowel habits often occur as a result of pregnancy, and this is even more common in people who have gastrointestinal disorders.

Colonic Cleansing While Pregnant

There are different types of colon cleanse, and they have a range of side effects that you need to consider. Not all methods should be undertaken during pregnancy, and you should always inform your therapist if you are pregnant. You may find that you cannot have the treatment immediately, as some are not advisable during the first few months of pregnancy. Colonic hydrotherapy may be carried out during pregnancy, but it is usually recommended that this does not take place during the first twenty weeks, when the development is absolutely crucial and the mother should avoid anything that may impact negatively on this. After twenty weeks, assuming that it is a straightforward pregnancy, this is perfectly safe. However, if there are any complications, it should be avoided until after the birth.

Women in the later stages of pregnancy are more likely to seek colonic cleansing than those in the first trimester, due to the fetus pressing on the gastrointestinal system and causing the symptoms of constipation. This is the safest time to undergo the procedure. However, if you are planning to breastfeed, you may want to wait until after the baby is weaned before you undertake any detoxification procedures, as they can affect the nutrients in the body.

If you are not keen on the idea of colonic hydrotherapy, then there are other forms of cleansing that can be used as an alternative. However, these are unlikely to be suitable for use during pregnancy. Laxatives, which are commonly prescribed for people suffering from constipation, can lead to side effects such as stomach cramps, diarrhea and dehydration, all of which can have adverse effects on the unborn child. Although some laxatives can be purchased over the counter, the majority need to be prescribed by your doctor, and he or she will be reluctant to do so during a pregnancy unless the symptoms are extremely severe.

If you are experiencing symptoms of constipation during your pregnancy, then it would be advisable for you to make changes to your diet, rather than undergoing any form of colon cleansing. Drinking more water and other non-caffeinated fluids will help to soften the stool and encourage it to move more easily through the digestive tract. Eating foods that are high in fiber, such as fruit and vegetables, will also bulk out the stool, making it form into larger, softer pieces that are much easier to pass. Constipation usually results in small, hard lumps of feces that can be painful when moving along the colon and through the rectum.

If you have any further questions about colon treatments that you are able to have while you are pregnant, then you should speak to your doctor, obstetrician or colorectal surgeon. They should be able to provide any additional information that you may need in order to make the right decisions for you and your baby.

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Expert Author : Lisiana Carter (Consumer Health Digest)

Lisiana Carter has been a freelance health writer for over ten years having written books, blogs and articles. She is the author of a number of websites and teaches people how to enter the freelance writing field.

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