Bloating and gas are a fairly common occurrence during pregnancy. This may cause some discomfort, but be reassured that there are ways you can find relief from the bloating and gas that frequently accompany pregnancy.
Why Does Bloating and Gas Occur More Frequently?
While you are pregnant, it is not unusual for bloating and gas to be a bit more intense or excessive. This is primarily due to the increased levels of progesterone your body produces when you're pregnant. Progesterone has a relaxing effect on the muscles of the body and your intestinal muscles are affected as well. Your digestion will slow down and gas will build up which causes bloating, burping and passing gas. You also may notice an increase in gas in the third trimester. This is typically due to the pressure on the abdomen from the growing uterus.
How to Deal With Bloating and Gas While Pregnant
It is inevitable that you will experience bloating and gas throughout your pregnancy. It may be an intermittent issue or a more consistent problem. A few ways that may help you deal with it include:
- Being able to recognize if certain foods may be triggering the gas and bloating.
- Keeping a food diary to track what you've eaten and how you feel afterward.
- Drinking more water will keep your digestive system moving which will help prevent potential constipation and bloating.
- Eating smaller meals and eating those meals slower will help keep you and your baby well-nourished and help manage your gas as well.
- Eating an appropriate amount of fiber can prevent constipation. But be careful, if you go overboard with your fiber intake, gas issues may occur.
- Exercising (mild or moderate) can help stimulate digestion.
- Reducing your stress levels can be especially beneficial in helping with stress-induced gas during pregnancy.
How to Relieve Bloating and Gas
There are a number of ways you can get some relief from bloating and gas during pregnancy. This would include over-the-counter and home remedies such as:
A few over-the-counter recommendations may include:
- Phillips Milk of Magnesia Liquid Laxative can provide relief from bloating due to constipation.
- Colace is a gentle stool softener that may help with bloating and gas.
- Gas-X Extra Strength Chewable Tablets will provide relief from gas.
- A fiber supplement, such as Metamucil or MiraLAX, can help relieve constipation which in turn will help with gas.
It is always recommended to check with your doctor first before taking any over-the-counter medications.
The following are a few natural remedies that may help with your bloating and gas:
- Herbal teas such as chamomile or cardamom will help soothe your digestive system.
- Lemon juice in hot water will stimulate the digestive system and decrease the bloating.
- Fenugreek seeds soaked overnight in a glass of water. The next morning discard the seeds and sip on the water.
- Crush coriander seeds into a powder and mix in a cup of hot water. Drink only after you strain the water.
- A teaspoon of fresh ginger juice and honey will help with bloating.
How to Prevent Bloating and Gas
A few suggestions on how to help prevent or reduce bloating and gas include:
- Avoiding salty, fatty, and greasy fried foods.
- Eliminating or cutting back on certain foods such as, sugary, rich, buttery foods or sauces, cabbage and onions. Even healthy foods can increase gas such as asparagus, beans and cauliflower.
- Eliminating or reducing drinks that are carbonated.
- Limiting or avoiding artificial sweeteners.
- Not using a straw when drinking.
- Not wearing tight, constricting clothing around your waist.
When You Should Talk to Your Doctor
You should talk to your doctor if your bloating and gas are accompanied by:
- Severe, intense pain that lasts longer than 30 minutes.
- Premature labor (contractions) at 36 weeks or earlier.
- Diarrhea that lasts for 2 days or more.
- Constipation that lasts for a week or more
- Blood in your stool.
- Nausea and vomiting.
You Can Manage Your Bloating and Gas
Experiencing discomfort from bloating and gas is an unfortunate but relatively normal issue that occurs during pregnancy. While bloating and gas can be troublesome and perhaps at times a little embarrassing, you can be reassured that it can be managed and it will not affect the baby.