Written by Pradeep
The beautiful experience of being pregnant is associated with some tough times as well. Feeling bloated or gassy during pregnancy is one such situation. Bloating is a condition characterized by presence of too much gas in digestive tract and makes you feel uncomfortable and restless.
But no, pregnancy is not the only time you pass gas – you’d be surprised, and perhaps relived, that an average person passes gas about 14-22 times every day. Pregnancy just happens to multiply the number of times you pass gas(fart). And if it isn’t flatulence, gas would exit through belching or burping.
In This Article
Are you wondering what makes you produce so much of gas now? From hormones to meals and foods, when pregnant, you could feel bloated and gassy owing to the combination of the factors mentioned below:
The progesterone hormone released during pregnancy is known to make the smooth muscles lax, thus the digestive process also slows down. Consequently the food in the digestive tract stays for a long time, in fact the food stays in the intestine goes up by 30% . This makes you feel bloated and gassy, causing frequent flatulence and burping.
Expectant mothers feel hungry every now and then. They exercise less and eat more-the inevitable consequence is weight gain. This can make you bloated and chubby.
Presence of high blood glucose level during pregnancy is called gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes is more frequent in the third trimester of pregnancy and can make you feel bloated.
The major risk factors of gas, flatulence and belching are constipation and indigestion, along with some degree of heartburn.
In later months of pregnancy, the enlarging uterus exerts pressure on the digestive system and retards the process of digestion. This is the major cause of bloating in second and third trimester.
As a matter of fact, you can be sure of a pregnancy only if you have tested positive for it. But because gas and bloating coupled with constipation in early pregnancy is quite common, hence it can also be regarded as a pregnancy symptom. However, it may be said here that a normal woman too passes gas and may experience bloating any time – pregnant or not pregnant.
When one swallows air, or when the food is incompletely digested by enzymes in the stomach and the small intestine, gas and flatulence may be causes. Most of the gas in the digestive tract is a result of swallowing air, though gas is also produced when bacteria in the large intestine break down the incompletely digested food.
Certain carbohydrates lead to slower digestion and cause gassy and bloating feeling. Some fats can also slow digestion and thus contribute somewhat to a gassy you.
Here are some time proven effective home remedies that can mitigate gas and bloating without any side effects during pregnancy:
Avoid the sweetened juices and carbonated drinks as they contain fructose corn syrup and can cause bloating. Do not eat slimming foods because they have gas-producing sorbitol.
Instead of going all on in a single meal, break your meal times into 5 or 6 smaller, healthier meals. Do not gulp food, chew properly. Do not talk during chewing food.
If you are not sure what causes flatulence and bloating, maintain a food diary and identify the culprits. You can either avoid or limit their intake henceforth.
Fiber enriched foods are helpful in digesting foods and in facilitating the formation of stools. Some examples of fiber-rich foods are carrot, apples, whole grains, leafy vegetables, rice, yams, etc. These foods regularize bowel movements and remove gas and bloating at bay. So eat a lot of fiber rich fruits and vegetables.
Pregnant women should avoid heavy strenuous exercises. Light exercises such as walking is ideal for them. You can walk for 15- 30 minutes in the morning and after dinner. Sitting for long hours will make you feel more bloated and gassy.
Certain yoga asanas can be very effective in helping you to get rid of gas and flatulence during pregnancy. You can try joining a yoga class to learn about them.
During pregnancy be very particular as to what you eat. Consult your nutritionist and make a list of healthy food articles. Always eat fresh fruits instead of processed or frozen ones. Avoid packaged beverages as they are unhealthy.
In Indian households the age old solution of gas is fenugreek seeds. Simply take a spoon of fenugreek seeds and soak them in water for 6-7 hours. Remove the seeds and drink the water to keep flatulence and bloating at bay.
Excess of tension or stress is also responsible for gas production because when you are tensed, you take in lot of air. Besides bloating, stress can also have adverse effects on the health of the expectant mother as well as the newborn child.
Cleanse your digestive system by drinking 10-12 glasses of water every day. Try having as much as possible in the day to avoid tripping to the bathroom in the night. Whenever you drink anything, drink from a glass or a cup, refrain from using a straw or drinking directly from a bottle.
Opt for cotton clothes that are soft on the skin and let them be a bit loose. Try not to wear clothes that are tight on the belly or have a button or two on the abdomen.
[Read : Maxi Dresses During Pregnancy]
You need to have a balanced, nutritious diet during pregnancy, but you also should keep a tab on what and how much you are eating. Having big meals could cause you to feel bloated. Some foods will cause gas in anyone, pregnant or not. Eliminating them all may not be the perfect solution because you do need all the vital minerals and vitamins. However, you could keep a tab and identify certain foods which really make you uncomfortable when eaten in smaller quantities as well. Most of these foods would contain a sugar called raffinose which makes a lot of people gassy.
Following is a list of food items that contain raffinose and cause gas when eaten:
Gluten-rich fiber food is broken in small particles in large intestine. They usually take long to digest.
Wheat, potatoes, corn can also cause gas in some people. Besides this greasy or fried fatty foods also take long time to break down and digest.
Sodas and fruity, fizzy drinks are packed with empty calories and can cause gas. Other foods, chewing gum, alcohol, coffee, dairy products and artificial sweeteners are also known to cause bloating. Please note that drinking alcohol and smoking are not recommended during pregnancy.
[Read : Soft And Fizzy Drinks In Pregnancy]
Flatulence or bloating does not cause any potential harm to the baby who lies well-protected by the amniotic fluid in the uterus. However, if you feel that gas is more like abdominal cramping, or you spot blood in your stools. Call your doctor immediately.
If you experience any of the following conditions accompanied with indigestion, immediately consult your doctor without a delay:
Keep these healthy tips in mind and enjoy your pregnancy!