Remedies for Gas During Pregnancy

On an average a person is known to produce one to four pints of gas daily and this could even double in times of pregnancy. While there are a number of causes for the same, one of the main reasons moms-to-be complain of gas and bloating, is the high levels of progesterone produced by the body during pregnancy. The hormone progesterone is responsible for smoothing muscle tissue throughout the body in preparation for the nine months ahead. This also loosens the muscle tone of your gastro-intestinal tract and leads to unpleasant side effects such as gas, belching, stomach pain, bloating and flatulence. Things slowly begin to worsen as the baby continues to grow within the womb. Your baby starts becoming bigger and takes up more space only to push your stomach up into the abdominal cavity and this makes you feel more bloated after eating.

Rid of Gas and Bloating during Pregnancy

There are several ways to deal with the problem of gas during pregnancy. These include:

  • Consuming foods such as dairy products or beans can alleviate the problem and therefore, it is best that you either stop intake of such foods or limit the amounts you consume. There are some foods that are well-known gas producers such as beans, pulses, cruciferous vegetables like cabbage or broccoli, and carbonated beverages. If you are lactose intolerant or even slightly allergic to milk, the condition may be exaggerated during pregnancy due to the increase in the amount of dairy products you are meant to consume for your baby’s health and development. If this is the case, look into alternatives such as soy milk or rice milk instead. Your doctor may also prescribe calcium supplements if you can’t digest any form of dairy. Some women produce more gas after eating foods high in fructose. These include vegetables such as onions and scallions, fruits like pears and apples and even wheat. Drinks that contain fructose corn syrup should also be avoided when you are pregnant.
  • Avoid full-fat and deep fried foods if you suffer from gas and bloating. These foods are difficult to digest and tend to cause a build up of gas in the stomach and intestines.
  • Do not have three heavy meals in a day. Rather spread your meals out and have five to seven small meals throughout the day.
  • When eating, take time to chew your food properly and avoid eating too fast. Taking big bites of food and eating in a hurry or under stress can lead to the faster formation of gas in the stomach.
  • It’s not only about your eating habits either. When you drink water or juices, try and sip from a straw instead of gulping down the glass. This can help provide relief from bloating too.
  • One simple way to relieve gas when pregnant is to make sure you have regular bowel movement to prevent constipation. A diet that is rich in fiber can help in this matter. However, if you have not had too much fiber in your diet before your pregnancy, increase your intake in small increments at a time.
  • A simple home remedy to reduce gas and bloating during pregnancy is to soak a handful of fenugreek seeds in a glass of water overnight. The next morning, discard the seeds and drink the water to relieve stomach pain and gas.
  • Certain yoga poses such as Pawanamuktasana or Wind Relieving Pose can help reduce abdominal discomfort. Just remember to practice under the supervision of an experienced yoga instructor only as there are a number of yoga poses that are not recommended during pregnancy.

If gas and bloating is ever accompanied by symptoms such as abdominal cramps, blood in the stool, diarrhea, severe constipation, nausea or vomiting, contact your doctor or midwife as these are indications of another underlying medical condition that may require immediate treatment.