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Bloating and Gas during pregnancy

Updated: Nov 21, 2022

Reviewed by Dr. Theertha Shetty [Obstetrician and Gynaecologist]

Bloating and gas are one of the most common discomforts of pregnancy. If not in the first trimester, in the later trimesters most pregnant mothers are bound to experience bloating and gas. The severity varies for each individual, but there might be some kind of discomfort, and you are not alone!


Progesterone levels increase during pregnancy, and this hormone relaxes your muscles, this includes muscles of your intestine too which in turn slows the digestion process. If your food is not digested properly, it can produce gas that in turn causes bloating.


Bloating is abdomen(abdominal) distention, you can feel it and see it visibly, like air filled balloon. This can cause a lot of discomfort in some women. Indigestion, constipation, eating gassy foods, fried snacks, and processed food, can lead to bloating or gas.


Our digestive tract begins with the mouth and ends with the Anus, so gas can escape either through burping or farting, depending on where the gas is formed. For example, if it is developed in the stomach, due to carbonated beverages, you will most likely burp. If it is developed in the intestinal tract by the normal breakdown of food, then it will become flatulence. If it is trapped via pressure or constipation, you may experience bloating.





What you can do to prevent or ease yourself?

Eat light.

Try to identify the foods that cause gas in your stomach. Some of the common gassy foods include bean varieties, cauliflower, cabbage, and broccoli.


Walking.

Can help relieve gas. If you move around slowly, it can help release gas.


Include fibrous food.

Fibrous food helps in digestion and also helps in constipation relieving you from bloating.


Hydration

Hydrate yourself. Eat fruits and include fluids in your diet to help in your digestion process.


Small meals.

Pregnancy can increase your hunger levels. You can opt for smaller meal options, and lighter snacks, keeping it easy on your stomach.


Relax.

Stress can aggravate the condition because stress can hamper the digestion process. The moment you are stressed, the body starts working towards relaxing, and now the focus has shifted from digestion to stress control. So, try to relax and not worry.


Massaging

Massage can help a lot! You can massage your body before bathing with any oil you regularly use. Slight massaging, do not apply too much pressure.


Laxatives

It can be helpful. Ask your doctor before you take any kind of laxatives. Your doctor can prescribe pregnancy-safe laxatives.


How to ease bloating or gas during pregnancy
How to ease bloating or gas during pregnancy

Warm water

Drinking warm water can be helpful for some. Try it once, if it is helping you can continue.


Comfortable clothing.

Get into comfortable clothing. Avoid tight clothing around your waist.


Prenatal vitamins.

If you were not taking prenatal vitamins before you got pregnant, you may notice that they cause even more pregnancy gas. This can be due to the sudden onslaught of nutrients hitting your system, which can slow down your digestive tract, leading to constipation and gas.


Iron supplements.

Iron supplements can lead to constipation, which in turn can contribute to pregnancy gas pain. Check with your doctor if you are observing this after you have started taking your supplements.



Note: bloating and gas might cause discomfort. But if you have severe pain in your abdomen, please call your doctor immediately to rule out any complications.


Foods that can cause gas are -

Beans, Lentils, Broccoli, Asparagus, Cabbage, Artichokes, Fibrous vegetables


When you should contact your doctor immediately?

Irrespective of the trimester, if you experience any of these symptoms, contact your doctor -


  • The pain increases and doesn’t stop

  • You have severe nausea and vomiting

  • There is blood in your stool

  • You have unrelenting constipation

  • You feel that you are having contractions

Expert Tips

Resources

Gas during pregnancy

https://flo.health/pregnancy/pregnancy-health/pains-and-discomforts/gas-during-pregnancy


How to ease uncomfortable pregnancy gas

https://www.thebump.com/a/gas-during-pregnancy


Healthline.com, babycenter.com, whattoexpect.com, verywellfamily.com





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