SolveYourProblem Article Series: Pregnancy
Pregnancy: Everything You Need To Know



Pregnancy and Having Gas: It's Normal

Gas is very normal during pregnancy. For one reason, the bacteria in the intestines are going crazy with your new and improved blood supply. These little buggers feed on the rest of your food as it passes along and make vitamins and air. So now that there are more of them to go around, they make lots of air. You may also have a bad case of the burps. With all the extra hormones causing you nausea and vomiting, it is not surprise you are taking in more air in your tummy as well. Most pregnant women suffer from bloating and increased gas in the belly at some point during pregnancy. Gas can cause abdominal pain or discomfort.

During pregnancy, hormones relax the muscles in your digestive tract. This slows down your digestion and can cause gas to build up. Gas leads to bloating, burping, passing gas, discomfort, and pain in the belly-especially after a big meal. Certain foods can make gas worse. But these vary from person to person. Some people naturally produce more gas than others. Some people get a lot of gas from foods that don't bother others. Donít despair; there are several ways to cut down on this plague.

Food and/or lack thereof, tends to be the number one culprit. Eating gas-producing foods will aid in the amount of wind you have. Not only do the bacteria get a treat but also these foods are just gassy in and of themselves. Things to avoid are some green vegetables like cabbage, broccoli, asparagus, and brussel sprouts. These likely to produce air on all fronts and you will find yourself burping and tooting away for hours after they are eaten. Beans and cauliflower are also common culprits. These foods contain a sugar that is a high gas culprit for many people. Also, it might be helpful to keep a record of what gives you gas so you know what to avoid and can still eat right. Sugary foods like fruit, sodas, and sweet fruit juices can also cause gas from time to time and should be limited if needed. Not having enough food in your stomach will cause you to swallow air, especially when nauseous. This will make you feel the need to burp, which in turn can make you get sick. Make sure you keep something in you at all times, even crackers will help. If you keep swallowing air and refuse to burp it up, it will travel through to the other exit and now you will have that problem. Eat small amounts of non-gassy foods to help keep the fronts calm.

What else can I do to get relief?

  • Eat several small meals throughout the day
  • Donít talk while you're eating and take your time and chew well
  • Limit your fluid intake during meals, you can make up for it in between meals
  • Drink from a glass, not a bottle or a straw, and don't gulp your beverages.
  • Cut out carbonated drinks.
  • Sit up while you're eating or drinking, even if you're just having a small snack.
  • Donít chew gum or suck on hard candies.
  • Avoid anything sweetened with Sorbitol
  • Exercise - even a brisk walk can help your sluggish digestive tract.
  • Avoid constipation, as it can increase gas
  • Practicing yoga this can help decrease constipation
  • If the above relief measures don't help, ask your practitioner if you can take an over-the-counter antigas meds that contains simethicone

The following suggestions may help prevent excessive gas:

Reduce the amount of air you swallow. Eat several small meals throughout the day instead of a few large meals. Don't eat in a hurry. Take your time, chew your food thoroughly, and don't talk while eating. Avoid drinking from a bottle or straw. Cut down on carbonated beverages. Don't gulp while drinking. Avoid chewing gum or sucking on hard candy.

Identify foods that bother you. Keep a food diary to help you find the foods that cause problems. Cut back on these foods, if possible, while being sure to eat a healthy diet. Cut back on fried and fatty foods, which can add to bloating. Ask before taking over-the-counter remedies. Talk to your health care provider before taking these, since some are not safe during pregnancy.

When to Talk to Your Health Care Provider:

If changes in diet and habits don't help, talk to your health care provider. Contact your health care provider immediately if:

Gas ever feels like labor contractions (coming and going regularly, every 5-10 minutes).

Gas pain is accompanied by blood in your stool, severe diarrhea, or increased nausea and vomiting.

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