Pregnancy

Gas During Pregnancy

Excessive gas formation is a common problem that women face during pregnancy. Gas during pregnancy is mainly caused by progesterone that relaxes the smooth muscle in the body. This includes the digestive tract. The relaxation of the digestive system slows down the processes that lead to unpleasant or embarrassing sounds and smells that is bloating, flatulence and burping.

Causes of Gas During Pregnancy

Excessive gas can be extremely uncomfortable, and could involve heartburn and constipation. As pregnancy progresses, the metabolism slows down  resulting in gas, constipation and heartburn.

There are other reasons for the gas build-up.

  • While eating, air gets trapped and swallowed causing bloating and burping.
  • Another reason is due to bacterial growth in the intestines releasing gases while metabolizing food. This comes in the form of flatulence.
  • Many complex carbohydrates cause gas because they are refined and stay undigested in the intestines.
  • Finally, having food intolerances can cause much discomfort.

Tips to Avoid Gas During Pregnancy

  • The simplest way to avoid gas is to eat well and exercise properly. Be aware however, that some healthy foods are culprits of gassy feelings.
  • More calories are needed to feed mom and baby. Eat more often in smaller meals.
  • Take time to eat slowly.
  • Drink between the meals and not with the meals. Also, skip the straw and drink out of a glass.
  • Avoid drinking carbonated drinks, sodas and caffeinated drinks. Keep away from artificial sweeteners.
  • Suck on hard candy but do not chew gum as it results in swallowing air.
  • For easy digestion, rest legs on a higher stool or chair.
  • Chew some fennel seeds after meals.
  • Maintain good posture, especially while eating.
  • Avoid heavy meals before going to bed. Keep two or three hours between meals and bedtime.
  • Drink peppermint tea as it has a soothing effect on the muscles of the digestive system. It can relieve the discomfort of gas and bloating.
  • Wear loose, comfortable cotton clothes and avoid wearing tight fitting clothes at the waist.
  • Do not smoke
  • High fiber diets are excellent, but remember to drink plenty of water as high fiber diet can cause constipation, flatulence or gas.
  • Take a time out if a tense situation arises.

Foods Causing Gas

Some foods that are healthy can trigger a gassy reaction. These do not need to be eliminated, but eaten in moderation:

  • Asparagus
  • Bananas
  • Beans
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cauliflower
  • Cheese
  • Ice cream
  • Peaches
  • Milk

If after following these tips, gas is still a problem, consult a doctor for further treatment.

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