It is one of those unpleasant symptoms, we will speak bluntly: we are talking about belching, farting and bloating and flatulence. And it always happens at the most inopportune moments. It can be embarrassing and uncomfortable when you experience more than normal gas production. Everything is due to the increase of the hormone called progesterone, a process that occurs at the beginning of pregnancy.
Progesterone (as well as relaxing) relaxes soft muscle tissues throughout the body, including also the digestive duct, unfortunately. This slows down the digestion resulting in creating more gas in the large intestine, since foods that are not being fully digested by the enzymes.
How can I help relieve gas during pregnancy?
- Below is a list of ideas that can help you alleviate some of the pain and the amount of gas you create.
Eat regularly; Prefer to have several small meals during the day instead of more plentiful and less frequent dishes.
- Eat and chew slowly and avoid talking or swallowing while you eat.
- Drink between meals instead of during meals, and when you do it from a glass rather than in a bottle or with a light bulb.
- Avoid drinks with gas.
- Support legs in relief to relieve abdominal pressure and help digestion
- Sit up straight while you eat or drink.
- Avoid wearing tight clothing or belts; Prefer comfortable and loose clothing.
- Avoid chewing gum or sucking hard candy
- Avoid artificially sweetened products and beverages (often in diet drinks)
- Exercising can help – try walking around the block after eating for about 20 minutes or so.
- Peppermint tea is safe and can provide relief
- If you tend to be anxious or tense learn relaxation techniques or do some activity like Pilates (which is also good for creating strength) or yoga.
Slower digestion can also result in constipation, so avoiding this is a good idea. You can do this by increasing fiber intake slowly, and by drinking more water. Fresh fruits and vegetables can also help. If you need extra help, you can also use some fiber supplements during pregnancy, but you should check with your doctor, midwife or pharmacist.
Foods to avoid if you have gas or flatulence
Some foods are known to cause gas, so you might find out which one might be causing you problems and start dropping them; You could also take record of the food you eat in order to detect the culprit (s). Sugar fructose is found in some of the following foods and is something to be avoided:
Beans and other legumes
Milk and cheese
Fatty and fried foods can slow down digestion, so try to avoid them as much as you can.
Does the extra gas affect the baby?
This has no effect on the baby, but if you notice any pain or have severe cramps, you should consult your doctor or midwife.