Bloating during pregnancy is one of the most common discomforts that you might experience. It is so common that you might even consider that bloating and pregnancy have to go together. However, bloating can be quite uncomfortable and sometimes even painful. A variety of factors is causing the issue, including your diet and hormonal changes in your body.
Finding relief should be your main goal if you experience bloating and painful gasses. The issue might even persist after giving birth, so you should be prepared for that too. In some extreme cases, you will have to contact your doctor to get appropriate medical help.
What is Bloating?
Bloating is caused by excessive gas or unusual movement of muscles in the digestive system. Everyone gets and passes gas. Your intestines break down the food that you eat and the gas is there during digesting serving as the natural bacteria in your stomach. However, air can also get to your body through talking, breathing, laughing, drinking, and eating.
Sometimes, bloating is caused due to excessive gas. The condition happens when you feel like your stomach is swollen and feel full due to the amounts of gas in it. Overeating can also cause bloating in some cases.
You will probably notice that you have more gas during your pregnancy than you had previously. Also, gas during pregnancy can be painful. There is a variety of causes that might cause gas and bloat during pregnancy.
As you already know, your body will go through a lot of hormonal changes during pregnancy. One of these hormones is progesterone. This hormone is there to relax your gastrointestinal tract by smoothing the muscles. It also allows food to go through your system more slowly. This is why gas can build up in your intestine – due to the slow digestion.
You might find this a bit uncomfortable. However, the slower the food moves through your body the better your body will be at absorbing necessary nutrients for you and your baby.
Food You Eat
Gas production is heavily affected by the foods you eat and beverages you drink. Excessive gas can also be caused due to a quick change in diet.
Going from a very poor diet to one that has a lot of healthy fruits and vegetables as well as high fiber ingredients quickly is probably not the best thing you can do. Your body will have to produce more gas than usual for a while until it can adjust to your new diet. However, it is always good to move to a healthier diet, just keep in mind to do it gradually to avoid gas. Bloating and pregnancy can be a painful combination and you can probably avoid it with a correct diet. Get help from a nutritionist if you need it.
The Way You Eat
Eating large meals, eating too quickly, not chewing enough, and eating a lot of gassy food can cause gas in your body. Take your time and measure your meals. Don’t eat fast since your body will have a harder time processing the food you eat.
Your intestines will be pressured as your uterus grows. Controlling the release of gas can be more difficult due to this fact. That’s why you may have gas more often and sometimes even unexpectedly and uncontrollably.
Bloating and pain can be caused if you have trouble moving your bowels. The more stool there is in your body the harder it will be for gas to pass properly. Getting rid of gas might be harder in these situations and you should try some of the natural remedies to get rid of it.
There is no doubt that prenatal vitamins are important. Getting all the minerals and vitamins you and your baby need are crucial, and prenatal vitamins are there to fill in the gaps. However, some minerals and vitamins, for example, iron, can contribute to constipation. As already mentioned above, constipation leads to gas – so you want to consult with your doctor whether vitamins you take can cause constipation.
Anxiety and Stress
Breathing more quickly is tightly connected with being nervous. Also, breathing more quickly means that you will be taking in more air than usual. This may result in more gas than usual and can lead to bloating during pregnancy.
Not drinking milk in years may lead to lactose intolerance. If you, for some reason, want to start drinking milk suddenly during pregnancy you probably shouldn’t do it. Being lactose intolerant will result in a lot of gas and even abdominal pain. Try avoiding ice creams and other dairy products during your pregnancy if you haven’t drunk milk in a while. Milk allergy can also cause diarrhea and a lot of pain.
A gas build-up can cause these symptoms in your body:
- Abdominal pain
- Chest Pain
Releasing the gas from your body is done through:
- Belching (burping)
- Flatulence (passing wind)
Prevention and Treatment
Every human has gas in the body, it is a normal function. This is why you will never be able to completely prevent it, even if you are not pregnant. However, as mentioned above, bloating and pregnancy are not a good combination and you should do something about gas while you’re carrying a child. Here are a few things you can do to reduce gas:
Drink a Lot of Water
Keeping your body hydrated is crucial when it comes to preventing constipation, therefore preventing gas. However, keep in mind to drink healthy fluids and try to avoid drinks with sugar and carbonation, for example, a soda pop.
Also, keep in mind to use a cup or a glass. Drinking through a straw or directly form a bottle will result in more air in your stomach. This air will then cause gas and potentially bloating. Another thing to remember is to enjoy your beverage at a slower pace. Take your time and don’t rush with your drinks since gulping leads to extra air with each swallow.
As you probably already know, some foods tend to make more gas than others. For example, beans, cabbage, Brussel sprouts, broccoli, fried, and sugary foods usually result in a lot more gas than usual.
Gas is caused by a lot of healthy foods. However, you don’t want to remove these foods from your diet, just try avoiding some of them. The last thing you want is to eliminate important nutrients both you and your baby need to stay healthy. Improper nutrition can complicate your pregnancy, so don’t just cut off the food because it causes gas. Also, getting to know the food better will help you decide what food is good for your baby when it starts eating solids.
You have to change your eating habits if you experience bloating during pregnancy. Try dumping your three large meals during the day. Instead, try eating smaller meals, but more often throughout the day. Also, make sure you eat slowly and try not to talk while doing so. This is why our mothers were always telling us: “Don’t talk with your mouth full!”
Be sure you chew your food properly so your stomach has less work to do. Some experts say that not chewing meat enough can keep it in your stomach for about 7 days to get properly dissolved.
One of the healthiest things you can do for your body during pregnancy is to start with some physical activity. Statistics show that regular exercise is healthy when it comes to constipation and allowing gas to move properly through the body.
Fiber is there to help our intestines to move poop easier thorough our stomachs. It pulls water effectively which results in easier bowel movements. Gas, bloating, pain, and constipation is prevented if you pass stool regularly. However, adding fiber too quickly to your diet can cause gas, so you will have to do it gradually.
Beans, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables are all high in fiber. Talk to your doctor about a supplement if you’re having trouble getting enough fiber and if you’re dealing with constipation.
During your pregnancy, you should aim to stay within the guidelines for healthy weight gain. Your digestive tract may get pressure if you gain too much weight too quickly. This will later cause gas to build up and it will get trapped in your body.
You definitely won’t be able to wear the clothes you had before you got pregnant. Most of your old clothes will put a lot of pressure on your abdomen and you want to find something that will be comfortable for you. Also, belts and tight pants around your waist will press on your intestines, so try wearing a dress instead.
Try practicing meditation every day. Relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, can help you to relieve stress and anxiety easily. Consider talking to your doctor if you are having a tough time dealing with the stress. Depending on the situation, you might get referred to a therapist to get adequate help so you can get through tough times.
You shouldn’t be smoking for numerous reasons and bloating is one of them. However, smoking will cause a lot of harm for both you and your baby and you should avoid it completely during your pregnancy. It would be best to avoid smoking at all costs, for your good. Also, being in the same room with a smoker can be harmful to your child.
Contacting a Doctor
Bloating and pregnancy are something you don’t want to experience. However, you can sometimes mistake bloating for other abdominal pains during pregnancy. People sometimes think they have problems with bloating when in reality they are dealing with:
- Ectopic Pregnancy
- Braxton Hicks contractions
- Round ligament pain
You should immediately contact your doctor if you are not sure that your abdominal pain is caused by gas. It is always better to get checked than to risk your own and your child’s health.
Go to an emergency room if:
- You notice bloody poop
- You have severe vomiting and nausea
- The pain is not going away
Baby Planet Overview
Bloating during pregnancy is something that a lot of pregnant women experience. It can be quite uncomfortable to deal with the amount of gas you might have while carrying a child. Bloating can cause unexpected and unpredicted gas, making everything even more uncomfortable for the mother.
However, you should look at things from the bright side. Try working on your body to reduce gas as much as you can. The amount of gas will be significantly reduced once your little one is born. Until that moment, make sure you try as many natural remedies as possible that will certainly help you deal with bloating.
- Management strategies for abdominal bloating and distention, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov