Pregnancy is an indescribable feeling, something that you cannot put within the constraints of 26 letters. I hear all the mothers saying ‘aye aye’ to this statement. The feeling that a new life is growing in your womb is an exciting and unnerving feeling. While on one hand being pregnant gives you immense joy, on the other hand, it is not a bed of roses; as you may experience situations where you may feel embarrassed and uncomfortable, one of them is experiencing gas during pregnancy.
Embarrassing, right?! But this is the truth and you have to grin and bear this symptom all through the nine months of your pregnancy chapter. Embarrassing, no doubt, but is it uncomfortable too? You bet! So why do you have gas trouble during pregnancy? Yes, sometimes the reasons are more important than the remedies, as then you will be able to treat the same with greater results.
Causes of Gas During Pregnancy
Usually gas enters your mouth and you release it by belching. When you digest your food inside your gut, you let out gas, this happens when bacteria work on the undigested food. You can avoid the belching and gas; well not completely avoid, but control it. Find out some of the suspects that can lead to excessive bloating and gas. There are some foods which lead to the condition. While you cannot eliminate these foods, you can reduce their consumption.
Some foods which cause gas and bloating are the following,
- Whole grains, beans, and a few of the very nutritious veggies such as cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, and asparagus.
- Any form of fructose – onions, honey, pears, canned foodstuff, ketchup (anything that contains high fructose corn syrup). This leads to more belching and bloating.
- Starches: There are some foodstuffs such as corn, wheat, and potatoes which can cause gas too.
- Fiber-rich foods: While hi-fiber foods are regarded as otherwise healthy, there is some hi-fiber foodstuff that can lead to unnecessary belching such as oats, beans and so on.
- Dairy products: A large portion of the world suffers from undiagnosed lactose intolerance. This is very common in Asia. Now, if you take large amounts of dairy products and you are lactose intolerant, you may experience bloating and gas formation. Your body cannot produce the lactase that helps digest dairy products and hence you suffer from gas and flatulence.
- Fried and high-fat foods – While fried foods taste incredibly tasty and break the monotony of having the same old foods, they aren’t healthy and can cause gas.
While foods are the major culprits, there are other factors that lead to pregnancy gas. Find out here.
- Constipation: Constipation is a recurring problem during the three pregnancy trimesters. This causes the gas to build up in your gut and this restricts your bowel movement.
- Bacterial Imbalance In the gut: A bacterial imbalance means the bad bacteria overrun the good bacteria in your gut, and this causes a gas problem. Get your doctor on board to add a probiotic supplement to your diet.
Symptoms of Gas Trouble During Pregnancy
Most symptoms of gas trouble during pregnancy are either voluntary or involuntary. Check out the symptoms here.
- Sharp shooting pains in the abdomen, which you can get rid of pretty easily
- A feeling of a knot moving in your belly
- A feeling of tightness in the belly
- Sometimes the feeling of pain becomes unbearable
How to Get Rid of Gas During Pregnancy – Home Remedies
The problem of gas and belching can get a bigger as you get closer to the last trimester, as your baby grows and your belly grows bigger. There are home remedies which can solve your problem without causing any undue harm to your health or to your unborn baby. Follow the below-mentioned remedies for quick relief.
Up your water intake
Drink as much water as you can, almost 8 to 10 glasses of water in a day. If you are not too fond of water, you can have other liquids too. But steer clear of unnecessary sugar in your drinks. Try flavored water, slice your favorite fruits and pour it into a large beaker, refrigerate it. This will not only quench your thirst but also coerce you to drink more water.
Try and include more exercises
When you are up and about in the morning, get your happy hormones going with a little bit of physical routine. The easiest way to do that is including half an hour of walking. This spurs up your digestion and prevents constipation, thus providing gas relief during pregnancy. Do consult your doctor before you begin any kind of exercise regime.
Take a good look at your diet
When you are pregnant, your system reacts adversely to some foods. Maintain a journal and list out the foods that cause bloating. It may be something as innocuous as potatoes, cabbage, sprouts and so on. Don’t go for restrictive diets as diets should cater to your nutritional needs and not focus only on weight loss or looking a certain way, especially when you are pregnant.
A Fiber-rich diet
The more fiber you add, the more your chances of curing your constipation. When you cure constipation you also get rid of the symptoms of gas. Fiber increases the water content in your intestines and helps pass your stools with ease. How much fiber is enough? Try and add at least 25 to 30 grams of fiber in your diet to reduce constipation and help you get rid of gas during pregnancy.
Sit with your legs elevated
Sitting or sleeping can be really difficult when your belly is bloated. The best way to get into a comfortable position is sitting with your legs elevated. This helps reduce the pressure on your belly. This is also a good stance to try to let your food digestion your gut with ease. Sometimes your legs feel way too heavy, and when you elevate your legs, you take some pressure on them. All in all a good position to try and get rid of the constant ‘bloated’ feeling.
Eat frequently but eat small
We know how you feel after a particularly heavy meal, and when you are pregnant you feel your gut does not have any space to digest the food. Having frequent smaller meals is one great way to feel ‘less bloated’ and more comfortable.
Sometimes too much stress and anxiety can lead to taking in more air, and taking in more air can lead to burping. So, try to get rid of stress as much as possible and this will keep you calm and happy and your baby happy as well. Try deep breathing techniques to calm you down, when you are extremely anxious.
Fenugreek or methi seeds are a great remedy to get rid of bloating in early pregnancy and also in the later stages. You can soak a spoon of methi seeds in water, keep them soaked overnight. In the morning, strain the water and then drink it up. Done regularly, you will get great relief from gas. In fact, it is an effectual gas relief home remedy.
Refined sugars are a strict no-no
While you may have a sudden craving for a decadent piece of chocolate cake in the middle of the night, you will have to kiss your craving goodbye. Sad but true, fructose has a bad rap and may lead to a feeling of bloating. Looks like artificial sweeteners are no way any better, they make you feel bloated and even raise your sugar levels unnecessarily high, leading to gestational diabetes in some cases. As studies have revealed, artificial sweeteners don’t satisfy your sweet craving. It incites your hunger hormones, making you eat more than you actually should eat.
A quick remedy to get rid of the bloated feeling is to squeeze a whole lemon into a glass of water and add half a spoon of baking soda to it. Keep stirring until the soda is completely dissolved in the water. This will help get rid of gastric issues. The lemon water first thing in the morning is a great way to get rid of stomach pain too.
Teas are relaxing and invigorating at the same time, and there are just so many to choose from, right from mint, blackberry, raspberry, to chamomile. Brew your favorite tea and you will feel great relief from gas trouble or any kinds of tummy trouble. However, do not overdo it, twice a day is just right. You can even try peppermint tea which is particularly suitable to beat pregnancy gas.
Coriander is another great remedy to treat gas and bloating. You can either consume it raw or add it to your daily diet. Coriander leaves are a great remedy for acidity and burning sensation in the stomach. Add freshly-ground roasted coriander seeds to a glass of buttermilk and you will be able to get rid of indigestion in a matter of minutes.
Wake up to a glassful of warm water every day. This takes care of the indigestion issues to a large extent. Take a glass of warm water and squeeze lemon into the water and consume immediately after a meal.
Drumstick or moringa is another great addition to your meal and this also helps loosen your stools and prevent constipation. When your bowel movements are irregular, you experience feelings of discomfort, because of excessive gas formation in your body. Drumsticks add roughage content to your food and improve the stomach condition.
- Jeera Water: Drinking jeera water helps curb your gas issues during pregnancy. Jeera or cumin contains essential oils that activate the salivary glands which help in the digestion process, preventing the formation of excess gas. Take a tablespoon of cumin seeds and boil it in a glass of water for 10-15 minutes. Once it cools down, strain the liquid concoction and drink the water after you have had your main meals, this reduces the formation of gas during pregnancy.
You can try laxatives, natural ones such as psyllium husk, which can help you get rid of constipation. Of course, you can only go for the ones which are doctor-approved. So, do not start on something without taking the consent of your doctor.
A daily schedule of light exercises and yoga can make you more flexible, like sitting all day around can lead to excess gas formation. There are yoga poses which are particularly helpful in getting rid of belching.
You can get rid of painful bloating and gas with the following poses. (always keep your doctor in the loop before you start with any exercise regimen)
- Extended side angle pose
- Sitting side stretch
- Triangle pose
- Cat and cow’s poses
- Child’s pose
Wear Loose Clothing
The clothes you wear during your pregnancy also impact your health in a big way. When you wear tight clothes, it cinches your waist, constricting the digestive system in the process, which is already crowded with the growing uterus. It even impacts the circulation in your body which makes your problem of gas and flatulence go from bad to worse.
Ginger is a great Ayurvedic remedy that should be ideally taken after meals to get immediate relief from bloating. Grate a fresh ginger piece and consume it with one teaspoon of lime juice immediately after your meals. Ginger has natural carminative (something that reduces flatulence) properties that can give you quick relief from excessive belching. Alternatively, you can try dried ginger pieces, seasoned with lime juice and rock salt. Chew it after your meals to activate digestive enzymes.
Pregnancy and bloating – Should you be worried?
Experiencing gas and bloating during the pregnancy period is a common phenomenon as the hormones come into play here, the progesterone levels rise considerably. But there is something amiss when the feeling of bloating or flatulence refuses to disappear. It is time to visit your doctor if you have been suffering from constipation for more than a week or you experience severe pain. Seek professional treatment in such a scenario.
As we have said, don’t take too much of stress; eat healthy, hydrate and stay active, following these simple methods can help you with your bloating and other niggling issues with ease. Last but not the least, find small things that keep you happy. The simple things in life manage to give you greater joy than something materialistic. Stay close to nature, take a walk in the park as many times as possible. The idea is to stay as close to nature as possible. Nature has a calming influence on everyone something that sophisticated gadgets and gizmos cannot provide. Take care!