Pregnancy feels wonderful, but along with anticipation, hope and celebrations it also brings a fair share of small issues. Gas and bloating is one among them. Though all of us suffer from gas at some time or the other, pregnant women tend to suffer it more.
What causes gas in pregnant women?
- Pregnant women release higher amount of progesterone, a hormone
responsible for relaxing the muscles. As a result, the gastrointestinal tract is also relaxed thereby slowing down the digestive process. This causes excessive gas.
- Apart from hormonal changes, swallowing of air is one more natural reason for buildup of gas.
- When undigested food (food that is not digested by enzymes) passes down to the intestines, bacteria tend to complete the unfinished task by breaking down the food. During this process gas is released as a byproduct which normally makes its way as flatulence.
- Food that is consumed by the pregnant women makes all the difference. If she has indulged in food high in fiber, dairy products and some of the vegetables that are known to trigger gas, flatulence is the resultant problem.
- During later months, growing size of the uterus
applies pressure on the digestive tract and slows down the process of
digestion, resulting in bloated belly.
Whatever be the reason, accumulated gas causes pain, discomfort and leaves her with a bloated stomach.
Pregnancy gas relief
- Eliminating the foods that are likely to produce gas is the first step towards treating pregnancy gas/bloating. Vegetables like beans, Brussels sprouts, broccoli,
cabbage, cauliflower contain the sugar raffinose, which aids in building gas. So seek relief from pregnancy gas by avoiding them.
- Artificially sweetened drinks are labeled as trouble shooters and carbonation in sodas tends to produce gas and bloating.
- Dairy products generate gas, more so, if the pregnant woman suffers from lactose intolerance. Hence it is better to reduce the intake of milk, ice-creams and other dairy related products. Alternatively, drinking lactose -free milk or soy milk could be a better option.
- Starchy foods like potatoes, noodles and certain fiber-rich foods like oat bran and beans cause gas for some people. Wheat bran though rich in fiber, wears a 'gas -free' tag as it does not produce gas.
The list of foods that cause trouble seems to be lengthy. She may not get required nutrition if she avoids all of them. So it is better to maintain a food dairy and drop out the most common culprits rather than eliminating all at once.
Preventing pregnancy gas
- Taking small meals at frequent intervals rather than one big meal works like a
- Avoid gulping liquids and usage of bottles or a straw while drinking water or any beverage. This puts a check on the amount of air swallowed.
- Food should be chewed thoroughly and slowly. And also one should avoid talking while at the table.
- Drinking water during the course of a meal leads to gas. So pregnant women should take as much little water as possible while eating food.
- Sitting upright while eating helps to curb gas.
- Avoid aerated drinks.
- Taking a stroll every day for short period of time not only keeps gas problems at bay, but boosts overall health.
- A bland diet is the best way to escape from burping and belching.
- When all else fails, doctor may prescribe some antacids for the instant relief.
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