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If you are pregnant, you must be excited and happy. You might be feeling on the top of the world, but at the same time, you might be worried about your baby too. Pregnancy can bring about a lot of changes in your body and these changes can make you uncomfortable at times. Sometimes, you may feel bloated and have gastric trouble, which can make you uncomfortable. But, do you know why you have gastric problems during pregnancy? If not, then read on. The primary reasons for gastric issues are listed below:
1. Hormonal Imbalance
Progesterone hormone is one of the main causes of gas and flatulence during pregnancy. In pregnancy, the hormone progesterone is released excessively, which can relax your muscles. When the muscles of your intestine relax too, your digestion process will slow down considerably. The consumed food remains in the digestive tract for a long period, which causes bloating and frequent flatulence in pregnant women.
2. Gestational Diabetes
During pregnancy, a woman’s blood sugar levels are usually high. High blood sugar during pregnancy is known as gestational diabetes. If you have gestational diabetes, you may feel bloated. This problem generally appears in the second half of pregnancy.
3. Weight Gain
During pregnancy, you will want to eat something every few hours. As a result, you might snack on and eat frequently. If you don’t exercise and keep eating, you might put on weight. This might make you feel bloated.
4. Bodily Changes During Pregnancy
Bodily changes during pregnancy can also lead to gas. As you near the term, the pressure from growing uterus on the abdominal cavity can slow down the digestion process, which can lead to gas.
5. Consuming Gassy Foods
There are certain foods that are known to cause excess gas. If you consume fried foods, dairy products, cruciferous vegetables, or carbonated drinks during pregnancy, you might feel gassy and bloated.
Natural Remedies for Gas While Pregnant
An average person passes gas about 15-20 times every day. But during pregnancy, this number almost doubles which could cause some inconvenience and embarrassment. In order to tackle gastric problems during pregnancy, you can try some natural remedies. These remedies are effective and can be implemented with ease. Here are a few natural remedies to treat the gas problem.
1. Increase Your Water Intake
Keep yourself hydrated by drinking a lot of water at regular intervals during the day. In fact, begin your day by drinking a glass of water and keep a bottle of this naturally-rejuvenating fluid handy. Keep sipping water throughout the day. You can also drink pasteurised fruit juices as drinking juices help in removing toxins from the body and prevent bloating.
2. Eat Fibre-Rich Foods
Add carrots, apples, oatmeal, leafy vegetables, and pears to your diet as they help in absorbing water from the digestive system. Fibre moves the food through the intestines with ease. Eating fibre-rich foods will make your bowel movements regular and you won’t feel bloated. A word of caution – if your system is not used to eating high fibre foods much, add fibre-rich fruits and vegetables in your diet slowly.
3. Have Small Meals
Instead of having three heavy meals a day, you can split them up into six smaller meals over the day. Eat your meals at a leisurely pace. Do not gulp down the food – chew it properly before taking the next spoonful. Also, avoid fried and unhealthy food.
4. Try Fenugreek Seeds
Drinking water infused with fenugreek seeds is an age-old remedy for gas. It is a tried and tested solution to control gas during pregnancy. You can take a tablespoon of fenugreek seeds and soak it in a glass of water overnight. Filter the seeds from the water and drink the water to reduce flatulence.
5. How About Some Lemon Juice?
Squeeze a whole lemon into a bowl and add one cup of water and half a spoon of baking soda to it. Keep stirring until the baking soda dissolves completely. Drink this to get quick relief from gas and other gastric problems. Drinking lemon juice with warm water early in the morning can provide relief from stomach pain too.
6. Drink Herbal Teas
This is an extremely popular home remedy for tackling gastric problems during pregnancy. Peppermint leaf, blackberry, and red raspberry teas are known to aid the digestion process. Do not boil the herbal tea too much as this can destroy the healing properties it possesses. Peppermint leaf tea, in particular, provides relief from gas during pregnancy. Add honey to it and drink it twice a day. You can drink two to three cups of any 1 herbal tea during pregnancy daily. However, don’t drink too much as it can lead to other complications in pregnancy.
7. Try Coriander
Coriander is a natural remedy for gas and bloating. Coriander leaves also help with acidity and burning sensation in the stomach. To keep the problem of indigestion and gas at bay, add roasted coriander seeds to a glass of buttermilk and drink. You can also garnish your food with coriander to include it in your diet.
8. Drink Warm Water
Indigestion and other gastric problem can be effectively tackled by drinking warm water every day. Drinking a glass of warm water daily will keep your digestive system on track and ensure proper bowel movements. If you are having a meal at a restaurant or a party, make it a point to drink a glass of warm water (squeeze half a lemon if possible) after your meals.
9. Include Drumsticks in Your Diet
This fibrous vegetable is a necessary addition to your meal, especially if you are constipated or are passing hard stools. Since the bowel movements are irregular, there are chances of excess gas formation in your body. Drumsticks can increase roughage content in your food and improve your stomach health to a great extent.
10. Eat Healthy Foods
Pregnancy is the time when you should carefully monitor your diet and eat only healthy foods. Fresh foods are always considered best during this time as compared to processed foods or frozen foods. Organic foods that are free of pesticides should be preferred during pregnancy. These will reduce the chances of indigestion and flatulence in a completely natural way.
11. Practice Yoga and Exercise
Get moving as sitting around the entire day can result in the excess formation of gas. Light exercises, like a walk in the park, especially in the morning or after dinner, can prove to be ideal for pregnant women. Avoid any kind of strenuous exercises. Opt for yoga instead and seek professional help to perform yoga. Taking up light physical exercises can also help you get rid of gas and other gastric problems during pregnancy.
12. Dress Comfortably
Wearing tight clothes during pregnancy can put pressure on your abdomen, which can increase the buildup of gas, making you feel uncomfortable. So during pregnancy, especially in the latter stages of pregnancy, wear loose and comfortable clothes.
How to Prevent Gas Formation During Pregnancy
Here are some tips that can help you manage, reduce, and prevent the occurrence of gas problem during pregnancy.
1. Avoid Consuming Refined Sugars
If you can find a way to reduce the craving for sweetened food and drinks, you will do yourself a great favour. Fructose, which is usually found in artificially-flavoured fruit juices and beverages can cause bloating and gas. So avoid flavoured drinks and carbonated drinks. You should also avoid chewing gums and lozenges as they contain sorbitol which can make you feel bloated.
2. Limit the Consumption of Fried Foods
Avoid eating fried foods, like chips and fries; although they may not directly release gas, they might leave you feeling bloated as the digestion process is considerably slow during pregnancy. Also, foods like beans, onions, broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower can cause gastric problems, so limit their consumption in pregnancy.
3. Do Not Stress
Many women tend to have the problem of gas when they are stressed. When stressed or nervous, you might breathe quickly and gulp down too much air, which can lead to gas. Stress-related gas is also a symptom of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). If you have IBS during pregnancy, you might also experience some other symptoms of it like, bloating, constipation, or abdominal cramps. So, it is important that you learn to manage stress during pregnancy. You can try relaxation techniques, like meditation or yoga to feel calm or relaxed.
If you are worried that gastric problem can cause harm to your baby, then don’t, because your baby will be fine. The amniotic fluid will protect your baby from any harm that may come his way. Gas and bloating is a common problem during pregnancy but it won’t affect the health of your baby. Moreover, to keep this problem at bay, avoid eating fried and sugary foods and stay hydrated. However, if you are already facing this problem, then try the remedies mentioned above, you will feel a lot better. Have a relaxed and happy pregnancy. In case, there is spotting or abdominal cramping after passing gas or stomach pain, speak to your doctor immediately.
Also Read: Gas and Bloating During Pregnancy