Pregnancy is the phase which makes a woman feel complete and satisfied. On knowing that a life is growing inside you and will soon be with you in a few months, it can be exciting and unnerving. You feel on the top of the world, but being pregnant is not a bed of roses; you will face some tough and embarrassing situations too. Sometimes, you might feel bloated and pass gas a number of times during the day.
Yes, it can be embarrassing and you might feel uncomfortable if you are with a group of people. But, there are certain reasons why it happens. The primary reasons are listed below:
1. Weight Gain
During pregnancy, you will get hunger pangs every few hours. As a result, you might snack and eat frequently. You also won’t exercise like you did before, and hence, you might put on weight. This might make you feel bloated.
2. Hormonal Imbalance
Progesterone hormone is one of the main causes of gas and flatulence during pregnancy. Pregnancy encourages the growth and release of progesterone hormone which relaxes the muscles. The muscles of the intestine are also relaxed, which slows down the digestion process considerably. The consumed food remains in the digestive tract for a long period, which causes bloating and frequent flatulence in pregnant women.
3. Gestational Diabetes
During pregnancy, a woman’s blood sugar levels are usually high. A high blood sugar during pregnancy is known as gestational diabetes. If a woman has gestational diabetes, she might feel bloated. This problem generally occurs in the second half of pregnancy.
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 slows down the digestion process, which leads to gas.
5. Consuming Gassy Foods
There are certain foods that are known to cause excess gas. If you consume fried foods, dairy products, coniferous 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 that you can try:
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 nearby and keep sipping 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 But Frequent Meals
Instead of eating three full 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 food – chew it properly before taking the next spoonful. Also, avoid fried and unhealthy food.
4. Try Fenugreek Seeds
Drinking fenugreek seeds infused water 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. However, don’t drink too much as it can lead to other complications in pregnancy.
7. Try Coriander
This ingredient is available in most homes and is a natural remedy for gas and bloating. It can be consumed raw or you can add it to your daily diet to keep your digestion on track. 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.
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 not only keeps digestion in good condition but ensures proper bowel movements, which are generally affected. 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 the meal.
9. Include Drumsticks in Your Diet
This fibrous vegetable is a necessary addition to your meal, especially if you are constipte 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 will improve your stomach health to a great extent.
10. Make the Right Food Choices
Pregnancy is the time when you should carefully monitor your diet and choose the right kind of food for consumption. Fresh foods are always considered best during this time as compared to processed foods or frozen dinners. 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. Practise Yoga and Exercise
You should prepare a daily schedule for light exercises and yoga since you will be sitting around the entire day which can result in 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 ((seek professional advice) instead. Taking up light physical exercises will 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 later 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 too. You should also avoid chewing gums and lozenges as they contain sorbitol which can leave you feeling bloated.
2. Limitthe 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. Lower Your Stress Levels
Many people 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 leads to gas problem. 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.
If you are worried that gastric problems 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 keep this problem at bay, avoid fried and sugary foods. 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