Pregnancy is an amazing time in any woman’s life. So many wonderful changes, a growing belly and a time filled with anticipation for the impending bundle of joy. Unfortunately, not all side effects are so friendly. Pregnant women often experience bloating and heartburn. In fact it is one of the most common conditions for which women actively seek out remedies.
Everyone has gas, in general. In fact, an average adult passes gas 14 – 23 times a day! Once you’re pregnant, you may find yourself belching or passing gas a lot more than usual giving you a feeling of bloating.
Here are some common bloating causes during pregnancy:
Blame it on the hormones. This one is their fault too. Progesterone is an important hormone to help you stay healthy during pregnancy. The hormone relaxes smooth muscle tissues including those in the gastrointestinal track. This in turn slows down the digestion process leading to gas, burping, bloating flatulence and overall discomfort.
Your growing uterus:
Your growing baby is taking up a lot of space in there crowding your abdominal cavity which further slows down your digestion. You may also have uterine swelling right around the time you discover you are pregnant which is caused by the increased blood flow to your womb to protect the fetus. This can also cause bloating and heartburn in early pregnancy.
The growing baby absorbs more water content from your food, leaving your stools dry and harder to pass making you gassy.
Here is how you can get relief from bloating and heartburn during pregnancy:
Increase Fluid Intake To Battle Constipation:
You are drinking for both you and your baby. Start your day with a glass of water and keep sipping juices and other non-calorie loaded liquids through the day. It’ll keep your stools moist and easy to pass and also flush toxins out of your body.
Go Easy On That “eating for two” Thing:
Those famous hunger attacks can be quite a problem but try to time your meals in more frequent smaller portions so that your digestive system works more smoothly. Chew well and take your time to eat as gulping food quickly may make you swallow more air, increasing your burps.
Eat The Good Foods:
Foods rich in fiber like fruits and whole grain breads absorb water from your digestive track and smoothly transport your food through the intestines to keep your bowels running up and fine. Eating healthy is always the right choice.
Don’t Eat The Junk:
The most effective way to reduce gas may be to cut back on the foods that are most likely to cause it. We know that the cravings can drive you crazy. So it’s ok to give in sometimes. Again, sizing your portions and timing them can work to your benefit. Also avoid foods like onion, cabbage and beans that are gas-inducing even in normal people. Foods that contain refined sugar like colas are overloaded with fructose corn syrup which can cause bloating. A relatively high amount of naturally occurring fructose is present in leeks, onions and scallions, artichokes, dried fruit, pears, apples, honey, and wheat.
Do Not Drink In Between The Meals:
This slows down digestion. Also make sure you drink from a cup or glass instead of the bottle so that you don’t gulp down too much air. Sit up during meals and drinks or even during a small snack.
Get regular walking into your regimen, doing at least 30 min walks during the day. A brisk walk can give your digestive system a much needed boost. Take your doctor’s advice and add in other activities like light exercises, yoga and other relaxation techniques.
Get A Prescription Medication:
Pregnancy is not the time to try out over the counter medications. If you’ve tried all of the above and still feeling gassy and bloated, ask your doctor for some medication that can provide some relief.
Hey, Is It Really Gas?
Did you know that many first time mothers between their 4th and 5th month of pregnancy mistake their baby’s first kicks to be gas! May be that’s what is happening to you too.
In some other cases, a gassy discomfort may be accompanied by pain, cramping, severe diarrhea or vomiting. In such cases, call your doctor immediately to request a check up.