Dietary changes to reducing stress: 7 ways to deal with gas during pregnancy

Gas and acidity can be a problem for pregnant women. So, deal with gas during pregnancy with simple tips.
Gas during pregnancy can cause discomfort
Gas during pregnancy can cause discomfort. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock
Natalia Ningthoujam Published: 30 Oct 2023, 10:30 am IST
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Morning sickness, changes in skin, swollen feet and fingers are just some of the complaints that pregnant women have. There are others who also experience burping, pain in the stomach, bloating or they pass gas. That’s because pregnancy can slow digestion, causing gas buildup. It’s all natural, but gas problems can cause discomfort. Let us tell you how to get rid of gas during pregnancy.

Causes of gas during pregnancy

Gas problems, also known as gaseous distention, can cause discomfort for pregnant women, says Dr Pundalik Sonawane, Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, and Professor and Head of Department, K.J.Somaiya Medical College Mumbai. While these issues are common, knowing their causes can help you.

Gas during pregnancy is common. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

1. Hormonal fluctuations

During pregnancy, there are significant hormonal changes most important being progesterone. These hormones relax the smooth muscle of the gastrointestinal tract which slows down the food through the digestive tract, resulting in gas buildup.

2. Uterine expansion

As the baby grows, enlarging uterus applies pressure to the stomach and intestines. This can lead to slowed digestion and contribute to gas and bloating.

3. Constipation

Hormonal changes and the pressure of the growing uterus can contribute to constipation, which can lead to bloating and gas, the expert tells Health Shots.

4. Diet changes

Pregnancy often results in dietary modifications, including increased consumption of fiber-rich foods, which can produce more gas. Also, some foods such as beans, cabbage and carbonated beverages are known to cause gas.

5. Swallowed air

Pregnant women may unintentionally swallow more air when eating or drinking, which can contribute to gas and bloating.

6. Relaxation of digestive muscles

Hormones that relax uterine muscles can also relax the muscles in the digestive tract, potentially leading to more gas.

7. Prenatal vitamins

Iron supplements often prescribed during pregnancy can sometimes cause constipation and gas as one of its side effects.

Tips to get rid of gas during pregnancy

To reduce discomfort caused by gas during pregnancy, you can do the following –

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1. Dietary changes

Eat smaller and more frequent meals to prevent overloading of digestive system. Avoid foods that are known to cause gas. Reduce intake of fatty and fried foods, which can cause slow digestion. Don’t completely stop eating food rich in fiber. Gradually increase fiber intake to help prevent constipation, but do so in moderation.

Pregnant woman
Make healthy dietary choices during pregnancy. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

2. Hydration

Pregnant or not, staying hydrated is always good. Drink plenty of water throughout the day to help to prevent constipation and aid in digestion, suggests Dr Sonawane.

3. Chew food thoroughly

Slow down while eating, chew your food thoroughly and enjoy its flavours to reduce the amount of air you swallow while having food.

4. Physical activity

Go for low-impact exercises as recommended by your doctor. Activities like walking and prenatal yoga can help to promote healthy digestion.

5. Probiotics

Probiotics are known for keeping gut healthy. Regular intake of probiotics can promote healthy gut bacteria and help in digestion, says the expert.

6. Positioning

Don’t immediately lie down after having your food. Also, try different body positions such as propping up your upper body with pillows when sleeping to reduce pressure on your digestive organs.

7. Stress reduction

Stress affects your body, including your stomach in many ways. Practice relaxation techniques like deep breathing or prenatal yoga to help in managing stress, which can affect your digestion.

You can also check with your doctor about any medications or supplements which may contribute to gas or bloating. You should also consult your doctor before using antacids or gas-relief medications, as some may not be suitable during pregnancy.

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About the Author

Natalia Ningthoujam has written on various subjects - from music to films and fashion to lifestyle - as a journalist in her career that started in 2010. After getting stories from the crime scene, police headquarters, and conducting interviews with celebrities, she is now writing on health and wellness which has become her focus area. ...Read More

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