Gas during pregnancy is very common at the beginning and very end of gestation. It is associated with symptoms like severe stomach pain, discomfort and bloating.
Gas during pregnancy occurs due to hormonal changes that lead to a reduced number of bowel movements or constipation. This can cause gas to accumulate in the gut.
The treatment of gas during pregnancy should be monitored by an OBGYN, who may recommend diet changes, exercise or medication as needed.
The main symptoms of gas during pregnancy include:
- Intense abdominal pain, which feels like a cramp that can radiate to the chest
- Increased flatulence
- Excessive burping
- Swollen belly
- Intestinal cramps
In addition to abdominal pain, women may also feel intense nausea, or experience vomiting or diarrhea, which should be assessed by an OBGYN.Also recommended: Abdominal Pain in Pregnancy: 9 Causes & What to Do
Gas during pregnancy is often the result of by normal hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy, particularly rises in progesterone.
This hormone causes relaxation of the body's muscles, including the gastrointestinal muscles, which can slow down digestion and lead to gas build-up.
Reduced bowel movements can also lead to constipation, which also favors gas production.
How to treat gas during pregnancy
Some ways to get rid of gas during pregnancy are:
1. Maintaining hydration
You should keep your body hydrated by drinking at least 8 glasses of water a day. This helps to soften stools and promote intestinal flow to relieve gas and constipation.
2. Eating high-fiber foods
Increasing your intake of high-fiber foods, such as vegetables, fruits, and whole grains, can help to prevent and treat constipation and gas. Check-out a complete list of high-fiber foods you can incorporate in your diet.
However, high-fiber foods should always be consumed with plenty of water to obtain its laxative effect. The fiber consumed absorbs and retains water in the stool, which facilitates bowel movements.Also recommended: 25 High Fiber Fruit (& How Much You Should Eat)
3. Avoiding foods that cause gas
Foods that cause gas should be consumed in moderation or eliminated from the diet. Examples include corn, eggs, cabbage, onions, broccoli, beans, chickpeas, peas and fried foods. Read more about foods that cause gas that you should be aware of.
These foods take longer to digest, leading to longer fermentation times and gas production.
4. Avoiding talking when chewing
Talking while chewing can lead to swallowing more air. This air can build-up along the digestive tract, result in excess gas in the stomach or gut.
5. Eating slowly
Eating slowly and chewing food thoroughly can also help to breakdown food and facilitate digestion, which can prevent or relieve gas.
6. Avoiding chewing gum
Chewing gum frequently can also lead to air in the stomach or intestines, as chewing it can inadvertently lead to more swallowed air.
7. Avoiding carbonated drinks
Fizzy drinks, such as soda or sparkling water, can increase the amount of carbon dioxide in the gastrointestinal system, which can result in excess gas.
You should avoid consuming carbonated beverages or consume them in moderation. You can opt for non-carbonated drinks like water or natural juices instead.
8. Wearing comfortable clothes
Wearing loose, comfortable clothing can also help relieve gas, as tight clothing that compresses the stomach or intestines can lead to gas build-up.
9. Drinking prune juice
Prune juice is rich in soluble and insoluble fibers that help regulate intestinal flow. This can relieve constipation, which is one of the most common causes of gas during pregnancy.
10. Drinking chamomile tea
Chamomile tea made from the medicinal plant Matricaria recutita can be consumed during pregnancy to help relieve excess gas, as it has digestive and antispasmodic properties. Learn more about how to prepare chamomile tea and the health benefits it can offer.
It is important to highlight that this tea should be used as approved by an obstetrician, as many teas are prohibited during pregnancy due to their risks during pregnancy.
11. Exercising regularly
Exercising regularly, and practicing breathing exercisescan also help to improve digestion and promote regular bowel movements, which can reduce gas production.
12. Taking gas medication
Using medications for gas during pregnancy, such as simethicone, laxatives or activated charcoal, can help to eliminate gas more effectively. They can be taken to reduce moderate discomfort and pain.
These medications should only be used as prescribed by an OBGYN.
Body positions to eliminate gas
One of the best positions to eliminate gas during pregnancy is the child's pose. It helps to trigger bowel movements and favor gas elimination.
To get into child's pose, get to the floor on your hands and knees. Move your hips back and sit your glutes on your heels. Then lower your torso toward the floor while stretching your arms in front of you. Rest your forearms on the floor and keep your back straight.
You can widen your knees to accomidate your belly. Hold this pose for 30 seconds.