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How To Relieve Gas During Pregnancy

April 2021

Mint tea is great for preventing gas during pregnancy and relieving abdominal discomfort as it has antispasmodic properties, which help to relieve pain and discomfort. To make this tea, place 2 to 4 grams of fresh mint leaves in a cup with boiling water, let it infuse for about 10 minutes and then strain and drink three cups a day after meals.

Pregnancy flatulence is completely normal and does not harm the baby, although it can cause intense stomach aches and abdominal discomfort for the mother. Removing food that causes gas such as turnip, peas, and cabbage may help, but, in some cases, it may be necessary to use some medications prescribed by the obstetrician.

How To Relieve Gas During Pregnancy

Treatment for flatulence during pregnancy 

Flatulence during pregnancy can be treated with medication prescribed by an obstetrician, such as simethicone or dimethicone, which help to get rid of intestinal gas more easily, thus decreasing discomfort and pain.

Another option to treat pregnancy gas is Microlax, which can be bought at a pharmacy.  The medication package insert or the package itself contain the instructions for administration for the expectant mother to follow. 

What to do to prevent flatulence

It is common for there to be an increase in flatulence during pregnancy, as there is an increase in a hormone called progesterone. This hormone relaxes the body tissues, including those of the digestive system, making digestion slower and causing more stomach and intestinal gases to accumulate.

To prevent the excess of gas during pregnancy, some steps that can be done include:

  • Avoid eating difficult to digest foods and fizzy drinks;
  • Avoid foods that are know to cause flatulence such as sweet potato, eggs, cabbage, onion, broccoli, beans, chickpeas, fried foods, peas, peaches and grains;
  • Avoid talking when you are eating;
  • Eat slowly and chew food properly;
  • Wear comfortable fitting clothes;
  • Walk every day;
  • Avoid chewing gum.

Doing exercise and breathing deeply can also help to improve digestion, as it encourages the intestinal peristaltic movements, helping gas to be eliminated from the body and reducing the amount of flatulence being formed.

How to identify gas during pregnancy 

Gas happens both at the beginning as at the end of pregnancy and it is more common after main meals. 

Symptoms of excess gas in pregnancy normally include sharp abdominal pain, which seems like something stabbing the stomach area, flatulence, constipation, and cramps. If you have other symptoms too, such as abdominal pain on one side, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea please visit your obstetrician.

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References

  • MINISTÉRIO DA SAÚDE. Atenção ao pré-natal de baixo risco. 2012. Available on: <http://bvsms.saude.gov.br/bvs/publicacoes/cadernos_atencao_basica_32_prenatal.pdf>. Access in 14 Nov 2019
  • LEE, Hyun J.; PARK, Kyung S. Bloating. Korean J Gastroenterol. Vol.70(6). 288-295, 2017
  • COSTA Eronita. Nutrição & Fitoterapia. 2º. Brasil: Vozes Ltda, 2011. 184-185.
  • CURTIS, Susan et al.. O livro de receitas das ervas medicinais. São Paulo: Dorling Kindersley, 2011. 84.
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