Pregnancy is a journey that many women find beautiful. It comes with a lot of physical and physiological changes like gas during pregnancy which may be challenging. However, the ability to give life to a baby is truly an amazing experience.
Getting the right knowledge, care, and support is key to managing your pregnancy.
One thing that can cause discomfort during pregnancy is the production of excess gas. During pregnancy, the body changes to accommodate and adapt to the growing fetus. These bodily changes may affect the digestive system and cause gas, bloating, or constipation.
In this post, you will learn what causes gas in pregnant women and the best remedies to relieve the symptoms. Let’s get to it.
Table of contents
- Causes of Gas during Pregnancy
- How to relieve gas during pregnancy
- Best positions to relieve gas during pregnancy
Causes of Gas during Pregnancy
The pregnancy hormone, progesterone is one of the major culprits behind excess gas production during pregnancy. The body raises its production of progesterone during pregnancy in order to support your growing baby.
Progesterone is known to relax muscles in the body, including the intestinal muscles. This relaxation of intestinal muscles can lead to slower digestion which may result in constipation, bloating, belching, burping, and flatulence.
2. Increased abdominal pressure
As you journey towards the later stages of your pregnancy, you may also experience more gas. This is because of the increased pressure your growing fetus places on the abdominal cavity. Pressure on the abdominal cavity may slow down digestion, leading to more gas.
How to relieve gas during pregnancy
While excess gas production is common among pregnant women, it can be very uncomfortable and quite embarrassing. Thankfully, there are ways to ease the discomfort and relieve symptoms.
The next part of this post contains effective ways to reduce constipation which causes gas during pregnancy.
1. Drink water
Water is the best bet when it comes to the digestion of food. Drinking enough water before or after a meal helps your stomach to digest food. Also, water helps to prevent constipation. Taking a lot of water helps stool pass more easily through the colon and outside your body.
To this effect, the United States National Academy of Medicine recommends that pregnant women should drink about 2.3 liters of water per day. You should also note that it is best to sip water slowly from a glass or cup. Gulping water or using a straw makes it more likely to swallow air which can contribute to gas.
2. Regular exercise
Exercise has shown to be able to speed up digestion and reduce constipation.
Exercise during pregnancy helps to improve the overall health of the mother. It is recommended that pregnant women engage in physical activities as a form of exercise to help improve their digestion and reduce gas.
Read this article on safe and effective ab exercises during pregnancy to discover the right routine for you.
3. Loose and comfortable clothing
Tightly fitted clothes especially around the belly area can add pressure on your abdomen which may result in a build-up of gas.
During the later stages of your pregnancy, invest in loose-fitting maternity clothes which allow food and gas to pass easily through your digestive system. This reduces the chances of gas building up.
4. Avoid gassy foods in your diet
The kind of food you eat has an impact on how much gas you produce. There are certain foods that trigger excess gas production. The key is to avoid such foods or cut back on their consumption while pregnant.
Examples of gas-producing foods are broccoli, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, asparagus, cauliflower, and beans. Likewise, certain drinks are also to be avoided during pregnancy. These include carbonated energy drinks, sodas, sparkling water, and so on.
It is necessary to cut back on the consumption of these foods to prevent potential gas buildup.
5. Include more fiber in your diet
Maintaining a balanced and healthy diet is very important in pregnancy. In fact, you can read this article to discover 10 healthy pregnancy recipes for you. Furthermore, including fiber in your pregnancy diet is a good way to combat gas.
Although fiber-containing foods can make gas worse in the short term, they help to relieve constipation over a long period of time. This is because of their ability to draw water into the intestines and soften stools. This eases the passage of stool through the colon and outside the body.
Fruits including bananas, prunes, vegetables, oats, and flax meal are examples of food rich in fiber to consider.
Alternatively, you may consider taking fiber supplements during pregnancy to reduce constipation. Ask your doctor which supplement will benefit you the most.
Best positions to relieve gas during pregnancy
Apart from the natural remedies mentioned earlier to relieve gas, there are certain positions to try out that will reduce the buildup of gas.
Let’s see these positions:
1. Child’s pose
This pose helps the stomach move in a way that may help trapped gas move through the digestive system.
· Start on all fours (with your legs together or apart)
· Move your hands forward with your palms facing downward and move your bum backward towards the heels.
· Position your forehead as close as possible to the ground.
· Breathe there for a few minutes.
2. Happy baby pose
· Lie on the back
· Lift the knees upwards
· Hold the outside of your feet
· Gently rock yourself from side to side or back and forth.
You should note that pregnant women are not advised to lie on their backs for an extended period.
· Stand face forward with your feet wide apart (any distance comfortable for you)
· Hold out your arms straight out in front of you with your palm facing downward.
· Bend your knees in line with the toes
· Squat down gently while keeping the weight on your heels.
4. Seated forward fold
· Sit upright with the legs stretched out straight in front of the body.
· Slowly bend forward while moving the upper trunk towards your legs
· Try to reach for your toes with your fingers as you bend forward. You don’t have to touch them.
5. Cow/cat pose
This is a yoga pose that goes hand in hand and helps to relieve gas by contracting the abdominal muscles.
· Start with the cow pose by starting on all fours.
· Make sure your back is flat
· Inhale, arch your back, and allow your belly to sink downwards.
· Lift your head and allow your shoulders to relax
· As you exhale, round your back like a cat up to the ceiling, and simultaneously tuck your tailbone in.
· Release your head to the floor
· Continue moving back and forth from Cat to Cow.
Gas can be an embarrassing and weird pregnancy symptom, but it usually doesn’t cause any harm. There are many ways of helping the body reduce constipation which results in excess gas. Lifestyle remedies as well as moving the body in different positions are great ways to relieve this symptom.
You should consult your doctor before engaging in any routine to confirm if it is suitable for you and your pregnancy.