Gas during pregnancy can be uncomfortable, painful, and can cause bloating and cramping. What pregnancy-safe remedies are there to reduce and manage gas?



By Dr. Kenosha Gleaton

Why do I have so much gas during pregnancy?

Pregnancy can cause an extra build up of gas than what you’re used to, and it can be painful and uncomfortable to deal with. Fortunately, this is a very common symptom of pregnancy, and you don’t have anything to worry about. 

So what causes the extra gas? The short answer is hormones. Progesterone increases during pregnancy to nurture and protect your baby, but it also plays a role in our muscles. Muscles in your body, including intestinal muscles, will relax once exposed to progesterone. When these muscles relax, digestion slows down and gas is able to build up more easily, causing bloating, flatulence, and burping. There’s also an increase in pressure as your pregnancy progresses, slowing digestion and increasing gas build up.

What can I do to manage gas that is pregnancy safe?

There’s not much you can do about the hormones your body is releasing, or your ever-growing uterus, but you can try to manage gas by avoiding certain food and drinks like:

  • Carbonated beverages
  • Fatty fried foods
  • Beans and lentils
  • Dairy products

It may also help to start new habits such as: 

  • Using a straw to drink
  • Eating smaller meals throughout the day
  • Exercising
  • Wearing loose clothing
  • Drinking plenty of water
  • Eating slowly and chewing thoroughly 

That’s right, chewing slowly and fully can actually help relieve some gas. Bacteria in the large intestine have to work to break down any undigested food, sometimes causing excess gas

Painful gas during pregnancy

Not only is gas uncomfortable, it can turn into severe pain felt in the chest, stomach, and back. If you’re noticing pain associated with your gas, you may want to consult your doctor on taking a gas-relief medicine. Simethicone is a common compound used for bloating and indigestion and is deemed pregnancy safe. Your discomfort could also be related to constipation, which can be remedied through a high-fiber diet or taking a fiber supplement

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How can a fiber-filled diet help reduce constipation and gas-related pain?

At least one in four women will experience constipation during their pregnancy. Whether it be caused by hormones, iron supplementation, or inadequate fluid intake, constipation is a common and uncomfortable symptom of pregnancy. Drinking plenty of water and taking a fiber supplement can not only help reduce constipation, but can manage hemorrhoids, gas, and bloating.

Natalist Fiber is all natural and can be taken as a pill or added to a smoothie

What products or ingredients should I avoid? What products are safe?

While you may want to try just about anything to get rid of gas and constipation, there are some products that you should stay away from while pregnant:

  • Laxatives: Laxatives should be a last resort and only taken after consulting your doctor.
  • Pepto-bismol: While you may want to reach for that pink bottle at the first sign of indigestion, one of the ingredients, bismuth subsalicylate, isn’t recommended for use while pregnant. 

Gas-X, Mylanta, Tums, and other antacids or medicines containing simethicone are pregnancy safe and can be very helpful for reducing gas pain. Some other pregnancy safe options are:

  • Peppermint tea: A natural remedy for relieving an upset stomach (Try The Good Morning Tea for digestive relief).
  • Water: Staying hydrated can aid in digestion and decrease constipation, gas, and bloating. Try carrying a water bottle with you throughout the day to help increase your water intake!
  • Fiber: Safe and effective, fiber is known as the magic pregnancy supplement (learn more here).

Takeaways

  • Hormones like progesterone can worsen gas during pregnancy.
  • Avoiding fried foods, dairy, carbonated drinks, and beans/lentils can help lessen gas. 
  • Peppermint tea, fiber supplements, and drinking lots of water are pregnancy-safe options for gas relief.

 

Featured Image From Jaclyn Roth