The hormone Progesterone is one of the main causes of more gas and bloating than usual in pregnancy. Progesterone is needed to support you in your pregnancy and higher quantities of it cause muscle relaxation in your body include the muscles of your digestive system. If the muscles move slower in the digestive process it leads to lovely things like burping, excess gas and bloating.
In the later stages of your pregnancy the increases of pressure inside of you can lead to the uterus pressing on your abdominal cavity and this can further slow digestion and cause more excess gas. Often women will they are not able to eat as much in the later stages of pregnancy. Take a look at the pic below and you will see how much the intestines are being pushed up and squashed.
Ways You Can Reduce the Excess Bloating And Gas During Pregnancy
1) Avoid Carbonated Drinks & High Sugar Drinks
Carbonated drinks obviously contain gas themselves to make them fizzy so try and avoid altogether and replace with water (best choice) or other non carbonated minimal sugar options.
2) Drink More Water
Drinking water helps to reduce sodium levels helping reduce bloating. It also helps prevent dehydration therefore constipation which is a common cause of excess gas and bloating.
3) Try a Low FODMAP Diet
FODMAP stands for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Diasaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols – sounds complicated we know but but simply it means foods that contain short chain carbohydrates that are poorly absorbed in your gastrointestinal tract. FODMAP foods are naturally present in the average diet and have an essential role in maintaining a healthy gut but because they are not easily absorbed they can cause symptoms such as pain in the abdomen, bloating and excessive gas. You can try an Elimination diet where you avoid the common FODMAP foods and see if your symptoms reduce. Then adding one food at a time to see if it recreates the symptoms.
Also in our Pregnancy Recipes guide there are a number of Low FODMAP recipes you can try and see if your symptoms reduce.
4) Stick To Low FODMAP Juices
Stick to Low FODMAP Juices and no more than 150ml of Juices per day (to avoid excessive sugar intake) – you can make the juice half juice half water which will cut down the sugar content by half
Juices low in FODMAP which are less iritating to your digestive system include:
- Grape juice
- Pineapple juice
- Cranberry juice
- Orange juice
- Lime juice
- Lemon juice
5) Irritable bowel Syndrome
Get a check if your gas is causing a lot of pain or excessive bloating. You could be suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome which is an issue with the large intestine. Along with excessive bloating and gas other symptoms such as diarrhea and abdominal pain can be present. There are ways of managing it. Gastrointestinal Doctors and Dieticians Can help by going through your Diet and help you make some changes. There are also recipe books available with recipes recommended for people suffering from IBS
6) Move More And Exercise
This is one of the most effective things to help with digestive related symptoms. Walking is the easiest way to get things moving in your bowels. We have other pregnancy friendly cardio options listed in our ‘Safe Exercise In Pregnancy Section’
7) Abdominal Massage
Some studies have found that abdominal massage may help relieve intestinal related issues of a number of different reasons such as bloating and excess gas.
Try the following technique:
- place your right hand on your abdomen above your right hip
- massage up towards your rib cage and then across the abdomen under your rib cage to the left
- then down to above the left hip
- this square like motion is to be repeated 5-7 times.
Can be practiced any time in the day but may be particularly helpful when you are feeling the symptoms