Pregnancy Problems

Gas And Bloating During Pregnancy

Feeling bloated and gassy? Blame the pregnancy! We've got the deets on how to handle that uncomfortable gassy feeling — and prevent it from coming back.

What are gas and bloating?

Pain, belching, bloating and other nasties are no fun, but — sorry — they sort of come along with the job of carrying a baby.

What are the signs of gas and bloating?

Those nasties we just mentioned! You might be farting or burping, or be experiencing abdominal cramps, pain or tightening.

Are there any tests for gas and bloating?

Not really, but if you’re really uncomfortable, your doc may run tests to make sure it’s not some other problem.

How common are gas and bloating during pregnancy?

According to the March of Dimes, most pregnant women get gas and bloating at some point. Consider this par for the course.
 
How did I get this gas now that I’m pregnant?

Progesterone (one of those pregnancy hormones) is relaxing smooth muscle tissue all over your body, including in your gastrointestinal tract. This makes your gut work slower, giving your body more time to snatch up nutrients from your food and take them to baby...and that translates into gas for you. Later in pregnancy, your bulging uterus starts pushing up on your stomach and down on your rectum, further increasing your chances of experiencing heartburn and constipation.

How will my gas and bloating affect my baby?

They shouldn’t. But if you’re also experiencing severe nausea, excessive vomiting or bloody stools — or if you think your pains could be contractions — call your doc ASAP.

What’s the best way to treat gas and bloating during pregnancy?

Work on prevention (see next page). If that doesn’t work, ask your doc before you take any medications.

What can I do to prevent gas and bloating during pregnancy?

Luckily, there are ways to relieve some of the pressure. Eat small, regular meals and stay away from foods that tend to give you gas. Fried foods, sweets, cabbage and beans are common culprits, but you might find other foods that are particularly troublesome. Eating and drinking slowly will keep you from swallowing excess air (you'll later use this technique when feeding baby!), and loose clothing will keep you comfy. Yoga classes can also help settle things down. And ward off constipation (a big gas inducer) by consuming plenty of liquids and high-fiber foods.

What do other pregnant moms do when they have gas and bloating?

“I was struggling with major gas pains for quite a few weeks (weeks 19 to 22). I have learned to help control it and have not had nearly as many issues. Try eating small meals throughout the day. Avoid things that are hard to digest, like corn and some really starchy foods. Also, I find some relief drinking hot ginger teas.”

“I’ve had so much trapped gas that my belly got rock-hard, with so much pain. I’ve found that eating too many carbs too quickly (especially bread) aggravates it, and so does too much dairy and sugar. I’m trying to stick to drinking things without a lot of sugar in them, less bread and dairy, and eating more fiber, especially beans.”

“For me, the occasional Dulcolax and eating prunes has helped a lot...I also eat a big bowl of Raisin Bran in the morning and try to drink lots of water. This has helped, but I’m not totally back to my ‘normal self.’”

Are there any other resources for gas and bloating during pregnancy?

March of Dimes

Plus, more from The Bump:

Top 10 Things They Should Really Warn You About Before You Get Pregnant

How to get rid of bloating and indigestion?

Abdominal Pain During Pregnancy

By Paula Kashtan