Women's Healthcare Topics

How to Prevent Pregnancy Bloating and Gas?

Reviewed by James Brann, M.D.

Are You Burping and Passing Gas?

Pregnant women frequently complain of feeling pretty bloated and gassy. Bloating is the feeling of fullness and cramping in the belly that can happen with gas.

A majority of pregnant women will experience bloating and gas at some point during pregnancy. In the second trimester, you may find yourself burping and passing gas when you least expect it.

Some pregnant women feel that they pass too much gas or burp too frequently, and both do often lead to embarrassment and/or discomfort. The average pregnant women produces about one to three pints of gas every day, which is passed 14 to 23 times per day. An increase in burping is commonly complained of in pregnancy and is also normal.

Abdominal bloating and gas in pregnancy is caused by hormonal changes that slow down the motility of your bowel. The slowing down of the bowel motility increases the time food takes to transverse the bowel and more time to develop gas giving rise to the feeling of being bloated.

Other factors may also contribute to the prolongation in transit time and bloating. The blood concentration of a hormone called motilin (a stimulatory gastrointestinal hormone) is reduced during pregnancy. In addition, the weight and size of the pregnant uterus can place pressure on the small bowel and slow down food movement through it, particularly late in pregnancy.

During pregnancy you pass more gas than normal and can be embarrassing.

Other Causes of Gas in Pregnancy include:

  • Swallowing air, while you are eating food or drinking fluids.

  • Several foods can produce gas, they include beans, broccoli, fruit, wheat, potatoes, corn, and noodles.

  • Trouble digesting wheat or dairy products.

Pregnancy Health Section

Things you can do to Help:

You might feel better if you cut down on certain foods. Write down what you eat so you can figure out which foods are causing your gas. Common foods that can make your gas and bloating worse are:

  • Milk and dairy products

  • Beans

  • Some vegetables, such as cabbage, brussels sprouts, asparagus, broccoli, potatoes, and corn

  • Some whole grains, such as wheat

  • Most types of fruit

  • Artificial sweeteners

  • Soda and other fizzy drinks

  • Chewing gum

If you have any of these Symptoms Call your Doctor:

  • Unexplained weight loss

  • Belly pain

  • Blood in bowel movements

  • Loss of appetite

  • Unexplained fever

  • Throwing up for longer than 2 days (48 hours)

  • Diarrhea that lasts longer than 5 days

You can Reduce your Chances of getting Gas and becoming Bloated by:

  • Staying away from foods and drinks that cause gas for you

  • Taking Beano when you eat beans and some vegetables

  • Taking supplements that help you digest dairy, if that is your problem

  • Eating more slowly

  • Take medications that contain simethicone, such as Maalox Anti Gas


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