The beautiful experience of being pregnant is also associated with some embarrassing problems, one of which is gas and bloating. Many pregnant women complain about this problem.
There are a number of causes for the formation of gas during pregnancy. According to the American Pregnancy Association, one key contributing factor is the increased level of progesterone during pregnancy. The hormone causes the muscles throughout your body to relax. When your intestinal muscles relax, your digestion slows down, which allows gas to build up easier and creates bloating, burping and flatulence (1).
Other reasons behind gas formation during pregnancy include obesity, a low level of physical activity, gestational diabetes and a poor diet. Some other risk factors include constipation and indigestion, along with some degree of heartburn.
While gas can be embarrassing and highly uncomfortable, some simple and effective home remedies can help reduce gas during pregnancy.
Here are the top 10 home remedies for gas during pregnancy.
1. Avoid Gas-Forming Foods
The food you eat has a direct impact on the amount of gas you experience, pregnant or not. During pregnancy, you need to eat a balanced, nutritious diet and avoid foods that can lead to gas buildup in the stomach and intestines.
Some common foods that cause gas and bloating include cabbage, beans, cauliflower, broccoli, asparagus, Brussels sprouts, pasta, bread, white rice, potatoes, oat bran, raspberries, and pears.
If you are lactose intolerant or even slightly allergic to milk, avoid dairy products and look into alternatives like soy milk or rice milk.
At the same time, avoid greasy or fried fatty foods. They take a long time to break down and digest. Also, sodas and fruity, fizzy drinks are packed with empty calories and can cause gas.
2. Drink Plenty of Fluids
Water is your best bet when it comes to improving your digestive health and preventing the formation of gas. The digestive tract functions better when the body gets an adequate amount of fluid intake. It also helps expel gas and prevent constipation.
Proper hydration is also important for your baby’s health. A 2012 study published in the Journal of Ultrasound in Medicine reports that in pregnancies complicated by isolated oligohydramnios (an amniotic fluid deficiency), hydration therapy significantly improves the quantity of amniotic fluid (2).
Drink about 8 to 10 glasses of plain or flavored water every day. Also, include juice in your diet that is low in certain types of gas- and bloating-promoting sugars called FODMAPs, which are hard for some people to digest. Cranberry, grape, pineapple and orange juice are some of the best examples.
Avoid fizzy drinks like soda that can worsen the condition.
3. Eat Some Fiber
Although foods that contain fiber may cause your body to produce more gas, eating high-fiber foods helps ensure that you have regular bowel movements. This helps prevent constipation and excess gas during pregnancy.
Fiber brings water into the intestines, softening the stools and allowing them to pass more easily.
Including 25 to 30 grams of high-fiber foods into your daily diet can help ease gas. You can eat prunes, bananas, oats, and flaxseeds to boost your fiber intake.
If you are not fond of high-fiber foods, ask your doctor about a fiber supplement and take it as directed.
4. Be Active
Pregnancy does not mean that you need to lie in your bed and rest all the time. In fact, this can worsen the problem of gas.
Regular exercise during pregnancy is beneficial for reducing the formation of excess gas. Light exercise aids in digestion. This means your food will move through your intestinal tract more quickly and produce less gas along the way.
During pregnancy, walking is a good exercise that should be adopted by every pregnant lady to prevent gas.
Exercise will also prevent unhealthy weight gain during pregnancy, help improve glucose metabolism and reduce insulin resistance.
5. Do Yoga
Practicing yoga can give you relief from gas during pregnancy. One of the best yoga poses is Cow pose.
This yoga pose helps to open the chest and promote spinal flexibility. It even provides a gentle massage to the spine and belly organs, which is beneficial during pregnancy.
- Get on your hands and knees in a tabletop position.
- Position your arms directly below your shoulders, keeping them straight.
- Inhale as you drop your belly and gaze at the upper portion of the wall in front of you, stretching your head, neck and chest upward.
- Repeat 5 to 10 times, then finish with the Child’s Pose to relax your body.
Note: This pose is often paired with Cat Pose, but during pregnancy you should only do Cow pose.
Some other useful yoga poses for easing painful bloating and gas are the Extended Side Angle pose, Triangle pose, Sitting Side Stretch, Wind Relieving pose and Child’s pose.
Caution: Before doing any yoga, consult your doctor.
6. Drink Buttermilk
Buttermilk is a great home remedy for gas during pregnancy, but it should be avoided by those who have lactose intolerance.
Being rich in probiotic microbes, it helps promote digestion and thus prevents indigestion and excessive gas. Most people even like the taste of buttermilk.
Add a pinch of rock salt to a glass of buttermilk, and drink it once or twice daily.
7. Drink Chamomile Tea
Chamomile is also an effective home remedy for gas during pregnancy. It prevents gas formation by reducing the secretion of gastric acid and pepsin from the stomach walls. In fact, chamomile can give you instant relief from gas problems.
Chamomile can also help reduce fasting blood sugar levels and increase insulin sensitivity.
- Steep a tea bag of chamomile tea in a cup of hot water.
- Remove the tea bag and drink the refreshing tea.
- Drink a cup of chamomile tea at least once daily.
8. Drink Fenugreek-Infused Water
Fenugreek contains a good amount of soluble fiber that absorbs water in the intestines and adds bulk to the stools. This helps ease constipation, which in turn prevents the formation of gas during pregnancy.
- Put 2 tablespoons of fenugreek seeds in a cup of water.
- Let it soak overnight.
- The next morning, strain out the infused water and drink it on an empty stomach.
9. Wear Loose Clothing
The clothes you wear during pregnancy can also play a key role in reducing gas.
For instance, tight clothing around your waist can further constrict the digestive system that is already being crowded by your growing uterus. It can also slow circulation in the body. This can worsen the problem of gas.
So, if your pants or skirts are causing welts in your skin, change them and wear something loose.
Loose clothing will not put any extra pressure on the abdomen and also will allow the free movement of gases within the body.
10. Eat Smaller Meals
Another simple trick to avoid excess gas formation during pregnancy is to eat smaller meals. Instead of having three heavy meals, spread your meals out into five to seven small meals throughout the day.
The way you eat your meals also can affect how much gas is produced. Chew your food properly and avoid gulping down your food. Taking big bites of food and eating in a hurry can lead to faster gas formation in the stomach.
Also, avoid lying down and eating. Always eat your food in a seated position, and avoid lying down immediately after eating to avoid gas formation and constipation.
- Make sure you have regular bowel movements to prevent constipation.
- Excess tension or stress can also be responsible for gas production. So, avoid stressful situations as much as possible.
- Keep a food journal to identify the foods you eat that are causing gas during your pregnancy.
- When you drink water or juice, sip from a straw instead of gulping down the whole glass.
1. Gas During Pregnancy: Causes and Prevention. American Pregnancy Association. http://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancy-health/gas-during-pregnancy/. Published May 19, 2016.
2. Patrelli TS, Gizzo S, Cosmi E, et al. Maternal hydration therapy improves the quantity of amniotic fluid and the pregnancy outcome in third-trimester isolated oligohydramnios: a controlled randomized institutional trial. Journal of ultrasound in medicine : official journal of the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22298867. Published February 2012.