Pregnancy comes riddled with tons of emotions and gastrointestinal problems, and feeling gassy and bloated is part of the package. While farting and belching can be embarrassing and really uncomfortable, it might give you some assurance to know that you are not alone. Nearly all pregnant women experience pregnancy gas as the changing body and roaring hormones combine with other factors to give rise to it.
On the upside, you can get rid of the gas by following certain home remedies. And that’s what we discuss here, along with what to do if it does not go away using home remedies. So read on.
In This Article
Why Do You Get Pregnancy Gas?
Your body goes through a plethora of changes during your pregnancy and gas is a result of some of the normal processes that take place. Firstly, your body produces more testosterone and estrogen during this time, and they can relax your muscles, absorb more water and retain gas in the body, making you feel bloated. Progesterone also relaxes the muscles in your gastrointestinal tract as well, which leads to a slowed-down digestion process and delayed gastric emptying (1).
During the second half of your pregnancy, your growing uterus which accommodates the growing baby puts pressure on your intestines situated right behind it, slowing down the digestion that may lead to pregnancy bloat. Put to the mix all the prenatal supplements that you take, especially iron, which is known for causing constipation (1). Constipation makes you feel gassy and bloated.
Apart from the above reasons, certain food items are also known to make you feel bloated.
Let’s look at all those in detail and find out how to get relief from pregnancy gas.
Effective Home Remedies To Treat Gas During Pregnancy
1. Increase Your Fluid Intake
Water is absolutely crucial during pregnancy as it supports all the vital functions in your body and the growing fetus. Water can help to improve your digestion and get the waste moving more smoothly through your intestinal tract (2). Drink at least 10 cups or 3L of water sipping slowly with a straw (3). You can swallow air if you gulp down water from a bottle, leading to even more trapped air in your body, so avoid it if you can.
If you are completely bored with water and want a change of taste, you can drink low-FODMAP juices (low in fermentable fibers) like cranberry, grape, orange, and pineapple. Try to limit carbonated drinks to less than 300mL to avoid the risk of further disrupting the digestive system (4).
2. Start Moving And Exercise
Physical activity and exercise may be the last things on your mind when you are bloated, but that is what you need to release the trapped gas inside and improve your digestion. A study has shown that engaging in mild physical exercise may lower the amount of gas retained in the abdomen in comparison to resting (5). You do need to discuss which exercises are safe to do during the different stages of your pregnancy with your obstetrician.
3. Monitor The Fiber In Your Diet
Physicians generally recommend that you take fiber-rich foods, but you take them in moderation and add them slowly to your diet. If you are already gassy, pass on the spicy, fried, or greasy processed foods that you may be craving. Avoid low-FODMAP soluble fibers as they ferment in the colon, creating gas (7). Bananas, prunes, figs, oats, and flax seeds are good options to relieve gas related to constipation. Vegetables like okra and beans are also healthy sources of fiber that may help you clear your bowels.
4. Practice Breathing Exercises To Bust Your Stress
- Deep breathing exercises
- Time alone for creative pursuit
- A warm bath
- Aromatherapy with essential oils like lavender and bergamot (10), (11)
Drink Herbal Teas
Peppermint and ginger tea are great options for easing digestive problems. Various studies have shown that peppermint eases many of the uncomfortable symptoms associated with IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), including abdominal pain, cramping, and flatulence (12), (13). Ginger has carminative properties, meaning that it helps in expelling waste from the bowels. Research also suggests that it can reduce bloating and flatulence (14).
These home remedies for getting rid of pregnancy gas are often effective but if your symptoms do not improve, you may need to talk to your obstetrician.
When To Contact Your Doctor
Gas is one of the most common reasons for abdominal pain during pregnancy. However, it is not the only reason. Pregnancy-related conditions like ectopic pregnancy, Braxton Hicks contractions, or labor can be responsible for abdominal pain. So can certain medical conditions unrelated to pregnancy, like appendicitis, IBS, or gallstones (17). To avoid possible complications, it is best to get in touch with your doctor as early as possible, if:
- Your pain or discomfort does not seem to subside
- Your pain or discomfort worsens
- You experience severe nausea
- You experience vomiting
- You pass blood in your stool
- You are severely constipated
- You are worried if it’s gas that’s causing your discomfort or something else
- You are experiencing what feels like contractions
If your doctor diagnoses your pain or discomfort as a gas-related problem, they may offer you a few treatment options. Let’s see what they might be.
Other Treatment Options
Depending on the exact symptoms and severity of your condition, your doctor may prescribe you either of the following for relief from gas pains during pregnancy:
- Anti-gas medication
Certain antacids and anti-gas medication may be available to you over-the-counter. However, as not all the available brands or compositions are safe or suitable during pregnancy, you should speak to your doctor about dosage and safety before using any of them.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why does stomach gas hurt so much during pregnancy?
Stomach gas can hurt more during pregnancy because of the growing uterus. The uterus puts pressure on the organs and bones, further causing pressure on the intestines and eventually aggravating the gastric pain.
Where do you feel gas pain during pregnancy?
Gas pain can be mainly observed in the abdomen, chest, and back. At times, it also is accompanied by stomach cramps and mild discomfort.
How long can trapped gas last?
Trapped gas usually lasts for 4-6 hours. In a few, it may last up to 24-48 hours.
- Increase fluid consumption, exercise, and drink herbal teas to prevent pregnancy gas.
- If you experience severe nausea, pass blood in your stool, experience vomiting, or your pain or discomfort does not subside, instead worsens, see a doctor.
- Laxative, antacid, and anti-gas medication are treatment options to cure it.
In brief, pregnancy gas is a common and treatable condition that arises because of hormonal fluctuations, prenatal supplements, and the growing uterus during pregnancy. Incorporating mild physical activities, watching what you eat, drinking plenty of water and other fluids, and reducing stress are the most common ways to combat gas during pregnancy. You can also try over-the-counter antacids or anti-gas medications, but it is better to ask your obstetrician which medication to take and the dosage. If you do not get relief after trying out the home remedies and using over-the-counter medication, talk to your doctor without delay.
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- Gastrointestinal diseases during pregnancy: what does the gastroenterologist need to know?
- Water Hydration and Health
- Water Intake Water Balance and the Elusive Daily Water Requirement
- Carbonated beverages and gastrointestinal system: between myth and reality
- Physical activity and intestinal gas clearance in patients with bloating
- Effect of dietary fiber on constipation: A meta analysis
- Dietary fiber in irritable bowel syndrome (Review)
- Anxiety depression and stress in pregnancy: implications for mothers children research and practice
- Aerophagia in adults: a comparison with functional dyspepsia
- Effects of lavender on anxiety: A systematic review and meta-analysis
- Physical and Psychologic Effects of Aromatherapy Inhalation on Pregnant Women: A Randomized Controlled Trial
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- Botanical perspectives on health peppermint: more than just an after-dinner mint
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- Management of acute abdomen in pregnancy: current perspectives