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Bloating during pregnancy

by Josephine Andrews
Published: Last Updated on 245 views

Many expectant mothers suffer from bloating. Pregnancy and the changes that come with it mean that digestion slows down and the uterus increasingly presses on the intestines, especially in late pregnancy. Flatulence, but also heartburn or constipation are the result. Find out here what helps against the harmless but annoying gas in the stomach and what you can do to prevent it.

A common duo: bloating & pregnancy

Flatulence is not uncommon during pregnancy: the hormone progesterone ensures that the smooth muscles, including the muscle layer of the intestinal wall, relax. As a result, the intestine becomes sluggish and works more slowly. Although the body of a pregnant woman has more time to absorb nutrients from the food pulp, more air can accumulate in the intestine during the digestion process. Such an excessive accumulation of gas in the digestive tract is also referred to as meteorism or bloating.

Being pregnant also often goes hand in hand with a change in diet: Many women then pay particular attention to what they eat and increasingly eat healthy whole grain products, fruit and vegetables. This change in diet can result in digestive problems, as the intestines only gradually get used to the healthy lifestyle. Bloating is therefore common, especially at the beginning of pregnancy.

Pregnancy can also trigger problems in the digestive tract in another way, especially in the last third: the growing uterus and the ever-growing child put pressure on the stomach and intestines, disrupt digestion and promote flatulence.

And: Pregnancy and the upcoming birth trigger discomfort and nervousness in some women. Stress and anxiety hit the stomach and increase digestive problems. Eating hastily and swallowing quickly also often lead to flatulence.

Pregnancy: How to avoid bloating!

Pregnant or not – flatulence can often be avoided with the following tips:

  • regular meals
  • eat slowly, chew well
  • drink enough
  • a lot of movement
  • avoid stress

Which home remedies help with flatulence?

Existing flatulence can often be alleviated with home remedies:

These home remedies are generally used against flatulence, even outside of pregnancy.

Home remedies have their limits. If the symptoms persist over a longer period of time, do not get better or even get worse, you should always consult a doctor.

Flatulence: suitable and unsuitable foods

Certain foods promote gas formation, while others have a calming effect on the intestines. Sometimes even a small change in diet helps against flatulence.

What causes bloating?

Avoid foods that cause flatulence, such as cabbage, legumes, onions or unripe fruit. Nuts, raisins, very fresh bread, yeast, whole grains and some types of cheese also easily lead to bloating. Pregnant women who are prone to bloating should also avoid carbonated drinks. Coffee, ice-cold drinks, chocolate, sweeteners and greasy foods also promote flatulence.

What Relieves Bloating?

A sluggish intestine with increased gas accumulation can be brought under control with a high-fiber diet. Also, you should always drink plenty of fluids. Fennel, aniseed, caraway and peppermint have a relaxing effect on the intestines – both as a tea, but also fresh or as a spice. Turmeric, cumin, marjoram, ginger and coriander boost digestion and reduce flatulence.

Pregnancy and Bloating: When to See a Doctor?

If preventive measures, home remedies and avoiding flatulent foods do not relieve flatulence, you should see a doctor. This is especially true if there are other symptoms such as fever, cramps, nausea, diarrhea or vomiting.

anti-bloating medication

Pregnancy and lactation often set limits to drug treatment. In principle, pregnant women should only use medicines after consulting their doctor.

Bloating is harmless and rarely requires medication to relieve it. Digestive, antispasmodic or defoaming agents (simethicone, dimeticone) can help. The latter loosen the gas bubbles in the intestine and thereby relieve flatulence. Pregnancy and the development of the child are not endangered by the defoamers – the active ingredients are considered harmless during pregnancy.

Flatulence – the air has to get out!

If the excess gases want to escape as winds, you should not suppress them because you will be embarrassed. Up to 1000 milliliters of gas are formed in the intestines every day. The mixture of nitrogen, carbon dioxide, hydrogen and methane has to escape somewhere, otherwise a painfully tense bloated stomach develops. If you follow this advice and the tips above, chances are you ‘ll be able to enjoy pregnancy and childbirth without bloating .

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