It's embarrassing to admit, but I have such bad gas now that I'm pregnant! What can I do to get some relief from the discomfort, bloating … and the embarrassment?
During pregnancy, hormones slow the rate of food passing through the gastrointestinal tract and the uterus pushes against your large intestine. This makes it hard to have a bowel movement, and gives gas more time to form. So constipation and gas often go hand in hand. Some women also find that certain foods may make them more gassy.
The best way to combat both constipation and gas is to prevent them. Eat a fiber-rich diet — whole-grain breads and cereals, and fresh fruits and vegetables. Avoid foods that you know make you gassy or bloated. Eat small, frequent meals. Drink plenty of water every day and avoid carbonated beverages.
Ask your doctor if you should use stool softeners (unless the doctor tells you to, you shouldn't take laxatives). And with the doctor's clearance, regular exercise can help keep your bowels moving.
Check with your doctor before taking any medications, if you have abdominal pain, or if you have any questions or concerns.
Reviewed by: Larissa Hirsch, MD
Date reviewed: July 2009
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|Maternal and Child Health Bureau This U.S. government agency is charged with promoting and improving the health of mothers and children.|
|American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) This site offers information on numerous health issues. The women's health section includes readings on pregnancy, labor, delivery, postpartum care, breast health, menopause, contraception, and more.|
|MyPlate for Moms MyPlate for Moms tailors the USDA's food guide to suit the individual needs of pregnant and nursing women.|
|Eating During Pregnancy To eat well during pregnancy, your extra calories should come from nutritious foods that contribute to your baby's growth and development.|
|Pregnancy Myths and Tales Even in these times, pregnancy continues to inspire its own set of myths and tales. Which are true and which aren't?|
|10 Things That Might Surprise You About Being Pregnant Despite all the books, magazines, and pamphlets devoted to the topic of pregnancy, this 9-month period can take any soon-to-be parent by surprise.|
|Exercising During Pregnancy Most women benefit greatly from exercising throughout their pregnancies. But during that time, you'll need to make a few adjustments to your normal exercise routine.|
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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