Pregnancy Gas Got You Down?
One of the major complaints of pregnant women is gas. It seems no matter what you eat, drink, or do, pregnancy gas is one thing that pregnant women cannot get control of. Sometimes it is a major inconvenience, while other times it can be downright painful. So what can you do?
Find the Source
The first step towards getting a handle on gas is to pinpoint what may be causing or increasing gas. Gas occurs in two ways – one from swallowing air, and two from bacteria digesting food in your colon. The first type is usually alleviated by burping, the second by flatulence. Usually, pregnant women have the most issues with flatulence and understandably want to find ways to make it stop.
The best way to get a handle on gas is to first cut anything out of your diet that may be causing the problem. Here are the common offenders:
- Raffinose: Found in beans, whole grains, and some vegetables. The worst foods include cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, and asparagus.
- Fructose: Naturally found in foods like apples, honey, wheat, dried fruit, onions and leeks, and found in sodas, fruit drinks, and anything containing high-fructose corn syrup.
- Starches: Wheat, corn, potatoes, and fiber-rich foods including oat bran, peas, and some fruit. The starch found in rice is okay and wheat bran is also fine, especially if you need more fiber in your diet.
- Dairy: Many people have a minor intolerance to lactose, and this may become more evident when pregnant. Taking a few days off dairy may show some improvement. You can also buy lactose-free products or look for lactase pills that you can take with dairy. Be aware that if you do eliminate dairy, you’ll need to find alternate sources of calcium.
- High-fat foods: While fat is not a gas-causer in itself, it does tend to slow down your rate of digestion, which can lead to more gas.
- Drinks: Anything carbonated or sweetened with sorbitol can contribute to increased gas.
- Gum and candy: Chewing gum or sucking on candy can result in more air being swallowed, which leads to bloating and gas.
There are a few other things you can try to cut down on gas. For one, have several smaller meals throughout the day instead of large ones. Chew slowly and thoroughly. Try not to drink too much while eating; save it for between meals. It also helps to drink directly from a cup and not through a straw.
Sometimes the culprit can be a slow-moving digestive tract, so it’s a good idea to take a short walk a few times a day to get everything moving again. Make sure you get enough fiber to reduce constipation. If gas is really getting you down, ask your health practitioner if you can take an over-the-counter remedy.