Find yourself struggling with more gas and digestional stress than normal during your pregnancy? Find out why and discover 10 ways to deal with pregnancy bloat below!
Causes of Bloating During Pregnancy
One of the main causes of bloating during pregnancy is the increase of progesterone, a hormone that relaxes the muscles in your body including the digestive tract. This can lead to slower digestion, thus leading to bloating and gas, especially after a large meal.
As your pregnancy progresses the growing uterus takes up more space in the abdominal cavity, thus further slowing digestion and pushing on your stomach causing even more bloat and discomfort. This is why many pregnant women also tend to struggle with heartburn or constipation during pregnancy even if they’ve never dealt with them before.
Though bloating is a common issue that most pregnant issue struggle with, thankfully there are several simple solutions. The below ten tips can help you to combat your pregnancy bloat while also offering relief from the symptoms caused by it.
10 Ways To Deal With Pregnancy Bloat
1. Stay Hydrated
One simple way to beat pregnancy bloat is to increase your water intake. Not only will water help to flush out toxins in your body but it will also help to get things moving if you are constipated. Staying hydrated is about more than just drinking water though – juices as well as fruits and vegetables can also be a great source of hydration to combat bloat.
2. Move Around More
Physical activity is not only beneficial in regards to keeping your weight down during pregnancy but it can also help to ward off any bloat by helping gas to pass through the digestive tract quicker. Aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity a day however even a ten minute walk after a meal is a great way to keep bloat at bay.
3. Increase Your Fiber Intake
Fiber helps to combat bloat by keeping everything moving through the intestines. By adding bulk to the foods that you eat, fiber can help to prevent and aid in digestional issues such as constipation, though consuming too much fiber too quickly can also result in feeling bloated.
Women need at least 25 grams of fiber per day, so start there and adjust as needed. Foods such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables are great for increasing your fiber intake slowly and naturally.
4. Adjust Your Diet
One way to eliminate bloat is to slowly remove foods that are known to cause gas from your diet one at a time. Foods such as dairy products, high fat foods, greasy foods and even some vegetables can lead to uncomfortable gas and bloat. Try switching to lactose free sources of dairy as well as cutting back on processed foods and cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and brussels sprouts until you find the culprit.
5. Break Up Your Meals
Digestion tends to slow during pregnancy, so avoiding large meals in favor of smaller ones more frequently is a great way to keep bloat at bay. Smaller meals and smaller amounts of food are easier for the stomach to break down quickly, thus keeping you from feeling bloated and uncomfortable. Enjoy healthy food and meals at regular intervals throughout the day to keep your energy levels up while also avoiding any unwanted symptoms.
6. Wear Loose Fitting Clothing
Wearing fitted clothing restricts blood flow, thus not only making you feel uncomfortable but also leading to difficulty breathing in some cases. Swap out those tight, fitted clothes for loose fitting and airy options that won’t cinch your middle.
7. Add Anti-Bloat Foods to Your Diet
Just like there are some foods that can actually contribute to your bloat, there are also foods that can help to fight it. Fruits and vegetables, particularly those high in water such as melons, are terrific anti-bloat foods. Asparagus is a natural diuretic, meaning that it helps to flush out water and waste, thus reducing bloat and discomfort. Another great anti-bloat food is bananas, which are high in potassium to combat constipation as well as bloating related to a high sodium intake. Potassium helps to counteract the effects of sodium in the body, which can cause the body to retain water and thus lead to a feeling of bloat.
Stress causes more harm to the body than most people realize, so it should come as no surprise that stress even has an effect on the digestive system. Stress can disrupt normal digestive system functioning, leading to indigestion, heartburn, cramping and bloat.
Meditation, music, yoga or breathing techniques are extremely helpful in reducing stress and keeping stress-related digestive woes at bay.
9. Reduce Caffeine Intake
Pregnant women should reduce their intake of caffeine to roughly 200mg a day, or roughly one 12-ounce cup of coffee, however reducing your caffeine intake doesn’t just protect your baby. Caffeine can also induce gas and lead to bloating, though this isn’t caused by only coffee. Caffeine found in chocolates, sodas and teas should also be monitored.
10. Sip Herbal Teas
Though it is important to limit caffeine while pregnant, there are a few caffeine-free herbal teas that are terrific in reducing bloat.
- Ginger tea not only helps to keep nausea away, it is also a great digestion aid.
- Peppermint tea is soothing and helps to calm the stomach, reducing gas and cramping.
- Chamomile has natural anti-spasmodic and anti-inflammatory properties which combat bloat.
As an added bonus herbal teas also help to keep you hydrated!
Pregnancy bloat is part of nearly every new mother’s pregnancy journey, but it doesn’t have to be uncomfortable or embarrassing. Incorporate the above ten tips to chase away pregnancy bloat and it’s unwanted symptoms!