Pregnancy Articles

3 Tips for Preventing Gas

You Can Alleviate This Symptom

One of the early symptoms of pregnancy is an increase in gassiness, bloating, belching, and overall gastrointestinal discomfort. Unfortunately, the condition can last in varying degrees until delivery.

Everyone has gas and it is eliminated by burping, or passing it through the rectum. Gas is made primarily of odorless vapors such as carbon dioxide, oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen and sometimes methane. The unpleasant odor of gas comes from bacteria in the large intestine that release small amounts of gases that contain sulfur.

Having gas during pregnancy is common and not dangerous. However it can be uncomfortable and embarrassing. By understanding the causes of gas, some relief may be found.

Gas in the digestive tract comes from two sources:
  • Swallowed air.
  • The normal breakdown of certain undigested carbohydrate foods by harmless bacteria naturally present in the large intestine.
Changing what you eat and drink can help prevent or relieve gas. If you feel like you have too much gas, you might want to try these three prevention tips:

1) Cut down on foods that cause gas. The amount of gas caused by certain foods varies from person to person. The only way to know your own limits is through trial and error. Many of these foods are highly nutritious. Still include them in your pregnancy diet, but in moderation.
  • Beans
  • Vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, brussels sprouts, onions, artichokes, and asparagus
  • Fruits such as pears, apples, melon, and peaches
  • Whole grains such as whole wheat and bran
  • Soft drinks
  • Milk and milk products (if you are sensitive to the milk sugar/lactose)
  • Dietetic foods and sugar-free candies and gums
2) Drink plenty of water, non-carbonated liquids, juice, and clear soup. Try not to drink liquids that contain gas, like soda or carbonated water. If you do drink soda, pour it into a glass and let it stand for a while to let the "fizz" out.

3) Reduce the amount of air you swallow.
  • Eat slower and chew more.
  • Avoid chewing gum and eating hard candy.
  • Do not talk and chew food at the same time.
  • Avoid gulping food.
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About The Author

Becky Hand
Becky is a registered and licensed dietitian with almost 20 years of experience. She teaches prenatal classes and counsels individuals, helping women eat right and stay fit before, during and after their pregnancies.
Becky Hand

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