If you are pregnant or have ever been pregnant, you will know that there are a number of not so desirable side effects that come alongside the growth of a baby.
These are particularly noticeable in the first trimester (three months) of pregnancy and include nausea, severe fatigue, sore breasts, bloating and gas (or flatulence).
We all produce between two and four litres of gas per day, but during early pregnancy, we are certainly at the top end of this scale and it can feel like we are constantly releasing gas from one end or the other – either through belching or farting.
What causes stomach bloating during pregnancy?
One of the main reasons for the increase in gas during pregnancy is the increased levels of progesterone in the body. This causes our muscles to relax and these muscles include those in our intestines, leading to slower digestion and increased the transient time from eating our food to excreting it.
This allows gas to build up and leads to increased bloating, burping and flatulence. Whilst this situation continues throughout the whole of pregnancy, it may feel worse in the early months as it is a new phenomenon and we don’t yet have the bump to justify it.
Unfortunately, the relaxed muscles also make controlling the release of gas more difficult, so we can pass it with very little warning – another very noticeable change that happens almost immediately when we fall pregnant!
What can I do about it?
It is practically impossible to prevent this increase in gas as it is caused by a physical change in the body, but there may be strategies that can help to reduce it.
Firstly, certain foods can trigger gas, including beans, legumes and vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage and Brussels sprouts. As these are healthy foods that we would not recommend removing from your diet, it may be useful to keep a diary of what you are eating and note any particularly gassy episodes. You can then limit the specific foods that appear to be affecting you.
Reducing sugar intake may also help to reduce fermentation in the gut as the sugar will feed any bad bacteria and lead to increased gas.
Other foods to avoid include carbonated drinks and fatty fried foods, instead of focusing on drinking lots of water, eating smaller meals more slowly and chewing thoroughly.
Exercise can help to stimulate digestion and avoiding tight clothing around your waist might also help.
Finally, supporting the good bacteria in your gut may help with digestion and ProVen Probiotics Pregnancy product has been shown to be completely safe to take whilst pregnant.
Want to know more?
Pro-Ven Probiotics aim to provide the best support for both you and your health. If you wish to know more about gut health and staying healthy please do not hesitate to call us on 01639 825107 or alternatively, learn more via our blogs or in-depth proven research.
ProVen Probiotics, Unit 2 Christchurch Road, Baglan Industrial Park, Port Talbot, SA12 7DJ. Tel: 01639 825107