Moms, do you constantly feel as though your belly is about to explode? Or do you feel like you just ate a whole bunch of food? Well, you are not alone.
Not only is it unsightly, making you look like you have ingested two extra meals, but it is also annoyingly uncomfortable. Many women experience bloating at some point or another. Experts say that missed periods and bloating can be a part of very early signs in pregnancy. Wanna know why? Let us talk about it here.
As progesterone levels rise during pregnancy, all muscles in the body, including those in the digestive tract, relax. This can result in burping, bloating, and flatulence as digestion slows and gas builds up in the system. They cause unpleasant gastrointestinal sensations after a hefty meal. This is the reason why a bloated feeling can be a symptom of pregnancy.
What is bloating in pregnancy?
Feeling bloated? You might be pregnant says experts | Photo grabbed from Matilda Wormwood
Do you also wonder why a bloated feeling happens especially during your pregnancy?
Bloating occurs in late pregnancy due to the enlarging uterus and hormonal surge. Your body will produce more progesterone as your pregnancy progresses to support your baby. Progesterone is there season why muscles in your body relax.
The uterine cavity takes up more room in the abdominal cavity, pushing the stomach forward and making digestion more difficult. This will allow the gas to build up which causes burping, bloating, and flatulence.
You will feel bloated after eating as a result of this during your pregnancy. As a result, you may get heartburn, acidity, or constipation.
Published in International Scholarly Research Notices, Gastroenterology, a study revealed that 10 to 25 percent of healthy people experience bloating. However, more women suffer from it than men. The study says that it has something to do with women’s hormones.
Every menstruating woman can attest to that.
“You can blame your hormones,” says Dr. Carrie Smith, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, in a TODAY story.
Part of the menstrual cycle which causes bloating is called the luteal phase, which begins right after ovulation and lasts for about two weeks.
The uterine lining starts to prepare for a possible pregnancy during this period, and estrogen then takes a bit of a nose-dive and then begins to rise and remains high.
She also added that even in the menopausal stage, when a woman is 40 years old and up can still experience the feeling of being bloated.
“Before menopause, for most women, bloating generally is a monthly occurrence, and follows a pattern.”
Another hormone also kicks in: Progesterone
All these changes play havoc on women’s digestive tract. Water retention and bloating can be a result of high and low progesterone levels. When these hormones are imbalanced, a person may experience bloating.
“When estrogen is high, women seem to retain more water,” said Dr. Holly Thacker, director of the Cleveland Clinic Center for Specialized Women’s Health.
Water retention equals bloat.
The TODAY report also says,
“Some of the effects of progesterone—when it’s high, like during the luteal phase of menstruation, right after ovulation—include what doctors call delayed GI transit time, which means exactly what you think it does: food moves more slowly through your intestine, resulting in constipation and bloating.
Foods become harder to digest because of these hormones,
“However, when progesterone decreases and bleeding begins, you may experience an increase in bowel activity. That means some women may get diarrhea and bloating.”
Not only that, women bloat through the ages, whether you’re a young woman or already in your mid-ages.
Dr. Lori Tishler, medical director for the Phyllis Jen Center for Primary Care at Brigham and Women’s Hospital says that when women’s estrogen begins to fluctuate at the peri-menopausal stage (mid-forties), it results in water retention, gas, and bloating.
It’s common for pregnant women too to bloat. “There are higher levels of progesterone and your intestine slows down,” she says. “Basically, slower contractions mean potential constipation, gas, and bloat.”
Professionals assure you that your body is doing fine. The good news is that bloating is relatively harmless, and women shouldn’t worry too much about it. She added that they always make sure to remind every woman that bloating is not bad especially if they have a fetus growing inside her belly.
“Many women worry that something really bad is going on, and part of our job as doctors is to reassure them that sometimes bloating is really nothing more than just bloating,” Dr. Tishler says. “But we all know it’s not much fun.”
She knows how this occurrence is not fun at all because of the irritation it may bring. To alleviate the discomfort of bloating, Dr. Tishler suggests taking in more fiber to help stool move smoothly through the intestines, as well as doing more exercise and taking in more water to hydrate.
“That’s all the stuff that people don’t want to hear, but it does work,” she explains.
Bloating during pregnancy: What causes it?
If you want to know the reasons why women experience bloating we have the list for you. | Photo grabbed from Daniel Reche
Of course, if you keep on experiencing this you want to know what causes it.
In addition to growing progesterone levels and a bigger uterus, there are other factors that induce gas and eventually contribute to being bloated and flatulence during pregnancy. Here are the followings things you should take a look at if you have a bloated feeling:
Food travels through the digestive tract and spends a significant amount of time in the intestine. This assists in the absorption of all nutrients, including water, by the fetus. Dry stools, on the other hand, take longer to reach the rectum due to absorption, and the collected fecal matter might induce gas and bloat.
This condition can also play a part in abdominal pain. If you have this, you may experience the following:
- You can’t complete bowel movement
- Having hard stools
- When having a bowel movement, you will have significant straining
Two: Food Sensitivity
Certain foods are more likely to cause gas than others. Gluten-intolerant people, for example, may have flatulence after eating gluten-containing foods and it can cause being bloated during pregnancy.
Lactose intolerance patients are in a similar situation. Milk and other dairy products will be difficult to digest and may induce flatulence. The reason behind this is that the body does not create enough lactase to break down lactose (present in dairy products).
Aside from bloating, these are the things you can experience too if you are allergic to certain food:
- Feelings of itchiness in the mouth
- Having eczema and hives
- Swelling of the different parts of the body
- Breathing heavily or nasal congestion
- Fainting and lightheadedness
Three: Bacteria in the digestive tract
When the bacterial equilibrium in the colon is upset, more gas production, bloating, and flatulence ensue.
Four: Gaining weight
Your hunger may grow, causing you to consume more food. You will feel fatigued and less energetic if you increase your calorie intake through a good diet and vitamin supplements. As a result, you start to feel gassy, bloated, and unpleasant as the days pass by.
Bloated during pregnancy: Foods that cause bloating in pregnancy
Certain foods might cause odorous gas and bloat in pregnant women. If you want to don’t want to experience this, you should avoid eating these.
Vegetables like cabbage, cauliflower, beans, Brussels sprouts, onions, broccoli, artichokes, and asparagus contain unabsorbable carbohydrates. As a result, sulfur-filled vapors may be created, giving off a foul odor.
- Fiber-rich foods include chickpeas, lentils, green gram, and pigeon peas. Too many high-fiber meals, on the other hand, might produce bloating and gas. A high-fiber diet, on the other hand, may assist some people to minimize gas and bloating (9).
- Seeds like sunflower, poppy, and fennel produce gas in the colon, causing flatulence.
- Fruits like apples, mangoes, raisins, prunes, cherries, watermelon, and peaches contain unabsorbable carbohydrates. Because they are unable to be digested by your body, they end up in your colon, resulting in farts and gas.
- Carbon dioxide generated by soft drinks, wine, and beer can cause burping.
- Bloating and flatulence are caused by fructose-rich fruit juices.
- Wheat, wheat bran, and wheat products promote fermentation in the large intestine, which can produce gas and bloating.
- The artificial sweetener sorbitol, which can be found in a variety of foods and beverages, has been related to the formation of gas.
How long does bloating last in early pregnancy?
How long does bloating will last during pregnancy? Here is the answer. | Photo grabbed from Matilda Wormwood
Bloating is a common pregnancy symptom that will only become worse as your uterus expands and presses on your stomach and intestines. Basically, this least charming feeling among pregnancy symptoms will be with you up until the delivery day. So expect that the whole nine months will be filled with uncomfortable feelings inside your stomach.
Your pregnancy bloating and other symptoms may be uncomfortable for you (literally), but your child seems unconcerned (hello, nausea).
How to relieve bloating during pregnancy
If you bloating is not avoidable if you are pregnant, there are still things you can do to lessen this.
The following therapies are considered safe when used in moderation and later in pregnancy. Avoid using them during the first trimester, as most herbs have been related to birth defects and other problems. Before attempting any home remedy, it is best to speak with your doctor for better advice and result.
- A handful of fenugreek seeds should be soaked overnight in a glass of water and then discarded the next day. To ease gas and bloating, keep drinking this water.
- Drink a new cup of chamomile tea after each meal. It will help to settle your stomach and eliminate bloating and gas.
- Cardamom seeds can help with bloating and flatulence naturally. Cardamom tea can also be made with two cups of water, six cardamom pods, and a teaspoon of nutmeg powder. Keep it fresh to help with the problem.
- Combine one spoonful of cinnamon powder and one tablespoon of honey in a cup of boiling water. Serve it right away.
- In a cup of hot water, dissolve crushed coriander seeds powder. Drink the fluid after straining it.
- Make a teaspoon of fresh ginger juice and season with honey to taste. It’s a fantastic bloating treatment.
Bloating during pregnancy second trimester? More tips on how to relieve it
Though prescription medications are not ideal, it may be necessary to address bloating at times. In stool softeners, docusate sodium is a safe active component. Mineral oil is also a safe substance. However, before using any laxatives, see your doctor.
Vices, even if you are not pregnant are not good for your health. Smoking is one of them.
This can lead to a variety of issues, including heart disease, lung problems, and acidity. Before you start planning your pregnancy, you should quit smoking if you want to have a healthy baby.
If you’re having trouble quitting, consider enrolling in a smoking cessation program.
You should exercise every day to stay active, keep your system running, relieve gas, and prevent bloating. Gas will not be able to depart your system if you do not exercise and instead sit all day, resulting in bloating.
Simple activities such as pelvic rocking might also help with gas release. However, you should seek medical advice before commencing any workout program.
Yoga and relaxation techniques
Practice yoga or breathing and relaxation techniques with the help of a professional during your pregnancy. If you have hyperventilation syndrome, which is caused by being very anxious or aroused, you may need to take in extra air.
The yoga positions listed below can help with bloating and gas:
- Extend your side angle in this pose
- Triangle position
- Sitting while stretching
- Cats and cows in various poses
- Child’s perspective
For pregnant women, not all stances are appropriate. Some exercise may be dangerous for you. Please with your doctor or a yoga instructor before performing these exercises.
Maintain a food diary
One of the good ways to do this during pregnancy is to have a dietary meal plan. Keep track of everything you eat and how much gas you get in the six hours following each meal. Keep a food diary to determine which foods make you unwell.
You can also show this to your OB-Gyne or doctor so they can recommend healthy foods to take for you.
You’ll be able to discern which foods are good for you and which do not produce bloating if you keep track. You can also include this in your food diary. List down all the foods that make you feel better and those that make you feel sick.
A nutritionist can help you follow a healthy pregnancy diet. Fresh foods are usually preferable to process or frozen ones. You can choose pesticide-free organic meals that are free of genetically modified components.
Consult your doctor
Gas and bloating are prevalent throughout pregnancy. If they are severe and come with other symptoms, though, you should consult a doctor right away. This is to make sure that both of you are safe. If you are experiencing the things below, it is time to contact a professional:
- Increased cramping and pain in the abdomen
- Stools containing blood
- Contractions that start before the 36th week of pregnancy are considered early.
- Severe constipation and diarrhea Severe vomiting and nausea
To have a better understanding of the problem, you could ask the doctor the following questions.
- Is bloating, gas, and constipation common during pregnancy, or are you experiencing something unusual?
- Is it okay to take mineral oil for pain relief?
- Are there any prescription-only bloating treatments?
- Is it possible to avoid bloating by modifying your diet?
Depending on your health and the severity of the problem, your doctor may prescribe medicine.
Additional information from Angerica Villanueva
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