Gas

Most pregnant women suffer from bloating and increased gas in the belly at some point during pregnancy. Gas can cause abdominal pain or discomfort.

During pregnancy, hormones relax the muscles in your digestive tract. This slows down your digestion and can cause gas to build up. Gas leads to bloating, burping, passing gas, discomfort, and pain in the belly—especially after a big meal.

Foods that can cause gas
Some people naturally produce more gas than others. Certain foods can make gas worse, but these vary from person to person. Some of these foods include:

  • Some fiber-rich foods (such as oat bran and beans)
  • Foods that contain certain sugars (such as cabbage and cauliflower)
  • Dairy products (such as milk and cheese), especially for women who have trouble digesting these foods

What you can do

Reduce the amount of air you swallow.

  • Eat several small meals throughout the day instead of a few large meals.
  • Don't eat in a hurry. Take your time, chew your food thoroughly, and don't talk while eating.
  • Avoid drinking from a bottle or straw.
  • Cut down on carbonated beverages. Don't gulp while drinking.
  • Avoid chewing gum or sucking on hard candy.

Identify foods that bother you.

  • Keep a food diary to help you find the foods that cause problems.
  • Cut back on these foods, if possible, while being sure to eat healthy foods.
  • Cut back on fried and fatty foods, which can add to bloating.

Ask before taking over-the-counter remedies.

  • Talk to your health care provider before taking over-the-counter medicines for your gas and bloating symptoms.
  • Some medicines are unsafe during pregnancy and may harm you and your baby.

When to talk to your health care provider
If changes in the food you eat and your habits don't help, talk to your health care provider. Contact your health care provider immediately if:

  • Gas feels like labor contractions (coming and going regularly, every 5-10 minutes).
  • Gas pain is accompanied by blood in your stool, severe diarrhea, or increased nausea and vomiting.

Last reviewed December 2013

 

Most pregnant women suffer from bloating and increased gas in the belly at some point during pregnancy. Gas can cause abdominal pain or discomfort.

During pregnancy, hormones relax the muscles in your digestive tract. This slows down your digestion and can cause gas to build up. Gas leads to bloating, burping, passing gas, discomfort, and pain in the belly—especially after a big meal.

Foods that can cause gas
Some people naturally produce more gas than others. Certain foods can make gas worse, but these vary from person to person. Some of these foods include:

  • Some fiber-rich foods (such as oat bran and beans)
  • Foods that contain certain sugars (such as cabbage and cauliflower)
  • Dairy products (such as milk and cheese), especially for women who have trouble digesting these foods

What you can do

Reduce the amount of air you swallow.

  • Eat several small meals throughout the day instead of a few large meals.
  • Don't eat in a hurry. Take your time, chew your food thoroughly, and don't talk while eating.
  • Avoid drinking from a bottle or straw.
  • Cut down on carbonated beverages. Don't gulp while drinking.
  • Avoid chewing gum or sucking on hard candy.

Identify foods that bother you.

  • Keep a food diary to help you find the foods that cause problems.
  • Cut back on these foods, if possible, while being sure to eat healthy foods.
  • Cut back on fried and fatty foods, which can add to bloating.

Ask before taking over-the-counter remedies.

  • Talk to your health care provider before taking over-the-counter medicines for your gas and bloating symptoms.
  • Some medicines are unsafe during pregnancy and may harm you and your baby.

When to talk to your health care provider
If changes in the food you eat and your habits don't help, talk to your health care provider. Contact your health care provider immediately if:

  • Gas feels like labor contractions (coming and going regularly, every 5-10 minutes).
  • Gas pain is accompanied by blood in your stool, severe diarrhea, or increased nausea and vomiting.

Last reviewed December 2013