It is triggered off by the hormonal changes that happen inside a mother’s body during pregnancy.
Progesterone causes the smooth muscle tissue in the body (including the gastrointestinal tract) to relax. This slows down digestion, giving nutrients more time to enter the bloodstream and reach the baby.
But as a side-effect, it also causes bloating.
The expanding uterus exerts increasing pressure on the rectum, which can wreak havoc on muscle control and lead to the passing of wind.
Bloating isn’t a serious threatening disorder and some of these are remedial measures to alleviate the symptoms:
- Drink plenty of water.
This helps keeps things moving through the system to avoid constipation, which can aggravate bloating.
- Increase consumption of fibre.
Keeping a healthy level of fibre in the diet like leafy green vegetables, legumes, whole grains, and fruits help.
But on the other hand, too much of fibre can cause a build-up of gas.
- Opt for smaller meals.
More food per sitting means more gas build-up per meal.
Six small meals a day or three moderate ones plus two or three snacks will keep nutrition levels constant and will prevent the digestive system from getting overloaded, keeping gassiness in check.
- Slow down the eating process.
Eating a lunch down in five minutes would let a lot of air being swallowed in along with the food. The air would then settle inside the system in the form of painful gas bubbles. So, avoid rushing through your food. Try to relax. Anxious eating (lunch gobbled while you’re finishing a report; dinner devoured when you’re having an argument with your mother on the phone) also leads to air swallowing.
- Avoid certain food items.
One should try to stay away from greasy, fatty, seasoned foods. Drinking too much caffeine must be avoided too. Also lying down or not moving much after eating slows down digestion and metabolism and can lead to gassiness and bloating.
Bloating is a common symptom of pregnancy and generally does not need any specific medication. They occur and go away naturally.
However in severe cases, when bloating is accompanied with nausea, dizziness, excessive vomiting or bloody stools, one should consult a doctor to check if there are any complications inside the body.
Remember never to take a medicine during pregnancy unless it has been advised and labelled to be safe for you and your baby by the doctor.