Are you passing gas like a college frat boy? Sorry, guys, but nobody does gas like a pregnant woman. Fortunately, while the same can’t be said for those who work and live within hearing and sniffing distance of you, your baby is oblivious and impervious to your digestive distress. Snug and safe in a uterine cocoon that’s protected on all sides by impact-absorbing amniotic fluid, he or she is probably soothed by the bubbling and gurgling of your gastric Muzak.
Baby won’t be happy, though, if bloating—which often worsens late in the day and, yes, generally persists throughout pregnancy—prevents you from eating regularly and well. To cut down on the sounds and smells from down under and to make sure your nutritional intake doesn’t suffer on account of your intestinal outtakes, take the following measures:
1. Stay regular. Constipation is a common cause of gas and bloating.
2. Graze, don’t gorge. Large meals just add to that bloated feeling. They also overload your digestive system, which isn’t at its most efficient anyway in pregnancy. Instead of those two or three supersize squares, nibble on six mini meals.
3. Don’t gulp. When you rush through meals or eat on the fly, you’re bound to swallow as much air as food. This captured air forms painful pockets of gas in your gut, which will seek release the only way they know how.
4. Keep calm. Particularly during meals. Tension and anxiety can cause you to swallow air, which can give you a full tank of gas. Taking a few deep breaths before meals may help relax you.
5. Steer clear of gas producers. Your tummy will tell you what they are—they vary from person to person. Common offenders include onions, cabbage, fried foods, rich sauces, sugary sweets, carbonated beverages, and, of course, the notorious beans.
6. Don’t be quick to pop. Ask your practitioner before popping your usual antigas medications(some are safe, others are not recommended) or any remedy, over-the-counter or herbal. Sipping a little chamomile tea, however, may safely soothe all kinds of pregnancy-induced indigestion. Ditto for hot water with lemon, which can cut through gas as well as any medication.