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Eating to reduce gas

During pregnancy, women can experience uncomfortable gas pains and increased flatulence. Why? Hormone progesterone helps relax your muscles so you can accommodate a growing baby and eventually fit that baby through your birth canal. The downside is that it can also relax your digestive system a little too much.

As things sit for longer in your intestines, it allows bubbles to build up, creating a smelly situation. This is made worse by the fact many women experience constipation during pregnancy, which can prevent air from escaping.

While it may seem counter-intuitive, many of the foods that cause gas in the short term may decrease it in the long term. That’s because an increase in fiber can help prevent constipation which may be the underlying cause of your bloated, air-filled belly. By increasing your fiber first, you can determine if this is part of the problem.

Fiber-filled foods

  • Lentils

  • Snap Peas

  • Regular Peas

  • Oats

  • Raspberries

  • Blackberries

  • Avocado

  • Broccoli

  • Chia Seeds

If that doesn’t help, try reducing some of these gas-inducing ingredients:

  • Broccoli

  • Beans

  • Brussels sprouts

  • Peaches

  • Prunes

  • Apples

  • Pears

  • Cabbage

  • Potatoes

  • Pasta

  • Artichokes

  • Onions

  • Cauliflower

Things to avoid all together:

  • Carbonated beverages: When you drink soda or seltzer, you’re basically putting bubbles directly in your belly.

  • Chewing gum: Chewing gum can cause you to swallow more air, making gas worse.

Food sensitivities that compound the problem:

  • Dairy: A sensitivity to dairy or being lactose intolerant can cause excessive gas and/or diarrhea. If you suffer from lactose intolerance, stay away from ice cream, milk, cheese and yogurt.

  • Gluten: Gluten is found in wheat. If you have celiac disease, you’re probably avoiding this ingredient already. However, some people are gluten sensitive, meaning they may have mild reactions to this compound including bloating and gas. If you think you may have an issue with gluten, try reducing or cutting out all wheat products.

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