Many future mothers know firsthand about such an unpleasant problem as bloating during pregnancy. The main provoking factor of bloating is a changing hormonal background, which literally involves all organs and systems in the overall process of body restructuring.
The causes of the disease can be very different: from bad nutrition and the regime of the day, to some latent diseases. That’s why it makes sense to consult the doctor if you have problems with gastro-intestinal tract.
Let’s try to understand the problem of bloating during pregnancy, which sometimes causes serious discomfort, provokes abdominal pain, and gas. Why does this happen during pregnancy and is it possible to avoid it?
Bloating as an Unpleasant Companion of Pregnancy
Bloating is an excessive accumulation of gases in the digestive tract (gastrointestinal tract), accompanied by a feeling of discomfort or heaviness, cramping pain, hiccups and belching.
In the intestines and stomach of a healthy person there are about 900 cubic centimeters of gases, which are necessary for maintaining the normal functioning of the intestine. The removal of gases from the gastrointestinal tract can normally occur up to 15 times a day. As a rule, bloating is observed in almost all pregnant women, both at an early and late date. This unpleasant symptom can cause discomfort, indicate the disease of the gastrointestinal tract and carry a threat to the favorable course of pregnancy.
Causes of Bloating during Pregnancy
Bloating during pregnancy can be caused by various reasons and predisposing factors. Sometimes, a pregnant woman cannot determine the cause of increased gas production herself and realistically assess the danger of the situation. Consultation of a specialist with the appearance of signs of bloating is necessary in any case and at any time of pregnancy.
Predisposing factors, provoking bloating during pregnancy include:
- tight clothes;
- nervous overstrain or stress;
- environmental factors;
- insufficient water consumption;
Causes of Bloating:
- the increased content of progesterone in the body causes relaxation of not only the musculature of the uterus, but also significantly reduces the motor function of the stomach and intestines. It causes bloating in the early stages of pregnancy;
- significantly enlarged uterus in the third trimester of pregnancy;
- the lack of certain digestive enzymes in the digestive tract, which leads to poor digestion of the food.
- gastrointestinal diseases: gastric ulcer, gastritis, pancreatitis, cholecystitis, inflammatory processes in the intestine, dysbacteriosis, parasitic infestations.
- physical and mental stress.
- helminthic infections, infectious diseases.
- environmental factors.
Most often, bloating is provoked by poorly digested food. It is not completely cleaved by bacteria located in the large intestine, which leads to fermentation and increased gas formation. As a rule, most often it happens with some carbohydrate foods and fats slowing down the digestion.
Most likely excessive gassing occurs when eating foods containing raffinose: white cabbage, brussels sprout, cauliflower, legumes or asparagus. In many people, bloating is provoked by carbonated drinks, onions, artichokes, pears and starch-containing products. Also, bloating can be caused by eating fried or fatty foods. Increased fiber content in vegetables and fruits normally causes bloating as well, because fiber is cleaved precisely in the large intestine.
Symptoms of Bloating during Pregnancy
With bloating, a pregnant woman can complain of a feeling of spreading and heaviness in the abdominal cavity, gas, nausea, constipation or diarrhea, a decrease in appetite, and an unpleasant taste in the mouth. It is characteristic that after the removal of gases, aching pain in the abdomen decrease. In some cases, complaints of headaches and muscle pains, irritability, general weakness, sleep disturbance, palpitations and a burning sensation in the heart area are possible. In the abdominal area, the pregnant woman may also feel cramping pain. Sometimes there are cases of increased blood pressure and increased heart rate.
As a result of poor digestion and constant worries an expectant mother may experience headaches, dizziness, weakness and drowsiness, increased heart rate and rise and fall of blood pressure.
Deterioration of general health and mood are not the most terrible consequences that can occur with a strong and prolonged bloating during pregnancy.
Serious complications can arise when enlarged intestine loops push hard on the uterus. There may be a tonus that often causes premature termination of pregnancy and early childbirth.
In addition, any violation of digestion and appetite during pregnancy can lead to violations of the child’s intrauterine development. It happens because the violations deprive the baby of sufficient amounts of vitamins and trace elements.
The future mother should remember: any ailment during pregnancy is an occasion to consult a doctor.
The most dangerous symptoms, which require medical help:
- Severe diarrhea and vomiting, signs of dehydration.
- Increased body temperature and febricity.
- Pain in the abdomen of a different nature.
- Lack of appetite, severe nausea.
- Blood and mucus in fecal masses.
Consequences and Complications of Bloating during Pregnancy
Dysfunction of internal organs can cause general weakness, insomnia, pain in the heart and a strong migraine. This harms not only the future mother, but also the child. Intestinal gases can cause an increase in the tone of the walls of the uterus and provoke miscarriage and premature birth. The poor state of health of a pregnant woman leads to the fact that she begins to eat inadequately and, thereby, provokes insufficient intake of microelements and vitamins necessary for normal development of the body of the child.
Treatment of Bloating
Precisely and unmistakably, only a doctor can say how to deal with bloating during pregnancy.
If the bloating is caused by gastrointestinal diseases, then you need to choose the right diet and use medications that are appropriate to the diagnosis and the fact that the patient is pregnant. Self-medication in such cases can significantly harm the health of the mother and the child.
With an increased level of progesterone, a specialist may recommend a set of special exercises and an increase in motor activity such as walking outdoors. A woman can attend special classes for preparation for childbirth, belly dancing classes, swimming or yoga for pregnant women. The main condition is that a woman should be under the supervision of an experienced instructor.
Bloating that occurs against the background of an improper food is corrected by a properly selected diet. A woman should not eat fatty, spicy, floury and sweet foods that contain sucrose. Dairy products, salads with vegetable oils and dried fruits should be included in the diet.
Bloating can be treated with drugs that are not contraindicated during pregnancy and associated chronic diseases. Even the most familiar chemist’s chamomile can help to cope with unpleasant symptoms.
Preventive Measures of Bloating during Pregnancy: Diet and Regimen
Products that provoke increased gas production should be excluded or severely restricted in the diet:
- All varieties of cabbage, especially in raw form. If you really want, for example, soup with cabbage, it is better to give preference to broccoli or cauliflower.
- Radish, daikon.
- Eggplants and peppers in any form.
- All legumes, including green beans, chickpeas, lentils, peas, beans, soybeans.
- Fruits and berries, especially fresh apples, grapes, plums, peaches, apricots. Also, canned fruits and juices from these berries and fruits are not recommended.
- Dairy products, including kefir, yogurts, cottage cheese and fresh milk.
- All drinks with gas, including mineral carbonated water.
- Fatty meat products, smoked products.
- Yeast bread and bakery products.
- Sweet confectionery and sweets, chocolate.
Products that Contribute to Reducing Bloating:
- Rice, buckwheat.
- Low-fat meat, poultry meat.
- Whole-grain bread.
- Boiled carrots and beets.
- Low-fat varieties of fish and all seafood.
- Green tea.
- Oatmeal cooked on the water.
- Fresh parsley, fennel, coriander.
Physical Activity and Regime:
It is necessary to organize the correct regime of the day. Night rest should be at least 9-10 hours. A couple of daily pauses for rest will also be very useful.
Particular attention should be given to sufficient physical activity of the pregnant woman, so that the intestines work well. This is a walk in the fresh air, special gymnastics for pregnant women, and daily breathing exercises.
Shoes and clothing should be comfortable, not tight, appropriate for the period of pregnancy. No corsets and high heels.
After meals, it is very useful to do a stomach massage, stroking it clockwise around the navel. But do not press on the abdomen.
Swimming and aqua aerobics for pregnant women are also very helpful.