You asked

I've become very bloated and gassy. How can I deal with it?

It’s not something many people will share with you – unlike tales of morning sickness and swollen feet. However, becoming gassier while you are pregnant is a common side effect of pregnancy for many women.

It’s all thanks to progesterone, which is one of the hormones your body is producing a lot of, in order to prepare you for pregnancy and birth. One of its functions is to relax smooth muscle, and that includes the muscle that makes up most of your digestive tract.

The result is that food stays in your system longer, and your body can absorb more of the nutrients that are so important for you and your baby. However, it also causes more gas.

When you add the weight of your growing uterus into the mix, that gas is likely to escape somewhere, and that’s why many pregnant women suddenly find themselves more flatulent than usual.

Diet plays a big part in dealing with the problem. Try to eat smaller, more regular meals, and avoid fried foods, beans, cabbage, and any other known gas creating foods. Drink lots of water, and try to eat slowly when you do, so that you avoid swallowing air. A mild form of exercise, like yoga, can also help to ensure that your food digests a little quicker, and prevents constipation.
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