How Do I Control Flatulence During Pregnancy?

Kimberly A. Tessmer's picture

QUESTION

Dear Midwife,
Hi, I am 12 weeks pregnant with my fourth child, and suffering from bad flatulence. I was wondering if this is a common problem or a dietary issue.

I have bad morning sickness and have had with all my pregnancies, having lost 3.5kg since falling pregnant this time round.

Please help, as this is quite embarrassing. Thanks.

ANSWER

Flatulence can be a very common problem during pregnancy. The key is to try to pinpoint the foods in your diet that may be causing it or making it worse. First try to cut back on the most likely gas causing foods such as broccoli, cabbage, asparagus, cauliflower, beans, etc...

Start by cutting out foods that most likely cause gas. If you feel relief then start adding them back in one by one until you find the ones that cause the problem. Keep a food diary.

Dairy can become a problem if you are lactose intolerant as well and many women may newly experience lactose intolerance during pregnancy. Or if you have really increased dairy all at once that can cause a problem for some. In addition if you have made any dietary changes that greatly increased fiber such as fruits, veggies, whole grains, that can also cause more gas. It takes your body time to get used to the higher fiber content.

You can also try eating smaller meals more throughout the day then just larger meals, avoid carbonated beverages, take your time while eating and chew your food thoroughly, avoid foods sweetened with sorbitol, avoid fatty and greasy foods, avoid eating anything while laying down, drink lots of fluids during the day but try not to drink too much during meals and try to be or stay physically active when possible.

If you are still having a problem, speak with your doctor about what type of OTC products you might be able to take.

-- Kim Tessmer, RD LD