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Wind and bloating in pregnancy

Excess wind is common in pregnancy, it can make you feel bloated, uncomfortable and cause you to pass gas more often but there are some simple tricks to easing wind


Posted: 16 March 2011
by ThinkBaby

Pregnant woman holding her bump
Wind and bloating during pregnancy can be one of the more uncomfortable side effects of pregnancy

Wind is a very common pregnancy complaint that can strike in any or all trimesters. Even in very early pregnancy you might notice you’re producig more gas than usual. By your third trimester, it’s quite common to notice a significant increase. Irritating, sore and sometimes embarrassing as it is, it’s simply a normal bodily function in pregnancy. But there are some tips for easing it.

Why are you windier in pregnancy?

Wind is caused in two main ways: the slowing of the intestine and swallowing air. During pregnancy so much progesterone is created that it can slow the passage of food through your gut. When the food stays in your intestine longer, bacteria have more time to work on it, producing a build up of gas. Some foods are generally more prone than others to produce wind in this way, such as pulses, onions, cabbage, sprouts, cauliflower, bran (but not wheat bran), certain fruits and spices. Many people also find they find particular foods are difficult for them to digest but may not have noticed this until pregnancy. Common culprits include lactose in milk and dairy products and refined carbohydrates. If you already suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) then unfortunately this is likely to be exacerbated by pregnancy.


In your third trimester your growing womb puts pressure on the rest of your abdomen and can often lead to both indigestion and more wind. Trapped wind is often caused by swallowing air as you eat or drink, which is more likely to happen if you eat quickly, drink while you eat, talk while you eat, chew gum or drink fizzy drinks. This is the easiest kind of wind to prevent.

Tips to ease wind and bloating

Eat slowly and carefully

To cut down on trapped wind making you burp, avoid fizzy drinks, eat slowly and carefully to avoid swallowing air and limit the amount you drink with meals (but do get plenty of fluids outside of meal times).

Change your diet

If you keep a food diary, the causes might become quickly obvious, or it might seem like everything gives you bad wind. Try avoiding the most likely sources (such as those listed above) and then reintroduce them one by one to judge their effect. It's important though that you continue to get a balanced diet though, so don’t go mad!

Small, simple meals

You're far more likely to get wind if you eat big meals, with lots of different food types that overload your digestive system. Try eating smaller meals more often and keeping the meals simpler so that your digestive tract can produce the right enzymes to effectively digest the food.

Exercise

Exercise gets your intestines working faster. A brisk walk is enough to have an effect on your digestion, so if you spend most of your day stuck in front of a computer, try getting off your bum and getting out for a walk.

Stimulate your intestines

Wheat bran isn't digested by the body at all, so it's very effective at stimulating the intestines without being broken down into wind. You might want to consider incorporating wheat bran into your breakfast to promote digestion, particularly if you're also constipated (which is also common in pregnancy).

Hot water and lemon

Yes, the old fashioned diet aid makes a comeback. It's a good idea to  get your digestive system active in the morning before you confront it with food. Starting the day with a cup of warm water, or better, warm water with lemon juice twenty minutes before you eat breakfast will help wake your system up as will a little morning exercise.

Give your body room

If you're bloated and windy then relieve the pressure by loosening your clothing, rather than trying to belt it all up.

Natural digestive aids

Sipping a cup of warm water, warm water with lemon, peppermint tea or fennel tea can help relieve wind and promote digestion.

Wind at night

If you're being kept awake with uncomfortable wind at night then try getting up and walking around to release the wind. Slowly sipping warm water or peppermint tea may help. If you wear pajamas then try loosening them or wear a nightie instead to take pressure off your abdomen.

If nothing seems to help reduce wind and indigestion then you could talk to your doctor about a suitable medication. Several indigestion tablets are safe for use during pregnancy, but always check.

Could it be something more serious?

It's most likely that your wind is just one of the less appealing sides of pregnancy, however, if along with the wind you feel pain in your abdomen, start feeling nauseous and vomiting or see blood when you pass a bowel movement, then you should tell your doctor.  

Get tips for other pregnancy discomforts


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Discuss this story

Oh My Days.I'm about 5 weeks pregnant on my second baby and all i seem to do is break wind! I never experienced this in my first pregnancy its all seems strange to me! Any one else experiencing it?

Mummy to Carew Kai 6 months born 15/2/2010 8lb 4oz

Posted: 24/08/2010 at 10:18

well so far i've tried everything but at §months on i still have severe cramps caused by trapped gas...i just came back from aquagym...thought it might help but it seems to have gotten worse! i can barely move from pain....theres gotta be another way! anyone?

Posted: 18/11/2010 at 21:35

hello girls,
im 7 weeks pregnant and this will be my second pregnancy unforunaltley i miscarried in august this year at 12 weeks. i keep getting pain in the lower left along side hip bone and up to my belly button also lower back aches and around my rib cage. could this be trapped wind??? im so worried becuase of what happened last time. any advise or comments would be fantastic
thank you xxxx

Posted: 16/11/2011 at 18:47

I have wind bad. I'm 11+1week and been off work for 3weeks. I pass wind every 5-10min its sooooo bad. I found potatoes and potato products set me off and also veg. I have such a good strong gag reflex that I never Burp, I have only ever been sick once maybe twice in my life. My mom was amazed when I was a child. Never burped, never threw up nothing. The only way my wind comes out is sadly the bottom end (lol). And now I'm pregnant its bad! Anyone else this bad?

Posted: 17/05/2012 at 11:06

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