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Pregnancy Diet to Avoid Gassiness

by
author image Rachel Nall
Rachel Nall began writing in 2003. She is a former managing editor for custom health publications, including physician journals. She has written for The Associated Press and "Jezebel," "Charleston," "Chatter" and "Reach" magazines. Nall is currently pursuing her Bachelor of Science in Nursing at the University of Tennessee.
Pregnancy Diet to Avoid Gassiness
Consume wheat bran cereal to cut down on pregnancy gassiness. Photo Credit Goodshoot/Goodshoot/Getty Images

That pregnancy glow and lush, thick hair -- there’s a lot that can make you beautiful during pregnancy. But your growing baby can also contribute to some not-so-beautiful effects, namely increased gassiness and nausea. Your body produces more hormones during pregnancy, and baby's growth can slow digestion, contributing to bloating and gas. While you can't change these pregnancy side effects, you can alter your diet to reduce gas-causing foods. Always speak to your physician, however, before making changes to your diet to ensure your are eating a nutritionally sound diet for your baby.

Veggie Culprits

Certain vegetables top the list of “Most Likely to Cause Gas,” which means you may need to eat them only in moderation. This includes beans, whole grains, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, broccoli and asparagus. These foods are all high in a sugar called raffinose, which can contribute to gas. Note, however, that these foods also are very healthful, so don't cut them out of your diet completely.

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High-Fiber Foods

Your body relies on fiber to combine with your stool, helping to prevent constipation. However, eating foods very high in fiber may slow digestion, which can contribute to gas. Try eating small servings of fiber, such as oat bran, beans, peas and fruits such as berries with each meal to keep fiber from contributing to gas. You don’t need to avoid wheat bran, however, since it is a form of insoluble fiber that can pass through your digestive tract unchanged and reduce gassiness instead of contributing to it. This is because insoluble fiber found in wheat bran adds bulk to your stool, increasing the rate stool passes through your body.

Foods to Choose

A healthy diet gives your baby the nutrients he needs to grow and develop. This means avoiding gas-causing fried and high-fat foods in favor of options such as lean meat and low-fat dairy, providing you are not lactose intolerant. If you choose to eat a vegetarian diet, choices such as eggs, nuts and soy foods can add protein without causing gas. Eating fresh, colorful vegetables and fruits such as sweet potatoes, spinach, grapes and oranges won’t contribute to gas, but will give you an overall healthy diet.

Change How You Eat

Reducing gas in your pregnancy diet can sometimes be a matter of how you eat, not necessarily what you eat. Some eating behaviors can increase the amount of air you take in, which leads to gas. Avoid drinking from a bottle or straw, which can boost air intake. Sit up to eat because reclining places extra pressure on your stomach; wearing tight clothing can also increase gassiness. Avoid gulping your food or eating without fully chewing, which can cause you to take in more air, increasing gas in your digestive tract. Taking a short walk after eating can help to stimulate your digestive tract and keep your body healthy as you prepare for baby.

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