Feeling a bit like a hot-air balloon? Pregnancy bloating is a very common symptom of pregnancy and it can cause us mums to feel rather uncomfortable and sometimes, it can be quite painful. Unfortunately, it’s just one of those symptoms some of us have to deal with while pregnant, but there are a few things you can do to help ease the discomfort and feel a little less full-of-it.
When does bloating in pregnancy start?
Pregnancy bloating can occur at any time during pregnancy with some mums-to-be feeling it as early as the 4-week mark. Other pregnant women experience the bloating sensation a little later in their pregnancy at around 11-weeks.
The bad news is, that once you experience pregnancy bloating, it’s likely to be a pregnancy symptom right the way through your pregnancy until you give birth unfortunately.
What causes pregnancy bloating?
That bloated and gassy feeling can occur due to the increased levels of the pregnancy hormone progesterone in your body. As you produce more progesterone to support you and your baby through your pregnancy, it causes the smooth muscle tissue in your body to relax, which can slow down digestion. This allows more gas to build up in your body, increasing gas and bloating, meaning you’ll probably find yourself burping and farting a lot more than normal (yet another glamorous pregnancy symptom to contend with).
While bloating can be very uncomfortable for mums, it doesn’t cause any discomfort or pain to the baby and increased bloating and gas shouldn’t stop you from having a healthy pregnancy. If you are concerned or if the bloating is causing you real discomfort, you should seek medical advice from your GP.
Although some mums experience that bloated feeling throughout their pregnancy, the symptoms of bloating and gas during pregnancy can ease as you enter your second trimester. However, if it’s causing you some real discomfort, there are a few things you can do to help ease the bloating.
Tips to reduce bloating in pregnancy
Drink plenty of water - try and drink at least 8 glasses of water per day to help keep things moving through your digestive system to help avoid constipation which can make bloating feel a lot worse.
Eat little and often - not only will this better nourish you and your baby, opting for six small meals instead of 3 large ones will make it easier for your stomach to digest your food.
Up your fibre intake - having plenty of fibre in your diet can ease constipation and bloating so swap your pasta and bread for whole wheat and try to up the number of fruit and vegetables you eat in a day.
Eat slower - the faster you eat, the more air you take it which can make you feel very bloated. Try slowing things down when you eat and try not to rush meals.
Avoid high-fat foods - these can often make you feel even more bloated and gassy.
Eat fewer foods that are likely to make you gassy - foods such as cabbage, baked beans, brussels sprouts and broccoli are all likely to increase the amount of gas you produce so try and go a little easier on your helpings of these foods.
This content is brought to you by Mother&Baby, the UK's number one resource for pregnancy and parenting advice. Our mum journalists work closely with our medical panel of midwives, doctors, paediatricians, child development specialists, parenting experts and many other field specialists to ensure the educational content you find here is up-to-date with the latest evidence-based medical information and accepted health guidelines. For over 60 years we have brought you the latest information and inspiration in our mission to excite and empower you in your journey through motherhood.
We are one in motherhood. We are #mumtribe.
Being a mum connects us in a unique experience, a special and beautiful moment in our lives - and we're all in it together. Get support from fellow mums by joining our #mumtribe on Facebook, and be part of the family.
Alternatively if you want to get some feel-good parenting vibes in your social feeds, follow Mother&Baby on Instagram and Twitter. We hope to see you again soon!
Why not join thousands of mums and start your very own Amazon Baby Wish List? They're absolutely free to create and perfect to send to your family, friends, and colleagues to make sure you're getting the baby products you really need... Click here!
Lorna is the digital executive and regular contributor for Mother&Baby. After running the Yours magazine website which specialises in content about caring for kids and grandchildren, she has now brought her expertise to the UK's #1 leading pregnancy and parenting magazine. Lorna specialises on a range of topics from potty training and nutrition, to everything and anything that will keep your tot occupied!
Feed your babies and toddlers with organic fruit and vegetables delivered to your door by GIGI's ORGANIC. We deliver the freshest organic fruit and vegetable subscription boxes weekly in London and Surrey to help mums with natural baby-led weaning and feeding growing families.
With over 40 years of dedicated research, the team at Aptamil Follow On Milk really know their stuff when it comes to follow on formulas. Here they answer some common questions to help you learn more about follow on milks.
Get on the right path to feeling more yourself again after birth with Soak for Bits, a new midwife-developed, soothing bath soak, from My Expert Midwife, aimed at helping women’s postpartum recovery...
To celebrate the launch of M&S’ exciting new baby range, Little Smiles, we’ve put it through our Tried&Tested panel to see how it stacks up. Here we take a look at the new M&S nappies, available in six sizes, ranging from £2-3.
To celebrate the launch of M&S’ exciting new baby range, Little Smiles, we’ve put it through our Tried&Tested panel to see how it stacks up. Here we take a look at the new M&S Little Smiles All Over Body Cream and Top-To-Toe Wash.
To celebrate the launch of Soak for Bits, the new arrival from My Expert Midwife, we have teamed up with the award-winning skincare brand for pregnancy, birth, new mums, and newborns to give 5 Mother&Baby mums the chance to win their very own Birth Recovery Duo.
To celebrate the launch of M&S’ exciting new baby range, Little Smiles, we’ve put it through our Tried&Tested panel to see how it stacks up. Take a look at what Mother&Baby parents thought of the new nappy pants...