Thanks to Fiber One for sponsoring this informational post. Any opinions are my own. Material in this post is provided for informational purposes only. It is general information that may not apply to you as an individual, and is not a substitute for your own doctor’s medical care or advice.
Being pregnant can be a very different experience for each mom. Some expectant mothers rejoice at the news they are with child and have that ever-illuminating glow from day one that never seems to fade. Others, like me, end up with some very horrible nausea, constipation, and general discomfort that make the whole childbearing experience not so glamorous.
For those who expected that dewy skin and gorgeous bump but were left with extra gas – what is a girl to do? Here is the lowdown on those blush-worthy pregnancy issues that you’ve been too afraid to ask anyone about.
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While most of these symptoms are normal and happen to a lot of women during pregnancy, if you notice anything that seems highly out of the ordinary or persists for a lengthy time, be sure to talk to your doctor about your concerns.
Gas & Burping
While a little extra gas causes no concerns for your baby during pregnancy, you may not like feeling bloated or having to pass gas at the most inopportune times. The extra gas is thanks to progesterone (pro-gestation hormone), which slows down digestion, giving nutrients more time to enter your bloodstream for baby, but it also causes bloating thanks to the extra build-up of gas.
What can you do? Here are some simple tips that can help you help manage it a little better (even though it won’t likely go away):
- Drink lots of water. Water helps to keep things moving and to avoid constipation.
- Keep eating fiber. Leafy greens, whole grains, and fruits are great, healthy ways to keep up on your fiber. If you are looking for a sweet snack once in a while, try Fiber One soft baked or chewy bars, which are great to satisfy your sweet tooth while out and about. Chewy Fiber One bars like their Oats & Chocolate or Oats & Peanut Butter have 9 grams of fiber per serving, which is 35 percent of your daily fiber. Some fiber, like legumes, can increase gas so be aware of your body, what you eat and how you react.
- Eat small meals throughout the day. Fitting in six small meals over the course of a day keeps your nutrition levels constant and helps keep your gassiness in check.
- Relax. Take some deep breaths and calm yourself before and during your meal so you don’t stress eat, which can mean eating too fast and swallowing air.
- Cut back on foods in the gas club. While you don’t have to or may not want to avoid these foods entirely (some are beneficial to eat!), cutting back a bit might help relieve some of your gas woes. These foods include beans, cabbage, onions, fried foods, sugary foods, and rich buttery sauces.
Right along with having all that extra gas, you now are constipated all the time or have irregular bowel movements. This, again, is caused by hormones making your bowels relax on the job. In addition, your expanding uterus takes up a lot of valuable space, giving your bowel less room to do its business.
What tactics can you employ?
- Fiber, fiber, fiber. As mentioned previously, fiber can help with the bloating and gas, but it can really help with constipation. Roughage, otherwise known as fiber-rich foods, can really help you eliminate waste.
- Whole-grain cereals and breads, peas and beans (legumes), fresh fruits and veggies (raw or lightly cooked with skin on), and dried fruits can all help. Aim for 25 to 35 grams of fiber per day. If you are still craving something sweet but don’t want the guilt, try a sweet but good-for-you treat from Fiber One! You can go for a 90-calorie bar, with great flavors like Cinnamon Coffee Cake, or a brownie bar like their Streusel Blueberry.
- Avoid foods like white bread, white rice, and pasta, which can have just the opposite effect of what you are going for.
- Don’t forget the water. If you don’t like sipping on plain water all day, try adding a slice of lemon or orange to give it a little citrus zing.
- Getting moving encourages regular bowel movements so don’t forget to get up and move once in a while!
Relaxed pelvic muscles, thanks to those pesky hormones, are once again causing havoc on your body. This, along with pressure from your growing baby pushing on your bladder, can cause some little leaks, or urinary incontinence.
How can I avoid accidents?
You probably won’t be able to completely cut out leaking. However, doing Kegel exercises can help to strengthen the muscles around your bladder. Taking more frequent bathroom breaks is also a good idea. Once your bladder runs out of room though, there really is no stopping those little leaks so I recommend investing in some good mama cloth (or disposable pads) to help absorb accidents.