Pregnancy can be one of the most beautiful experiences in a woman’s life, but it can also be one of the most confusing.
We recently received this email from a viewer:
Dear Dr. Manny,
I'm 6 months pregnant and have terrible gas. What's the deal?
It may be embarrassing, but you’re not alone. Early on in pregnancy, an increase in the hormone progesterone can slow your digestion, leaving more time for gas to form in your intestines.
As the baby grows, crowding in your abdomen can increase this phenomenon and leave you feeling bloated.
Additionally, pregnancy hormones can also have a relaxing effect on your muscles, making it hard to control gas.
But there are things you can try to get some relief:
- Get moving! Exercise can aid digestion — but check with your doctor to make sure it’s safe for you.
- Eat right and drink lots of water.
- Slow down; you swallow more air when you eat quickly, which can add to your gas problem.
- Eat small meals throughout the day rather than big meals that overload your digestive system.
- Avoid foods that can cause gas, including cabbage, beans and anything fried.
- Watch your weight; too much excess weight can put pressure on your digestive tract and increase your risk of other complications.
When all else fails, antacids or over-the-counter gas medications can provide some relief – but always check with your doctor before taking them.
Do you have a health question for Dr. Manny? Please send it to DrManny@FoxNews.com.
Dr. Manny Alvarez serves as Fox News Channel's senior managing health editor. He also serves as chairman of the department of obstetrics/gynecology and reproductive science at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey. Click here for more information on Dr. Manny's work with Hackensack University Medical Center. Visit AskDrManny.com for more.