SSM Cardinal Glennon Children's Medical Center
(314) 577-5600

What Can I Do to Stop Passing Gas During My Pregnancy?

It's embarrassing to admit, but I have such bad gas now that I'm pregnant! What can I do to get some relief from the discomfort, bloating ... and the embarrassment?
- Kirsten

During pregnancy, hormones slow the rate of food passing through the gastrointestinal tract and the uterus pushes against your large intestine. This makes it hard to have a bowel movement, and gives gas more time to form. So constipation and gas often go hand in hand. Some women also find that certain foods may make them more gassy.

The best way to combat both constipation and gas is to prevent them. Eat a fiber-rich diet — whole-grain breads and cereals, and fresh fruits and vegetables. Avoid foods that you know make you gassy or bloated. Eat small, frequent meals. Drink plenty of water every day and avoid carbonated beverages.

Ask your doctor if you should use stool softeners (unless the doctor tells you to, you shouldn't take laxatives). And with the doctor's clearance, regular exercise can help keep your bowels moving.

Check with your doctor before taking any medicines, if you have abdominal pain, or if you have any questions or concerns.

Reviewed by: Steven Dowshen, MD
Date reviewed: January 2013