During pregnancy, as the weeks progress and the growth of the fetus, the space occupied by the uterus and baby increases significantly, while the space that can be occupied by the rest of the organs decreases drastically. It is the digestive system that, specifically, suffers the bulk of this space limitation, especially when the third trimester is reached, although the effects begin to be suffered from the first trimester. How to avoid them? A correct diet can help us if we reduce foods that produce more gas in pregnancy. Take good note!
Gas and flatulence are, along with heavy digestion and heartburn, symptoms that can unfortunately last for 40 weeks of pregnancy and, although part of them is unavoidable since it is due to the lack of space and hormonal changes , there are some foods that contribute to aggravate all these symptoms.
For example, gases can be produced, explained in a very simplified way, for three reasons, either by swallowing air when eating or drinking, either by the digestion of certain foods throughout the gastrointestinal tract or by the effect of the bacteria present in the small and large intestine, and whose function is to ferment or break down some of the nutritional components of food.
For starters, gas that originates in the stomach, or stomach gas, can be generated when you eat too quickly or chew incorrectly, swallowing more air than you should. Although these gases are usually eliminated with some ease (via burp) since the valves that control the entry and prevent the exit of the food bolus from the stomach are more relaxed than usual during pregnancy, they can accumulate in the upper part of the stomach, resulting very uncomfortable especially in a sitting position, even affecting breathing.
Once digestion has begun, the gases that are generated by the effect of gastric juices on food can pass into the intestine, and also, throughout its journey in the intestine, intestinal bacteria will finish breaking down complex carbohydrates such as starch. , producing more gases in the process.
These intestinal gas they increase the sensation of bloating and cause cramps in the belly until they are eliminated anally. Some foods are capable of increasing the production of these annoying gases.
- Caffeinated drinks and those that contain gas also favor the accumulation of gases in the stomach, so they should be avoided.
- Legumes, one of the fundamental pillars of the Mediterranean diet due to its high density of nutrients, they contain indigestible carbohydrates that reach the entire large intestine and are the source of energy for the bacteria present in this part of the gastrointestinal tract, which ferment them generating gases.
- Among the vegetables, broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, onion, artichoke or asparagus, In addition to those that are consumed raw, such as lettuce, they are the main cause of flatulence.
- Also some fruits like pears and apples, especially if they are not ripe enough, they cause gas that can accumulate in the intestine.
- Consumption of foods based on whole grains, Thanks to its fiber content, it is highly desirable in pregnancy to avoid constipation problems, but precisely due to this fiber content and complex carbohydrates, they are the ideal food for intestinal bacteria, and their digestion leads to an increase in production of intestinal gas.
- Another of the food groups that support the growth of intestinal bacteria are milk and some dairy products. Their lactose content is directly proportional to the appearance of flatulence in susceptible people, so the consumption of dairy products, such as yogurts and cheeses, in which the lactose has been previously fermented, are more recommended during the pregnancy than drinking milk.
- Curiously, sorbitol (also mannitol and xylitol), which is used as a substitute for sugar to sweeten in the food industry because it is a low-calorie sweetener, is also one of the main causes of flatulence and its consumption should be avoided during pregnancy .
The body of the pregnant woman undergoes so much changes that it is inevitable that our body goes a little 'crazy'. Some women have hardly any discomfort, but others live this period of their life as a nightmare. These are the most common annoyances during 40 weeks of gestation.
- Nausea and vomiting
They start in the first few weeks and, in some cases, they can disappear by the third or fourth month and, in others, they can last until the moment of delivery. To cope, try to drink plenty of water, reduce your intake of heavy foods, eat five meals a day and, if it does not improve, go to your doctor for a prescription.
- swollen legs
It usually occurs in the lower extremities, legs and ankles, but as the pregnancy progresses, it can also affect the hands and, in the final stretch, the face. To curb it, it is best to reduce salt in your diet, exercise lightly and avoid tight clothing, among other measures.
During pregnancy the intestine becomes slower and more lazy and this causes that, by not having a regular function, the pregnant woman has episodes of constipation. The best remedy, without a doubt, is a diet rich in fiber, drinking plenty of water and doing some physical activity.
- Dental problems
Although they are not that common, many women experience discomfort in their teeth, with bleeding and inflammation of the gums. It is also 'normal' to feel more sensitive to dental plaque and produce more saliva. If this is your case, it would not hurt to visit the dentist and maintain good dental hygiene.
- Increased urge to urinate
This is something that you will notice as your gut grows, and it is that it will put pressure on your bladder and you will have a constant feeling of wanting to go to the bathroom, even if you barely add anything.
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