5 Simple Steps to Relieve Bloating During Pregnancy
Hey mama, do you ever find yourself learning the same life-lessons over and over again?
Soon after my first son was born, I posted a blog about how hard it was for me to let go of control during pregnancy. Now, 26-weeks into pregnancy #2, I re-read that blog and wonder, have I learned nothing?!?
Once again, I struggle with accepting my experience as it is.
Especially the lack of energy. I’m tired of being tired.
I recently stumbled on this article about why naps are so important during pregnancy. A great reminder to let go of trying to control the way I feel and just trust that all is as it should be… easier said than done... especially with an 18 mo. old to chase after and a full time job in a man’s world that doesn’t slow down for pregnancy.
In addition to the fatigue, the bloating really gets me.
I looked 20-weeks pregnant at just 10 weeks. Almost as soon as I had a positive pregnancy test, I couldn’t button my pants. Eventually bloat just morphed into a baby bump - but the uncomfortable feeling of an overly-swollen belly continues.
My personal woes aside, bloating is probably the most common complaint among women who I work with.
I get it. Bloat is so uncomfortable and it gets in the way of living your confident life. I can’t eliminate bloating all-together, but I can share strategies I have found most helpful for reducing bloat during pregnancy and beyond:
Top 5 tips to relieve bloating
1. TAKE PROBIOTICS.
Flourishing colonic bacteria is essential to digestive health. The “good” bugs can digest fibers that you cannot not, helping to promote gut motility and elimination (i.e. get the gas out rather than trapping it in your gut). We recommend all pregnant and nursing mamas (and their newborns) take a probiotic. Learn more and see our specific recommendations.
2. EAT FERMENTED FOODS.
Think kefir, yogurt (with "live active cultures"), miso, sauerkraut, kimchi and tempeh. These foods pack billions to trillions of beneficial bacteria in each bite that improve your digestion. Spice-up your dinner routine with this 30-Minute Bibimbap Recipe made with probiotic-rich kimchi.
3. EAT FIBER.
I’m talking about a variety of veggies, fresh fruits, nuts & seeds and whole grains. For those new to eating a lot of fiber, you may notice more gas initially, but your body will soon adjust. Fiber is food for the probiotics you’re taking AND it gets things moving to prevent constipation and reduce bloating.
4. EAT SMALL, FREQUENT MEALS.
Unlike large meals that are more difficult to digest and slow down your system, smaller meals move through faster. No need to limit yourself to nutrient-deplete “snack” foods. Instead, think of each eating occasion as an opportunity to nourish you and baby-to-be with mini-meals. A salad or a sandwich can be a snack (aka mini-meal)!
5. DRINK MORE WATER (WITH LEMON).
Bloating can be your body's way of holding on to water. Staying well hydrated tells your body it can let go. Hydration also relieves constipation, and thus bloating. Lemon is a natural diuretic and detoxifier, and it makes drinking water more appetizing. Bottoms up!
BONUS TIP- CHEW WELL!
Chewing is the first step to digestion. When you chew, your food combines with an enzyme in your saliva called amylase that begins the breakdown of starches and fibers. You deserve to take time and enjoy your food, mama!
Digestion is a very personal thing and there is no one-size-fits all. That's why figuring out what works best for YOU is so important. We're here to help!