Hard-to-Stomach Problems: Gassiness

Here's how to prevent being overly gassy, whether you're six weeks or 35 weeks along.

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Gassiness

"My big problem was flatulence -- it really made my cube-based office environment uncomfortable for everyone," says Vikki Weiss, a mother of one from San Francisco. Jeanine Boiko had problems on the other end. "I had these awful burps for the first three months," says this mother of one from Levittown, New York. "I swear they tasted like cigarette butts." Both types of gas usually start in the first trimester; how long they last varies.

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What causes gassiness?

Again, the slowing down of your digestive process means your stomach is full longer than usual. That plus the resulting constipation can cause gassiness. Also, rather than the pregnancy itself, the culprit may be certain things you're doing as a result of being pregnant, such as eating more calcium, fruits, veggies, and other fiber-rich foods.

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For relief...Watch the gas makers.

Limit intake of foods that make you gassy, such as brussels sprouts, broccoli, onions, and beans.

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Eat small meals.

Too much food at one sitting can leave you feeling bloated, and it's also harder for your stomach to digest.

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Slow down.

If you rush through mealtime, you may swallow a lot of air or neglect to chew your food well, so your stomach will have to work harder to break food down.

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Calm down.

"You may swallow extra air because you're anxious, and that leads to burping," says Dr. Rabin. Take a nap, try a yoga class, or go for a walk to help de-stress.


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