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The Cause: As the baby grows, space becomes tight in your belly. "Your bowels become crowded and your digestion may become more erratic, leaving you gassy and bloated," says Sheri Bayles, RN, a New York City-based childbirth expert and creator of the Laugh and Learn childbirth education DVD series. Plus, you may be eating differently (e.g., more healthfully) now that you're pregnant. All those good-for-you foods like apples, pears, cauliflower, beans, brussels sprouts, and broccoli can contribute to gassiness. Cravable foods like ice cream and greasy snacks may make you gassy, too. All that extra air has to escape from one end or the other.
The Relief: Eating smaller, more frequent meals often does the trick. It's also a good idea to avoid fatty foods like burgers and fried chicken, as well as carbonated soda -- especially ones with artificial sweeteners. A brisk, 20-minute walk after dinner (with your doctor's okay) can also stimulate digestion and relieve gas. For indigestion that keeps you up at night, try sleeping with your head propped up on an extra pillow or with your legs elevated to relieve some of the pressure on your intestines and to help you digest more easily. If none of this works, ask your doctor to recommend an anti-gas medicine.
When to Worry: Hey, passing gas and burping is normal for everyone -- pregnant women just seem to do it more often.
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