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Challenge: Pregnancy Secrets

Managing Digestive Issues Safely while You are Pregnant

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Don’t listen to the women who say that pregnancy is all happiness and joy. They are leaving out some pretty important stuff, including the fact that you are likely going to have a number of digestive issues during your pregnancy. Between your hormones being out of whack, and a baby growing inside you that makes less room for food to digest, you may experience bloating, gassiness, heartburn, and irregularity. Luckily, it is easy to deal with most of these issues, simply by making a few changes to your lifestyle and diet. Let’s take a look at some of the things you can do to manage digestive issues safely while you are pregnant.

  • Eat Smaller Meals – Instead of eating three large meals daily, switch up your routine and starting eating smaller meals more frequently, as well as snacking throughout the day. This is going to keep you from getting too full, which in turn can help to prevent acid reflux and aid in digestion.
  • Don’t Eat before Sleeping – If you must have a snack before having a nap or going to sleep at night, make sure that it is something light. Your digestive system won’t work as well when you are lying down, so you need to make sure that it doesn’t have a lot of work to do prior to sleeping.
  • Eat Slowly – The slower you eat, the easier it is going to be for your system to digest food. Your digestive system needs to have enough time to properly digest food, and when you eat slowly, it has that time. It also helps you to feel fuller faster, so you don’t eat as much.
  • Avoid Caffeine – We know it is practically impossible to avoid caffeine, especially if you are wild about coffee. But, you do need to take steps to minimize your caffeine intake. Go ahead and have your morning java if you must, but limit it to one cup. Avoid dark sodas, tea, and other drinks that contain caffeine.
  • Avoid Carbonation – As well as avoiding dark sodas, it may even be best to avoid soda all together. The carbonation can lead to heartburn, or make heartburn that you already have even worse. It is also a good idea to avoid citrus, as it can also cause heartburn. So, do not substitute juice for soda.
  • Stay Active – There are several reasons why doctors at New York’s Gastroenterology Practice recommend that pregnant women stay active throughout their pregnancies, and digestion is one of them. When your body is in motion, it helps the digestive process along, so you digest food faster and easier.
  • Avoid Certain Foods – There are a lot of healthy foods that you should actually avoid while you are pregnant, as they can cause gas. These include beans, raw cabbage, lentils, broccoli, and onions. If you do eat gas-producing vegetables, they produce less gas if they are cooked instead of raw.
  • Don’t Use a Straw – If you are in the habit of using a straw when you drink, try to break this habit, at least while you are pregnant. When you use a straw, you are actually swallowing in a lot more air than you would if you were not using a straw, which is going to end up causing gassiness and bloating.
  • Don’t Chew Gum – Many of the ingredients in gum and sugar-free candies are known to create excess gas. These ingredients include sugar-alcohols like sorbitol, xylitol, and maltitol. Gum also produces gas because you tend to swallow a lot of air when you chew it.
  • Eat Plenty of Fiber – It is important to eat lots of fiber-rich foods when you are pregnant (as well as when you are not pregnant) to keep you regular and help the digestive system to work properly. Try to include plenty of vegetables, fruits, oats, barley, and bran cereals in your diet.

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