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7 Ways you can do at Home to relieve Gas during Pregnancy

7 Ways you can do at Home to relieve Gas during Pregnancy

Expecting a baby? Congratulations!  How exciting!  Perhaps you’ve already started planning the wonderful days ahead with a cute little bundle of joy in your life.  And yet, you are not there though. Like everything else in life, it comes with not-so-pretty side of it as well. Alas, Gas!  While you walk around as a proud mom-to-be, gas makes you feel embarrassed, unpleasant or even painful sometimes.

When you become pregnant, the level of progesterone increases which makes your intestinal muscles relax in the body. As a result, the digestion cycle slows down. It takes 30% more time for food to move through the intestinal tract when you are pregnant. Therefore there’s more time for gas to build up and you end up feeling more bloated and gassy.

Once you get further along in your pregnancy, the increased pressure from your growing uterus on your abdominal cavity can slow digestion down even more and lead to more gas.

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But here’s the good news if you are suffering from excessive flatulence while pregnant. Try these simple 7 tips at home and it will help reduce your discomfort from gas during pregnancy.

1. Keep a food journal and carefully review your diet.

Keeping a food diary can help you analyze the relationship between eating certain foods and having more gas. If you feel you’re experiencing gas on a more than normal basis, keep track of the foods you eat and the volume of gas experienced.

2. Try to eliminate one specific food at a time that seems to be problematic.

Avoid dairy products if you are lactose intolerant. Replace with lactose free milk or calcium fortified soy milk instead. Steer clear of fried and fatty foods and check the following list of foods to be aware of.

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Foods that can contribute to gas and bloating; high carbohydrate beverages, artificial sweeteners, sodas, fruit drinks, beans, corn, leeks, onions and scallions, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, artichokes, dried fruit, pears, apples, pears, artichokes, honey, corn, potatoes, wheat and oat bran.

3. Eat slowly, more frequently and smaller portions.

The more you eat at one meal, the longer it will sit in your digestive tract and produce more gas. Turn three regular meals a day into five or six smaller meals a day so your body can digest it more easily. Also try to eat slower so you take in less air when you eat. Taking in air makes gas bubbles in your stomach. You may even get uncomfortable abdominal gas pain when it’s coupled with the gas produced in digesting food already.

4. Increase fiber intake and drink lots of water.

Constipation and gas often go hand in hand. Fiber in the diet can help relieve the constipation in pregnancy and help aid digestion. This in turn will help keep gas production, gas pain and bloating to a minimum. Include fiber boosters such as vegetables, prunes, figs, flax meal and whole grains in your diet to help bowel movement.

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And drink plenty of water. When you do, drink from a cup or glass, not from a bottle or through a straw to minimize air intake while drinking. It’s recommended to aim for eight to ten of 8-ounce glasses everyday.

5. Exercise and be active.

Exercising after you eat can help food and gas to move through your system. If you sit for a long period of time, the gas will not move and you may get cramping and excess bloating. Not only can exercise help speed up digestion it can also keep you physically fit and emotionally happy. Take a walk around the neighborhood, run the vacuum, walk the dog, or start some pregnancy exercises.

6. Change position often and elevate your legs.

If you find yourself burdened with an uncomfortable bout of gas, sit somewhere that you can elevate your feet. While you’re at it, wear loose, comfortable clothing, and avoid any tightness around your waist and tummy. Try to sit up while you’re eating or drinking. This will help keep the baby high and take the pressure off of your abdomen and let your body digest more freely.

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7. Relax and enjoy the process.

Anxiety and stress can increase the amount of air you swallow. Eliminate as much stress from your life as possible. Find some quiet time during the day to take deep breaths and relax, or even reserve a day for a prenatal spa treatment. Remember, your unborn baby can sense your well-being in your womb. And giving birth to a healthy baby is a blessing to both you and your baby.

Finally, gas will not hurt you or your baby and it is only a discomfort while you are pregnant. Even though you may need to eliminate some foods from your diet to control gas, make sure you have an adequate source of the missing nutrients such as iron, calcium, protein and vitamins. And always consult your doctor when in doubt to ensure something more serious isn’t going on.

Happy Pregnancy!

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Last Updated on October 23, 2018

Science Says Knitting Makes Humans Warmer And Happier, Mentally

Science Says Knitting Makes Humans Warmer And Happier, Mentally

My mother was a great knitter and produced some wonderful garments such as Aran sweaters which were extremely fashionable when I was young. She also knitted while my father drove, which caused great amusement. I often wondered why she did that but I think I know the answer now.

Knitting is good for your mental health, according to some research studies. The Washington Post mentions a 2013 survey of about 3,500 knitters who were asked how they felt after a knitting session. Over 80% of them said they definitely felt happier. It is not a totally female occupation as more and more men take it up to get the same benefits. Harry Styles (One Direction) enjoys knitting. So does Russell Crowe although he does it to help him with anger management!

The Neural Knitwork Project

In Australia, Neural Knitworks was started to encourage people to knit and also become aware of neuroscience and mental health issues. Knit-ins were organized but garments were not the only things created. The knitters produced handmade neurons (1,665 of them!) to make a giant brain. The 2015 project will make more neural knitted networks (neural knitworks) and they will be visible online. You can see some more examples of woolly neurons on the Neural Knitworks Facebook page.

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While people knitted, crocheted and crafted yarn, they listened to experts talking about mental health issues such as addiction, dementia, depression, and how neurons work.

The knitting and neural connection

The human brain has about 80 billion neurons. Learning new skills, social interaction, and physical activity all help to forge neural connections which keep the brain healthy and active. They are creating networks to control movement and make memories. The knitters learn that as they create the woollen neurons, their own neurons are forming new pathways in their brains. Their creations are mimicking the processes in their brains to a certain extent. At the same time, their brains are registering new and interesting information as they learn interesting facts about the brain and how it works. I love the knitworks and networks pun. What a brilliant idea!

More mental health benefits from knitting

Betsan Corkhill is a physiotherapist and has published some results of completed studies on her website, appropriately named Stitchlinks. She conducted some experiments herself and found that knitting was really helpful in reducing panic and anxiety attacks.

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“You are using up an awful lot of brain capacity to perform a coordinated series of movements. The more capacity you take up by being involved in a complex task, the less capacity you have for bad thoughts.”- Betsan Corkhill

Knitters feel happier and in a better mood

Ann Futterman-Collier, Well Being Lab at Northern Arizona University, is very interested in how textile therapy (sewing, knitting, weaving and lace-making) can play an important role in mood repair and in lifting depressive states.

She researched 60 women and divided them into three different groups to do some writing, meditating and work with textiles. She monitored their heartbeat, blood pressure and saliva production. The women in the textiles group had the best results when their mood was assessed afterwards. They were in a better mood and had managed to reduce their negative thoughts better than those in the writing and meditation groups.

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“People who were given the task to make something actually had less of an inflammatory response in the face of a ‘stressor’.” – Dr. Futterman Collier

The dopamine effect on our happiness

Our brains produce a chemical called dopamine. This helps us to feel happy, more motivated, and assists also with focus and concentration. We get a boost of dopamine after sex, food, exercise, sleep, and creative activities.

There are medications to increase dopamine but there are lots of ways we can do it naturally. Textile therapy and crafting are the easiest and cheapest. We can create something and then admire it. In addition, this allows for a little bit of praise and congratulations. Although this is likely not your goal, all these can boost our dopamine and we just feel happier and more fulfilled. These are essential in facing new challenges and coping with disappointment in life.

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“Sometimes, people come up to me when I am knitting and they say things like, “Oh, I wish I could knit, but I’m just not the kind of person who can sit and waste time like that.” How can knitting be wasting time? First, I never just knit; I knit and think, knit and listen, knit and watch. Second, you aren’t wasting time if you get a useful or beautiful object at the end of it.” – Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, At Knit’s End: Meditations for Women Who Knit Too Much.

If you thought knitting and textiles were for old ladies, think again!

Featured photo credit: DSC_0012/Mary-Frances Main via flickr.com

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