Bodily changes during pregnancy can slow down digestion and cause gas, which can lead to pain. However, there are several yoga poses and body positions to help relieve gas during pregnancy.
If a person has gas, they may experience:
- passing gas, or “farting”
- pain in the stomach
- distention, or increased size, of the stomach
Changing hormones due to pregnancy can trigger bloating. In a pregnant person, trapped gas does not affect the fetus, and there are many ways to relieve the pain associated with gas.
This article explores different yoga poses and body positions a person can try to relieve gas during pregnancy.
Pregnant people should always check with a doctor before attempting new stretches or types of physical activity.
Child’s Pose can help the stomach move in a way that could help trapped gas move through the digestive tract.
- Start on all fours with the legs together or apart.
- Move the hands forward and move the body backward as far as possible to move the buttocks towards the heels.
- Position the forehead as close as possible to the ground.
- Hold for 30 seconds to 5 minutes.
The stomach should gently rest on the mat or legs if possible.
When a person twists their body, it can help put pressure on their core and alleviate trapped gas.
- Stand upright with the feet shoulder-width apart. If necessary, hold on to a wall or ledge for stability.
- Keeping the feet planted firmly on the floor, gently twist the torso.
- Sit upright with the legs stretched in front of the body.
- Keeping the buttocks planted firmly on the floor, gently twist the torso.
In a forward fold, the stomach should rest gently on the legs or mat if possible.
A person can assume this position with the legs apart if it feels more comfortable.
- Sit upright with the legs straight out in front of the body.
- Slowly and gently bend forward with the upper torso from the hips, keeping the legs straight.
Squats can help relieve gas by shifting pressure throughout the stomach, allowing it to move through the body. This can cause a person to pass the gas.
People can also hold on to something for stability, such as a wall or a ledge if needed.
People can also use a block under their buttocks as a seat for support.
- Stand with the feet as far apart as feels comfortable.
- With the feet facing slightly outwards, bend the knees in line with the toes.
- Keep the weight on the heels and squat down gently.
Some people refer to the Knee to Chest Pose as the Wind-Relieving pose.
A pregnant person should not hold this or any position that involves lying on the back for extended periods.
- Lie on the back, clasping the knees.
- Slowly pull the knees up towards the chest as far as possible.
- Tuck the chin to the chest.
Happy Baby Pose can be an effective way of relieving trapped gas.
However, again, a pregnant person should avoid lying on their back for an extended period.
- Lie on the back.
- Lift the knees up towards the sides of the body as far as possible.
- Hold the feet with the hands if possible, or use a yoga strap.
- Relax the back on the floor.
A 2016 review suggests that yoga may be a safe and beneficial treatment option for people experiencing symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. However, this study also involved non-pregnant people, which may have led to unreliable results.
It also states that further research would be necessary to recommend it fully, given the flaws in study methods.
Yoga is a suitable way for a person to remain active during pregnancy, but only when using modified exercises for those who are pregnant.
For example, individuals should avoid standing still or lying on their back for long periods, as it may lead to a drop in blood pressure.
Along with moving the body into different positions, there are other techniques to help relieve pregnancy gas.
A person should speak to their doctor before taking over-the-counter medications to ensure they will not affect the fetus. One example of these medicines is simethicone, or simeticone.
Food and drink
Certain foods can help settle stomachs and relieve gas.
According to a 2015 study, ginger could help ease symptoms of stomach pain and bloating. In the experiment, participants taking a ginger and artichoke supplement experienced a greater improvement in indigestion symptoms than those receiving a placebo.
A person should also make sure that they stay hydrated to try to combat bloating and gas.
Where possible, people can also take part in physical activity to alleviate the symptoms of gas.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that a pregnant person participates in at least 150 minutes of exercise spread over several days each week where possible. This can be as simple as brisk walking.
If a person wishes to prevent developing gas, they should avoid the following:
- Carbonated drinks: One of the main ingredients in fizzy drinks is carbon dioxide, which causes a person to experience gas.
- Certain foods: Some foods can increase the likelihood of developing gas, such as:
People who are pregnant should also avoid taking Alka Seltzer. Aspirin, one of the ingredients in Alka Seltzer, is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) state that people should talk with a doctor before taking NSAIDs at or after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
A pregnant person should contact their doctor immediately if they have any of the following symptoms alongside gas:
When performing yoga, a pregnant person should contact a doctor immediately if they experience any of the following:
Pregnancy gas can be an irritating symptom, but it is harmless. There are many ways of moving the body to help relieve the condition. In addition, alternative methods, such as medications or dietary adjustments, may also help prevent or treat it.
Before engaging in any exercise routine, people should discuss it with their healthcare provider to confirm it is suitable for them and their pregnancy.