Are you just a few weeks pregnant but suddenly feel a few months due to early pregnancy bloating? Maybe you’re waiting for that positive test and are wondering if that bloat is from pregnancy or an impending period. Here’s why this happens and what you can do!
My attempts to hide my pregnancy for a few more weeks seemed futile as I walked past the mirror at six weeks.
The night before my stomach was flat (well, as flat as it’s ever been). That morning? It looked like I was at least five or six months pregnant.
People say you always show sooner and bigger with your second, but I didn’t expect that to happen until a little later on.
I’m all about embracing your baby bump – but man, I was only six weeks pregnant. I couldn’t believe that I actually was already showing that much – part of me was convinced I must have been pregnant with twins!
Then I remembered hearing about this before – early pregnancy bloat. So, I googled it.
I was definitely not the only one to go to bed one morning and wake up with a belly the next. Frequent bloating in early pregnancy is very normal (as long as it’s not accompanied by severe abdominal pain, lots of diarrhea, bloody stool, or other blood.)
It can also be one of the first early pregnancy signs mom experiences. Because bloating is common with a menstrual cycle, it might make you wonder if you’re pregnant or if Aunt Flo is just on the horizon.
What Causes Early Pregnancy Bloating?
- Hormones Changes – this is the biggest culprit behind this unsightly pregnancy hormone. The rapid change in hormones can affect your digestive system and make it slow way down, which can result in bloating due to…
- Constipation – this is common during all stages of pregnancy. The increase of progesterone levels, which in turn causes smooth muscles – including the digestive tract – to relax. Because baby can take some of the extra water from mom, it can cause stool to be more dry – hence causing constipation.
- Uterus swelling
- Intolerances – Some women have food intolerances that manifest during pregnancy, which can make cause bloating.
- Increased blood flow
How I Helped my Pregnancy Bloat
Fortunately, there are a few things you can to do “combat” it so you can get back to fitting into your pre-pregnancy jeans for a few weeks longer (and just feel more comfortable overall).
There were two things I did that pretty much made the bloat go away as fast as it appeared, and I didn’t look pregnant for a lot longer.
- Increased water intake – Water is really the solution to so many pregnancy ailments – including bloating and constipation. I know that it can be pretty hard on your stomach while pregnant, though. True Citrus packets can be really helpful for making it easier to drink!
- You should increase your water intake anyways when pregnant to help prevent swelling, headaches, etc.
- Especially when you love at a high altitude like I do. It helps to flush out the system and prevent constipation. I’m not sure why exercise helps, but I really feel like it did.
- A gallon water bottle might be a good investment
- Exercise – If you are like me, exercise might be the last thing you want to do. But it can also be very effective in helping to get your digestive system moving a little more effectively.
- Always make sure to clear this with your physician
- I didn’t do anything crazy – just some extra walking or 20 minutes on an elliptical machine
Here are some good tips/information on exercise during pregnancy:
- The BEST Exercise App for Pregnancy – From First Trimester to Postpartum
- Fact versus Fiction: Busting Prenatal and Postpartum Exercise Myths
- Water Exercise During Pregnancy
- Must-Know Tips for Exercise During Pregnancy
More Tips for Combatting Bloating
- Yoga (here are some great prenatal pregnancy videos)
- Increase your fiber intake – I highly recommend making green smoothies for this exact purpose. If you click here, you can get three that I LOVE and actually taste good. They are great for anti-bloat.
- Eliminate stress
- Have smaller meals
- Avoid gassy or bloat-inducing foods (for me, that meant avoiding dairy and greasy foods!)
- Figure out how to manage pregnancy constipation
- Pull out the pregnancy pants or the stretchy pants. Trust me – no shame in using those. I wish I could justify them even when I’m not pregnant!
- Eat more protein – I think this helps a lot of people during pregnancy. If you have trouble getting protein in, here are the only protein bars I can stand eating – you can get 10% off with the code CLARKS. I loveee these and eat them on a regular basis.
As always, I am not a doctor or medical professional. This is just information provided from my own personal experience. While some bloating is completely normal, if you have any reason for concern, consult your doctor immediately. Swelling can be a sign of pre-eclampsia.