Third Trimester Troubles: 14 Foods To Avoid to Prevent Gas In The Last Stages Of Pregnancy

The third trimester of pregnancy is typically riddled with discomfort as the body changes rapidly with the growing baby and as the body prepares for childbirth. One common issue many expectant mothers face during this time is increased gas and bloating. This is caused by increased levels of progesterone which relaxes muscles and slows down digestion. Furthermore, as the growing uterus exerts more pressure on the digestive organs, it can also cause excess gas to build up. Certain foods are known to exacerbate this issue by producing more gas during digestion. Here are 14 foods you might want to avoid during the third trimester of pregnancy to reduce gas and decrease digestive discomfort.


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Beans are a nutritious food rich in fiber and protein, making them a staple in many diets. However, they can cause a lot of gas and bloating pain during the third trimester of pregnancy. Beans contain oligosaccharides, a type of complex carbohydrate that is difficult for the body to break down. These carbohydrates pass through the stomach and small intestine undigested until they reach the colon, where bacteria ferment them which produces gas. This fermentation can lead to discomfort and bloating, which can be quite painful and uncomfortable during the later stages of pregnancy. 


Lentil salad with caramelized pears and blue cheese
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Lentils are another high-fiber legume that can cause digestive issues during the third trimester of pregnancy. Like beans, lentils contain complex carbohydrates that are not easily digested and can ferment in the gut, leading to gas production. While lentils are an excellent source of protein and nutrients, it might be best to avoid them during the last trimester of pregnancy to avoid gas and bloating.


Authentic and traditional Chinese dish known as beef with broccoli
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Broccoli is a highly nutritious vegetable, packed with vitamins, minerals, and fiber but is also notorious for causing gas. Broccoli contains raffinose, a complex sugar that the human body struggles to digest fully. When raffinose reaches the large intestine, it is fermented by bacteria, resulting in gas production which can lead to bloating and discomfort. If you are suffering from gassiness or bloating, limit your intake of broccoli to help alleviate discomfort. 


Cauliflower grows in organic soil in the garden on the vegetable
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Cauliflower, another cruciferous vegetable, shares many of the same gas-producing characteristics as broccoli. It contains raffinose and other complex carbohydrates that can be difficult to digest. When these carbohydrates reach the colon, they are fermented by bacteria, leading to the production of gas. To help reduce its gas-inducing properties, try roasing or steaming cauliflower before eating. 


Cabbage vegetables
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Cabbage is another cruciferous vegetable that can cause gas due to its raffinose content. Additionally, cabbage is high in fiber, which, while beneficial for digestion, can also contribute to gas if consumed in large quantities. During the third trimester of pregnancy, when the digestive system is already under pressure, the gas and bloating caused by cabbage can be a nuisance. To reduce gas caused by cabbage, cook it thoroughly before eating. 

Brussels Sprouts 

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Brussels sprouts, like other cruciferous vegetables, are high in fiber and raffinose, both of which can contribute to gas production. To minimize gas and bloating, pregnant women might want to limit their intake of Brussels sprouts during the third trimester.


Red onions on rustic wood
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Most recipes call for onions due to the addition of flavor you get from onions. However, they can also cause digestive issues, particularly due to its fructans content. To combat this, only consume onions if it’s cooked during the third trimester of your pregnancy. If it still causes gas, you may want to eliminate it completely for the time being. 


Garlic Cloves and Bulb in vintage wooden bowl
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Like onions, garlic is high in fructans, which can lead to gas and bloating. To minimize gas, women in the third trimester of pregnancy might consider using garlic-infused oils instead of using raw garlic, or cooking garlic thoroughly when cooking. 

Dairy Products 

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Dairy products like milk, cheese, and yogurt are amazing sources of calcium and protein, but they can also cause gas and bloating, especially if you are lactose intolerant. Lactose intolerance occurs when the body lacks sufficient lactase, the enzyme needed to digest lactose, the sugar found in dairy products. When lactose is not properly digested, it ferments in the colon, leading to gas production and discomfort. This can be particularly problematic during the third trimester of pregnancy when digestive issues are more prevalent. If you are experiencing gas pains after consuming dairy, consider lactose-free alternatives or dairy substitutes such as almond or soy milk. 

Carbonated Beverages 

Close-up portrait of pregnant woman with glass of water
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Carbonated beverages, including soda and sparkling water, can lead to gas buildup in the digestive system. The bubbles in these drinks are composed of carbon dioxide, which can accumulate in the stomach and intestines, causing bloating and discomfort, which is especially troublesome during the third trimester of pregnancy when the digestive system is already under pressure from the growing uterus. To mitigate this, limit your intake of carbonated drinks and opt for still water or herbal teas instead. 

Fried Foods 

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Fried foods are often high in fat, which can slow down the digestive process and cause gas and bloating. High-fat foods take longer to digest, which means they stay in the stomach and intestines for a prolonged period. This can lead to the production of gas as the food ferments in the digestive tract. During the third trimester of pregnancy, consuming fried foods can exacerbate discomfort caused by gas. Pregnant women might find it helpful to avoid fried foods and instead opt for other cooking methods such as baking, grilling, or steaming.


little boy give an apple for a girl
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Apples are nutritious, high in fiber, and vitamin C, but did you know they can also cause gas and bloating due to their high fructose content? Fructose is a type of sugar that can be difficult for some people to digest, and because progesterone causes digestion to slow down, eating food high in fructose can lead to fermentation and gas production in the large intestine. To avoid this, eat smaller portions of food containing fructose.


Pear on branch
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Pears are another fruit that can cause gas and bloating due to their high fructose content. Additionally, the fiber in pears can be challenging for the digestive system to break down fully, especially if consumed in large quantities. To reduce the likelihood of gas, consider eating smaller portions.


fresh watermelon slices on grey wooden
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During the summer, eating watermelon can be quite refreshing, but because of its fructose content, it might be a reason why pregnant women in their third trimester feel bloated or gassy. To minimize gas, remember to eat watermelon in moderation – even if you really want to eat the whole fruit! This can save you from a lot of digestive pains.

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