woman covering her mouth, embarrassedAdd gas pains to the growing list of pregnancy symptoms you may experience during the first trimester. The pains usually go hand-in-hand with morning sickness, because you tend to swallow a lot of air to relieve feelings of nausea. That air then has to make its way through your intestines, which are getting pushed out of place by your uterus.

Abdominal pains can be a sign of miscarriage, so it’s important to note if your pain accompanies other pregnancy symptoms. If, for instance, you are also experiencing vaginal bleeding and lower back pain, contact your doctor.

Generally speaking, you will experience more gas when you are pregnant (YAY!), thanks to an increase in progesterone, which slows down the digestive tract causing pregnancy symptoms like bloating and gas.

So, how do you zap gas pains? For starters, you can avoid gassy foods, like beans and cabbage, asparagus, broccoli, fried foods and carbonated drinks. Note that dairy can cause gas pains even if you’re not lactose intolerant, and fruits with high sugar levels, such as apples and pears, can also cause the same pregnancy symptoms. Also, steer clear of hot drinks and soups, which can cause you to swallow air, and try not to talk when you’re chewing, for the same reason. (Your mom’ll be so proud!) Also, try to avoid sipping from straws, and always eat and drink while you’re upright instead of reclining or lying down. Finally, drink lots of water to help digestion and reduce pregnancy symptoms like gas.

With your doctor’s permission, continue to exercise to avoid gaining weight quickly, which can put added strain on your intestines. Also, ask your doctor if it’s safe for you to take over-the-counter anti-gas medications.

Other ways to avoid gas during pregnancy include:

  • Eating smaller meals more frequently, rather than three larger meals per day.
  • Limiting how much liquid you intake during meals. Instead, drink between meals.
  • Not chewing gum, which can cause you to swallow extra air. Same goes for candies and cough drops.
  • Wearing loose clothing, particularly around your belly.
  • Going for a walk to help loosen up the gas (preferably alone!)