Gas And Abdominal Bloating After Childbirth
Natalia arrived at her consultation feeling cranky and exhausted. She had a 3-month-old baby boy and ever since he was born she suffered from absolutely awful abdominal bloating and gas. It was so bad that it disrupted her ability to sleep. She said “It actually gets so bad sometimes that it feels hard to breathe when I lay down”.
Natalia’s digestive system felt fine for most of the day, but by around 4:30 pm each afternoon she started to get bloated and gassy. This continued to get worse into the evening, and after she ate her dinner Natalia became so uncomfortable that passing gas was the only way she could get relief.
Natalia became more exhausted as the weeks went by. She was already sleep deprived from waking up several times throughout the night to feed and settle her son. Her husband often worked night shifts, so he disturbed Natalia’s sleep as he came and left the house. This was really taking a toll on Natalia. She said she was becoming irritable and snappy and constantly yelling at her dogs.
My recommendations for my patient
Natalia ate healthy food and took nutritional supplements. She didn’t have celiac disease but gluten made her feel unwell so she didn’t eat it. She also avoided dairy products and soy. Dairy gave her hay fever and soy made her feel very tired and bloated. Natalia had always been slim and active with a big appetite. She had a big appetite now as well because she was breastfeeding. She didn’t have a lot of time to eat meals, so Natalia nibbled on small amounts of food all day.
A couple of hours after eating, Natalia had a snack. She often ate eight times a day. Her snacks mostly comprised of fruit, nuts and paleo bread, which she toasted and topped with tahini, nut butter or tuna. Natalia loves bananas and often ate four or more a day. Frankly, I was amazed she wasn’t overweight and didn’t suffer from digestive problems sooner. Her digestive system was overloaded with digesting food all day, and the food Natalia ate was high in fiber. All that fiber swelled up inside her gut and made her bloated.
- It’s natural to feel hungry while breastfeeding and sleep-deprived. I encouraged Natalia to eat larger meals so she wouldn’t need to snack as much, and I asked her to include more protein and fat in her meals. Satiating sources of protein include salmon, lamb, beef and chicken thigh, rather than breast. Whey protein powder is an excellent source of complete protein, containing all essential amino acids. Making a protein smoothie using Synd-X Protein Powder would be quick and easy for her.
- I also asked Natalia to try and eat fewer foods that are high in FODMAPs. I referred her to this resource.
- A low FODMAP diet can offer immense relief from digestive discomfort and irritable bowel syndrome, but loss of tolerance to FODMAPs is usually caused by other problems such as an inflamed gut lining and/or digestive enzyme deficiencies. I would have given Natalia BactoClear capsules if she wasn’t breastfeeding. I normally do not give pregnant or breastfeeding women herbal supplements. BactoClear contains berberine and essential oils, which have natural antimicrobial properties and can help with bacterial or fungal overgrowth in the gut.
- I asked Natalia to take Gut Cleanse powder. It contains glutamine and other soothing nutrients to heal the gut lining and provide symptom relief from bloating and digestive complaints.
- I gave Natalia Floratone capsules, to increase levels of beneficial gut bugs.
I asked Natalia to try and sit down at mealtimes, slow down, and chew her food more thoroughly. She often ate while cleaning up, doing the laundry or ironing. It’s not possible to digest food well under those circumstances.
The above statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease.