According to What to Expect, bloating is a normal symptom of early pregnancy. Bloating during pregnancy is primarily caused by an increase in the hormone progesterone, which causes the gastrointestinal muscles to relax. As a result, digestion slows down and bloating occurs. Associated with this bloating is a tendency to pass gas, caused in part by the increased pressure that the growing uterus places on the intestinal tract and rectum.
To decrease bloating and gas during all stages of pregnancy, Babble suggests avoiding artificial sweeteners, carbonated drinks, fruit juice and other foods that typically cause gas, including beans, onions, cauliflower, asparagus, pears and prunes, among others. Eating smaller meals can allow the slowed-down digestive system time to process food adequately, and sitting with the feet elevated can take some pressure off the intestines.
Pregnancy Corner points out that eating foods rich in fiber helps the digestive system process the extra gas that causes bloating, as does drinking extra water and eating slowly. Daily exercise helps stimulate the digestive system and may provide some relief for gassy, bloated feelings. Avoiding fatty foods, which take a long time to digest, can help alleviate bloating, as can the occasional use of laxatives. If bloating becomes severe abdominal pain, a pregnant woman should contact her doctor immediately.