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gas in pregnancyGas has to be one of the most embarrassing pregnancy symptoms that you’ll experience. It’s common for expectant mothers to be gassier than normal, so you should expect plenty of burping and even flatulence. Sadly, farting is just another way for your body to relieve itself of that excess gas.

This pregnancy symptom can start as early as your first trimester and last until you have your baby is born.

Although it may be hard to believe, the average person will pass gas 14 times every day. This might be through a belch or flatulence. And when you’re pregnant, the gas you spell is even higher and this can lead to very embarrassing moments . . . at the most unfortunate times.

Pregnancy gas is often accompanied with other uncomfortable gastrointestinal discomfort, such as bloating.

What Causes Gas in Pregnancy?

Though it’s embarrassing to admit that you pass gas, it’s a fact of pregnancy. You can blame your pregnancy hormones for the extra gas that you experience. When you have a bun in your oven, hormones – relaxin and progesterone, specifically – relax all the muscles in your digestive tract. As a result, your digestion is slowed down and gas can easily build up.

You may have horrible gas in the first trimester, when your hormone levels are at their highest. Hormones tend to level out, or at least, your body gets used to the surge of hormones, in the second trimester. However, as your belly gets larger, the weight of the heavy uterus will press onto your digestive tract, which slows your digestion even more. This can also contribute to your pregnancy-related gas.

Having gas can lead to uncomfortable bloating, burping, abdominal pain or tummy discomfort, and you having flatulence at the most inconvenient moment. Sometimes, you won’t even feel the gas trying to escape; it just happens. And it’s not always quiet either!

Foods That Cause Pregnancy Gas

Your diet has a direct impact with how much gas you’ll produce. If you’re having extra gas, you’ll want to cut down on gas-producing foods. Common food triggers of gas includes:

• Starches – like potatoes and starches
• Fiber-rich foods – such as beans, prunes, and oats.
• Cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts.
• Dairy products

If you’re experiencing unwanted gas in pregnancy, make sure that you cut out any carbonated drinks from your diet. Artificial sweeteners, especially those in diet soda, can also make you gassier.

Gas in pregnancy is unpleasant, and no one wants to experience this bothersome symptom. It’s a good idea for gas sufferers to keep a food journal, so that you can keep track of what foods cause you the most gas.

How to Relieve Gas in Pregnancy

Having gas is inevitable, whether you’re pregnant or not. However, you can reduce the amount of gas that you produce by limiting the amount of air that you swallow. For example, it’s a good idea that you avoid drinking from a straw or a bottle. These activities make it easier for you to swallow excess air, leading you to burp and produce more gas.

Chewing gum also makes it likely that you’ll swallow air. So if you’re having bad gas in pregnancy, just don’t chew gum.

You can also relieve gas when you’re pregnant by eating slower and taking your time. Make sure that you chew your food thoroughly. Don’t talk when you’re eating, since this can introduce extra air into your body.

Eating smaller meals throughout the day is also a good idea. This makes it easier for your body to digest your food, which may lead to a reduction in how much gas you produce.
Don’t forget to exercise! Not only is exercise a good way to stay healthy and fit, but it can really get your digestive system moving along, which leads to a decrease in how much gas you’re producing. Take a stroll around your neighborhood, walk your dog, or go for a swim. Sitting still only makes it easier for gas to stay in your bowels, leading to tummy discomfort and bloating.

When to Call the Doctor

Gas and pregnancy go hand-in-hand. However, it’s a good idea to contact your midwife or healthcare provider if your intestinal discomfort is severe; you have abdominal pain or cramping; there is blood in your stool; you’re experiencing constipation, severe diarrhea, or unexpected nausea and vomiting unrelated to morning sickness.

{ 1 comment… add one }

  • Andrea Fisher February 14, 2013, 9:11 pm

    I’m not sure if it’s wise to advise cutting down on fibres, green veggies, beans and dairy products, i.e. the very things you should eat plenty of while pregnant, just for the sake of reducing flatulence.

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