From being hot to becoming a hot air balloon, pregnancy welcomes you. Gas is not a new thing, and every human passes it a dozen times a day. During pregnancy, you may feel like a ruminating animal belching out loud. Getting to the stage of a casual gibber? Yes, that’s the point, take it easy, gas during pregnancy is normal.
During pregnancy, a lot is going on inside your body. Constipation, bloating and gas while pregnant is the result of high progesterone. The pregnancy hormone, Progesterone, relaxes the muscles including the digestive tract. Subsequently, the digestion slows down, building gas and constipation.
Things become worse when you do not control your diet and gassy food. Gurk, burp, and fart are commonly used terms for passing out gas.
Is gas during pregnancy normal?
Pregnancy gas is common in most women. There is no obnoxious odor, and it is a sign of natural stomach gas. Till you are here it is normal and nothing to worry about.
On the other hand, bad gas during pregnancy with smell is a sign that your health is deteriorating. Not a serious threat but a sign of improper digestion.
Similarly burping a lot while pregnant means that your diet is rich in acidic gassy food. Gas in the stomach is the air you gulp in and the result of bacterial action on food https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4303825/.
If you chew your food thoroughly and have a good gut flora, then gassy stomach won’t be as embarrassing.
What causes gas during pregnancy?
Hormonal changes during pregnancy cause gas. Apart from the normal cause of bloating during pregnancy, there can be emergency situations too. If you experience shortness of breath along with cramps due to gas, then you need to visit a doctor.
Side effects or allergic reactions to food due to hypersensitivity in pregnancy can cause pain due to flatulence.
8 Causes of gas during pregnancy
1) Rising progesterone
Also known as the pregnancy hormone, Progesterone, is crucial for maintaining pregnancy. A rise in progesterone level cause relaxation of every muscle in your body. As a result, the intestinal walls relax making it difficult to hold gas. There is no way possible to reduce progesterone or nullify its cons.
2) Long period of inactivity
During pregnancy, morning sickness and feeling tired restricts your physical workout. The more inactive you are, the longer it will take to digest food. Food must not stay in the gut for long else bacteria continue to break it down. A release of bad smelling substances occurs and is the cause of foul gas while pregnant.
Constipation and incomplete bowel movement aggravate flatulence while pregnant. When you don’t clean your gut, then gas gets trapped inside. You feel the urge to pee again and again. All this happens because your stomach is not removing waste. Detoxify and cleanse using medications if constipation is severe.
4) Suffocating clothing
Plus size clothing might still press you down there. If you are still wearing pants from the pre-pregnancy period, then you will have to keep them unbuttoned. Especially during sleep time remove all tight clothes. They obstruct blood circulation and press your abdomen.
5) Increase in body weight
As your baby increases in size, you’ve additional space requirement. Your pregnancy weight gain will distribute near your abdomen. Third-trimester gas is because of compression of organs. Accommodation pain is also responsible for gas troubles.
6) Uterus growth
The uterus grows from the size of a bean to a big bag. Where does this space come from? An increase in the size of the uterus pushes organs out of place. Once you are showing, know that uterus has started pressing on the gut.
7) Fluid retention
More and more fluids retained by your body cause pregnancy swelling. Puffiness is a sign that there is a lot of fluid retention. It is a possible cause of gas.
8) Slower digestion
Gas while pregnant is because of longer transit time. Food stays for extra 18-20 minutes per hour required for digestion. Sign of slowed digestion is burping during pregnancy. After having your food long back, you continue to burp.
Relaxed muscles don’t push out gas during pregnancy. Changing positions you wait for the discomfort to go. Flatulence while pregnant is mostly out of your control.
Laugh off any oops moments and take pride in being the mom-to-be. If you have excessive gas or painful gas, then ask your doctor. Maintain a journal of what you eat and after effects. Slash off items that cause gas.
10 Ways to prevent gas during pregnancy
Bad gas is curable and excessive flatulence beyond a limit needs treatment. At home methods of controlling gas while pregnant include diet changes. Mainly what, when, and how you eat determine the extent of suffering stomach gas.
You can prevent gas by exercising and sitting with legs up. Do not hesitate to belch with face covered. Holding on gas is a terrible mistake you could make. The gas expands and moves all around and reaches your head. Severe headache can be because you did not pass out gas.
1) Reduce fibers in your diet
High levels of fiber in food make it stay longer in the gut. Prolonged transit time of food allows bacterial action. Their action cause bloating and burping. Overeating fibers is not going to serve you good. Stick to the daily needed amount of fibers.
2) Eat lots of salads and fruits
Salads and fruits are raw and easy to digest. Their antioxidants and other components hasten digestion. Elimination of toxins is by the liver. A healthy diet ensures optimal liver function. Less number of reactive species prevents pregnant gas production.
3) Drink plenty of water
Fluids keep you hydrated. Water is the best way to wash off your body. Constipation home remedies include drinking lukewarm water. It is important that your intestinal walls have moisture. The relaxed muscles can suffer from water scarcity and become stiff. Make sure your eight glasses of water a day keep going in.
4) Wear loose clothes
Better than unbutton now and tuck in later is wearing loose clothes. Pregnancy requires you to be at your highest level of calmness in the worst scenarios. Avoid tight and uncomfortable clothes.
5) Exercise and Yoga
Move and move. Yoga is a set of mental, physical and spiritual practices devised by ancient Hindu yogis for a complete transformation of a human being. Doing appropriate yoga asanas and meditation will not keep you and your baby healthy. Exercising will mobilize the food and gas along. Sit with legs up or keep legs elevated while sleeping. Sleep on your sides and change positions to avoid overnight accumulation of gas.
6) Use stool softener to treat constipation
Read about safe stool softener while pregnant, and laxative pills. The drugs don’t affect your baby and address the prime cause of bad gas. How frequently can you take a stool softener? Depends on what your doctor recommends and how severe is constipation.
7) Chew your food thoroughly and have small portions
You should have light meals and small portions at short breaks. Keeping the servings small will prevent feeling full or uneasy. While eating, do not drink water along with it.
8) Reduce caffeine, carbonated drinks, soda
Carbs and carbon dioxide together cause gassy stomach. Switch to fresh, natural beverages.
9) Add probiotics to your diet
Imbalance in gut bacterial population diversity causes gas. Taking probiotics such as curd, and yogurt will replenish good bacteria. Improving digestion is the most significant benefit of probiotics.
10) Minimise beans, peas, and gassy foods
Some foods are known to cause gas always. Beans, broccoli, garlic, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage cause more gas than other food items.
When to call the doctor for gas during pregnancy?
Pregnancy gas safety precautions are barricades for further complications. Abdominal pain during pregnancy can be because of gas. But if the pain lasts for more than 30 minutes then consult a doctor.
When none of the remedies help you, then it is the right decision to get an appointment with your OB.