Gas Pains During Pregnancy

It can be embarrassing for some women to talk about having gas, but it is a fact of life. Most people will pass gas around 14 times each day in the form of flatulence or a belch. Pregnant women have the unfortunate problem that they will expel gas more often than the average and this can lead to uncomfortable moments. The good news is that by learning what triggers the gas and how to prevent it, you can better manage gas pains during pregnancy.

What Causes Gas Pains During Pregnancy?

1. Pregnancy Hormone Level

During the early stages of pregnancy, your hormone levels are changing. As your progesterone levels increase, digestion will slow down, so there is more time in which gas can be produced. Your body will then get rid of the gas via farts or burps. In some cases, the gas will make you feel bloated and this is particularly true after you have a large meal.

2. Enlarging Uterus

As you get farther along in your pregnancy, your uterus will enlarge and this causes your intestines to shift, crowding into your abdomen. This process then further slows down digestion. In addition, you may feel more bloated because of your uterus putting pressure on your stomach.

3. Muscle-Relaxing Effect

To make matters worse, pregnancy hormones also tend to relax your muscles. This means that you can’t control passing gas as easily. Even if you could hold your gas without a problem before pregnancy that may not be the case during it as your muscles won’t respond the same way, leading to embarrassing moments.

How Can I Relieve My Gas Pains During Pregnancy?

1. Adjust Your Eating Habits

  • Limit foods that cause gas. Keep in mind that a food that causes gas in everyone will also do so for pregnant women, so you should try to avoid these items. An example would be if eating beans and cabbage normally gives you gas, then you can safely assume that they will continue to do so while you are pregnant. As with most other things, moderation is key. Don’t feel as if you have to completely eliminate foods that give you gas. Instead, simply limit the amount that you eat, so they have a smaller effect.
  • Eat more fibe. Don’t go overboard, but try to add some fiber into your diet. This will help make your bowel movements stay regular, thereby decreasing gas pains and discomfort. Remember to add the fiber in slowly and to do so in moderation.
  • Scale down the size of your meals. You can easily ease some of the gas discomforts simply by eating small meals in one sitting. This means that instead of three large meals, you should opt for more frequent but smaller ones. This allows your body to quickly break down the food, so it can digest it easier.
  • Eat slowly. When you eat fast, you end up swallowing air in addition to your food. This air then leads to the development of gas bubbles which may increase the amount of gas you have. Instead of rushing through a meal, slow down and enjoy it.
  • Keep a diary of your daily diet. Keeping a food diary can be a great way to figure out which foods are responsible for your gas pains or gas in general. You can then go back and see when you experience a great deal of gas and look to see what you eat as this may have caused it. Then you will know what food to avoid.

2. Do Some Exercise

  • Go and take a walk. Sometimes when you are stationary, the gas can’t move around and this leads to uncomfortable bloating. Instead, try to go for a walk after you eat. This will have the added benefit of decreasing your stress as is the case with any exercise. Although you may not realize it, stress can actually be the cause of abdominal pain and gas.
  • Try a different sitting position. Some women find that propping their legs up using a pillow while eating can reduce the amount of gas they experience. By putting your feet up, your baby will put less pressure on the abdominals, easing gas.
  • Don’t wear tight clothing. Tight clothing can also contribute to your gas pain and bloating. When your clothing is too tight, it is harder for your body to properly digest food. Instead, be sure to always wear loose clothing, especially while eating, and you should notice a decrease in your gas pains.

3. Other Options

  • Take warm baths. When you sit in a warm bathtub, your blood will move to the extremities. In addition, many women feel that a warm bath is great for getting rid of painful gas. If you feel gross afterwards, simply shower off.
  • Take medication. There are some medications available to relieve gas, but you should always talk to your doctor before you consider using one of these. You should actually have a conversation with your doctor before starting any medication (including over the counter options) while pregnant for the safety of both you and your baby

Important Notes: If at any point during your pregnancy, you notice that your gas pains have changed and the intestinal discomfort seems more like abdominal cramping or pain, you should talk to your doctor right away. The same is true if your intestinal discomfort is ever accompanied by vomiting or nausea (either a new bout of it or an increase in the amount), constipation, severe diarrheaor blood in the stool.

Here is a video to help you learn more about how to deal with your gas pains during pregnancy. Check it out:

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