Passing gas is common for everyone – not just pregnant women. The average person will pass gas 13 – 21 times per day. The human body produces a lot of gas naturally, but gas during pregnancy is slightly different because it will feel different in most cases.
What Causes Gas During Pregnancy?
Embarrassing gas is to be expected during every pregnancy because a woman’s body is producing higher levels of progesterone. And this hormone aims to relax the muscles in the body in preparation for pregnancy.
The problem is that these hormones begin the relaxation process immediately.
So, you’ll suffer from odd bodily changes over the course of your pregnancy. One of the things that will also become relaxed is your gastrointestinal tract. In effect, you’ll lose the same level of control over the tract that you had before pregnancy. And since this is the case, you may not be able to hold your gas in the same manner.
And did we mention that your food will sit in your tract longer, which can lead to constipation and more gas? Food can take 30% longer to pass through the body, leaving a lot of time for gas to build up. If you don’t pass the gas, you’ll have gas pain during pregnancy, too.
The GI tract is where your gas is coming from, and the slowing is why you won’t be able to hold onto your gas like you were once able to. Passing gas in front of friends and in-laws can be horrifying, but it’s not the end of the world: everyone does it.
While all of the gas is very uncomfortable and somewhat mortifying at times, it’s important to know that it will not harm the baby.
7 Ways to Prevent Gas Pain During Pregnancy
Every woman has pregnancy gas, but how in the world do you get rid of it? There is no 100% gas removal method that will magically release all of the gas in your body, but there are a few things that you can do in an attempt to relieve the gas and help the food move through the GI tract.
- Stop Eating These Foods: The foods you eat can cause you to have excess gas. Mexican food is a big culprit, and these spicy foods can give you acid reflux, too – not fun. But, you’ll also want to avoid the following foods:
- Exercise: You’ll get the food to move through your body so that you have less gas and gas pain. If you find that you’re constipated, you can also relieve the constipation via exercise, which can help you go.
- Eat Smaller Meals:
- Drink More Water: ’t drink enough water, you’ll be making your stool harder. Water will soften the stool and will allow for you to pass your stool with greater ease.
- Wear Looser Clothes: ’re growing. And those skinny jeans pushing up against your stomach are not allowing you to pass gas properly. Looser-fitting clothes will allow you to relieve some of the unnecessary gas pain. Pregnancy clothes are available for a reason – wear them, especially around your waist.
- Chew Your Food More: ’ll allow the food to pass through the large intestine where most of the gas comes from. The large intestine works diligently to break down the food that isn’t fully broken down by your stomach enzymes.
- Eat More Fiber: ’t want to do, but take a minute to understand why more fiber may be good for you. Many pregnant women will have constipation, and when the food is moving slowly through the body or not at all, the added fiber will push it through faster. You may have a bout of increased gas, but once you become regular again, the bloating and pain will subside, and the gas may subside, too.
And if you eat a lot of dairy (you know, cheeses and milk), you’ll want to try and curb your habit slightly. Dairy has been shown to cause gas, and this is amplified even further when a woman is pregnant. Instead, aim to drink more water and avoid the cheese. Your body will thank you for the slight diet change.
You may also be slightly lactose intolerant, and if this is the case and you just have to have a glass of milk in the morning, choose lactose-free milk to see if the symptoms and pain go away.
If the gas will not go away, you need to start being very strict and narrow down the cause of the gas. This can be done by starting a food journal and sitting down every day to write down:
- Foods you’ve eaten
- Drinks you drank
- How you felt after every meal
- When the gas increased or lessened
- When gas pains started
There are many foods that can trigger gas during pregnancy that would not trigger gas otherwise. Every woman and pregnancy is different, and you may be a special case where you’ll need to sit down and really know what in your diet is working and not working for you.