Are you experiencing a gassy pregnancy?

June 02, 2014 12:00 AM by

There are plenty of fun parts about being pregnant, from outfitting your baby bump in the latest sexy maternity dresses, to scouring baby name books looking for the perfect moniker for your unborn child. Unfortunately, being pregnant also involves a certain level of physical discomfort. Some of this discomfort presents itself in embarrassing ways, for example, pregnant women experience more gas than the average person, making flatulence and belching a bigger part of your life than you'd ever imagined. 

What are the causes of gas in pregnant women? 
On average people experience flatulence 18 times per day due to the fact that the average person will produce four pints of gas everyday and it's got to go somewhere. Some may mistake bloating or indigestion for gas. When a woman becomes pregnant, her body begins producing more progesterone, which is a hormone that cause the muscles throughout your body to relax. This relaxation includes the muscles that control your intestines, which results in the digestive process slowing down when you become pregnant. According to American Pregnancy, the time it takes for gas to move through your digestive system can increase by as much as 30 percent when you're pregnant. This causes gas to build up in your system, which can result in a room clearing chorus of burping and farting.

When you can't blame it on the dog…
The problem only gets bigger as your belly grows larger. The uterus grows to accommodate the growing fetus, and in the process presses down on organs inside of your abdominal cavity. In addition, muscle relaxation makes it harder for pregnant women to control when they pass gas. This can make for some embarrassing situations, but don't avoid elevators and buses just because your baby's inadvertently turned you into a bit of a stinker. Make a joke of it by blaming it on the baby. Put your hand on your bulging belly and say to the growing baby "you really should say excuse me!" Try to have a good attitude about it because it's inevitable. If your significant other happens to be present when the odd fart escapes don't hesitate to blame it on him or her.  

How can you reduce your gaseousness? 
The Mayo Clinic recommends that women who are trying to reduce their gas get more exercise because it can help your digestive system function faster, thus reducing your massive gas bubble. You can also cut down on your burp and fart production by avoiding certain foods such as cabbage, cauliflower and any high fat foods. Eating smaller, more frequent meals is also helpful, as is steering clear of carbonated beverages. 

There are times when pregnancy gas is masking a more serious issue, so if you feel as though you're experiencing an unusually large amount of abdominal pain, be sure to bring it up to your doctor. If you observe blood in your stool or have severe diarrhea, consult your doctor about that as well. 

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