Pregnancy comes with all sorts of embarrassing side effects. You sweat more, you suffer serious breakouts, and, worst of all, you let out loud, smelly farts that could clear a room. Gas and flatulence are pretty common in pregnancy and, as it turns out, can provide you with some important information. There are some things your pregnancy farts are trying to tell you, and acting on those messages could actually get you some relief.
The biggest thing to know about pregnancy farts is that they’re perfectly normal, according to Dr. Nicole Smith, the clinical director of maternal fetal medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. “There are many reasons that gas and bloating occur in pregnancy, including hormonal changes, and changes in diet and activity,” Smith says. But natural and unavoidable as it may be, many women find the thought of accidentally letting out a fart where someone else can hear it (or heaven forbid, catch a whiff of it) beyond mortifying, even if they do have the perfectly acceptable excuse of being way too pregnant to stop it. If you fall into that latter category, you might be surprised to learn about all the things that can be making your gassiness and bloating worse, and all the simple remedies that can make it go away.
Here are nine things it could mean when you just can't stop farting in pregnancy.
1. You Might Need To Change Your Diet
Getting your fill of veggies is key during pregnancy, but some of those healthy food choices can make you super gassy according to PregMed. Foods like beans, cauliflower, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts are among the culprits. Try to cut back on these foods, or eliminate them all together. It’s also probably OK to reach for over-the-counter help, according to Dr. Jeanne Sheffield, the director of the maternal-fetal medicine at Johns Hopkins Medicine (though of course, you should always double check with your own doctor). “You can take Maalox, Mylicon, any of the fiber supplements… all of that will help at least a little bit with the bloating,” says Sheffield.
2. You Might Need More Exercise
If you're feeling gassy and farting up a storm, you might want to make sure you're getting enough exercise. As the Mayo Clinic reported, exercise in pregnancy can stimulate digestion and give you some relief. The extra exercise is just good for you in general, too. “We are constantly telling people the old wives’ tale, ‘Oh, once you get pregnant, you need to take it easy and such,’ — pretty much the opposite of what we now teach people. We want people exercising five days a week.”
3. You Might Need To Change Your Beverage Choices
What you drink can matter just as much as what you eat when it comes to gassiness. “Water is the best,” says Sheffield, “Things like soft drinks and such can increase your bloating.” So as much as you may be craving an ice cold cola, know that you may end up regretting it later when the carbonations kicks in. You'll want to avoid carbonated drinks, and avoid drinking out of a straw, as it draws more air into your mouth.
4. You Might Need To Eat Smaller Meals
If you're sitting down to big meals to stave off your pregnancy hunger, you could be making your gas worse. Registered dietician and nutritionist Stephanie Beaudette wrote on LiveStrong that big meals can lead to digestive discomfort, and shooting for six small meals a day could make a pregnant mama feel much better.
5. You Might Be Eating Too Fast
When a pregnancy craving strikes it can make it hard to resist chowing down on your meal in record time. But eating too quickly can make you gassy, according to Livestrong. Instead, try to chew slowly and thoroughly to make your gut settle down.
6. You Might Need To Cut Down On Artificial Sweeteners
7. You Might Want To Try Yoga
A surprising way to fight your pregnancy flatulence? Heading to a prenatal yoga class, according to The Bump. The deep breathing and stretching you do in a class can aid your digestion.
8. It Might Be Time To Start Rocking Maternity Pants
If you're still trying to squeeze into your pre-pregnancy wardrobe, it could be making you pass gas because it's constricting your belly. Switching to bump-friendly maternity clothing can make you more comfy and less gassy, according to Baby Center.
9. You Might Be Getting Too Much Dairy
If dairy and cheese are among your guilty pleasures during pregnancy, don't be surprised if they leave you farting all night long. Dairy can make you gassy, according to Healthline, so you might need to lay off it.
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