There are few things more uncomfortable during pregnancy than the dreaded bloating. It can come on at any time, and often, you have no idea where it came from. Could it be the shawarma? The ice cream? The fetus lying across your large intestine like a fancy divan inside your torso? I tried everything from Gas-X to yoga when I was pregnant and while some of it helped, not all of it did. Mostly, I just laid down with my legs in the air, praying for relief. But, what are the best positions to relieve pregnancy gas? Someone must know.
The buildup of gas in the pregnancy is due to several factors, according to An Introduction to Gastroenterology. First, like most everything else during pregnancy, it's affected by your hormones. They cause a slowing of your digestive system which often leads to a buildup of gas in your intestinal tract. The other main contributing factor to bloating and gas during pregnancy is that your uterus is pressing up against areas of your stomach and intestine, slowing further the movement of waste in your body, trapping it painfully in some areas. The least talked about reason gas may buildup more during pregnancy is lethargy and lack of movement. Pregnancy is rough and tiring, and there are days that it feels like a monumental task just to get up to do the laundry. However, sitting or lying down for too long can back up your digestive tract. Therefore, it's no surprise that all the best positions to relieve these problems, according to Healthline, involve movement.
Moms like me who've been there? They agree. Initially, when I started writing this piece, I set out to get an OB-GYN's opinion. When their response was "whatever works," I knew I needed a bit more than that. While not all of these positions are one that a pregnant woman should hold for a long period of time, like lying supine, according to Positional Therapy in Obstructive Sleep Apnea, the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology's opinion on exercise does not prohibit lying on your back for short periods of time.
So what are the best positions for relieving pregnancy gas, according to moms who've been there? Charlotte Wright, 34, tells Romper she got the most relief from doing squats. "Something about weighted squats really helped move things along. That, and drinking a ton of water. I'd hold a 25-pound weight and do several reps at a time and repeat the process all day."
Felicia Tryon, 31, of Akron, Ohio, tells Romper that movement helped her — she'd keep walking. "I noticed it was inevitable that I'd fart when I was walking around anywhere, especially if I didn't want to, so I started taking a preemptive strike by going for long walks in the morning to move it all out before I hit up the grocery store or went to work. It was better to pass gas outside at the park than while I was in the stacks re-shelving books." I wonder if the books are old enough, will the odor just go unnoticed?
Nurse Sandra McMasterson, 35, would rock back and forth on her bum while hugging her knees. "I would sit down, draw my knees up in front of me, giant cannonball-style, and rock back and forth," she tells Romper. "It's a lot like how you get your baby to fart when they're infants, only a lot more tricky to stand up from." I don't know about that — I haven't seen many infants try to stand.
My own strategy mirrored that of Stephany Strachiochelli, 32, who tells Romper, "I would lie on my back with my legs up on the wall in front of me and shimmy my *ss. It worked some times, but not all. I also did a lot of stair climbing, because it seemed to help. Bonus points if my husband or 3-year-old was behind me." Bonus points indeed, Stephany.
Whatever you end up doing, if it gets to be too much, there might be more measures you can take pharmacologically, so talk to your OB-GYN and get moving, and hopefully your intestines will get the hint as well.
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