A typical person passes gas almost 18 to 20 times in a single day. This means that an average person produces 4 pints of gas every day. For every person the meaning of gas is different. For some, it may mean a bloating sensation, while for the rest, it simply means passing of gas i.e. flatulence. Gas needs an escape route which is available through burping or by flatulence.
Passing gas during pregnancy is extremely common as gas builds up all the time, whether one is pregnant or not. However, the challenges in dealing with gas increase during pregnancy. One of the most important factors for gas trouble in pregnancy is progesterone.
Progesterone is a hormone that causes smooth muscles to relax. Thus, relaxation of the intestinal muscles slows down the digestion process. This causes gas to build up faster, which leads to burping, bloating and flatulence. The problem of gas and bloating can worsen in the later months of pregnancy as the enlarged uterus presses on the abdominal cavity. All these factors make for an embarrassing situation as it becomes difficult to control passing of gas.
It is difficult to prevent gas trouble during pregnancy. However, there are certain steps that can be taken to decrease the distress caused by this troublesome condition.
Plenty of fluids: The best way to decrease gas trouble during pregnancy is drinking enough water. Try and aim to drink at least 8 to 12 glasses of water every day along with other fluids. Make sure that the fluids you take do not contain any gas-promoting ingredients in high quantities. Certain fruit juices like orange, pineapple, and grape juice also help in reducing bloating.
Exercise: Exercise should be made a part of the daily routine. A brisk walk for 45 minutes or a similar exercise regimen should be on your to-do. Exercise helps prevent constipation and aids the digestive process. But before beginning any exercise regime in pregnancy, it is best to consult a specialist.
Fibre: Adding fibre to the diet will make the stool soft allowing it to pass easily. Foods like bananas, grains, oats, citrus fruits are rich in fibre content.
Stool softeners: A stool softener will make the stool easier to pass, thus limiting bloating. Consult a doctor for the appropriate dosage depending on the stage of the pregnancy. Make sure to avoid any laxatives as they may cause complications during pregnancy.
A healthy lifestyle is key to good health, and this holds true even during pregnancy. However, gas and bloating may not always be something trivial. To ensure that it is nothing of a serious nature, seek medical attention if there is persistent, severe, abdominal pain or constipation which lasts more than one week.
Also read: Pregnancy And Safe Medication