Tuesday, June 11, 2013

What to do about Flatulence?....

What causes gas in pregnancy? What can you do about it? Two really good questions that are rarely asked. Such a common phenomenon. And most of us are just too embarrassed or shy to ask why we burp and "toot" so much and at such inopportune times!

Early in a pregnancy, hormones are raging. Progesterone, which encourages us to "hang- on" to that collection of cells, also slows down our digestive tract. Keeping all that partially digested food sitting around in our intestines provides more time for gas to develop. And it has to come out or you feel like you are about to pop. Bloating may be one of the first symptoms of early pregnancy.

Later in a pregnancy, as the uterus grows, the intestines are literally moved around  and eventually compressed. That slows the digestive process down even more. As your stomach is pushed into and compressed, it feels like a flat pancake with not an ounce more room for another bite. Talk about bloated!

And to add insult to injury, those pesky hormones of pregnancy produce a muscle-relaxant effect that makes it harder for you to control when that gas is expelled. Before you were pregnant, you probably could mask a burp or hold in a "toot". Not anymore. Talk about embarrassing! Almost with a mind of its own, the gas just comes out.

So you have more gas than normal and it has a mind of its own. What's a girl to do?

Exercise; when you move around digestion is stimulated and that helps the bubbles move along faster. Not as much bulk is sitting around producing gas.

Eat small, frequent meals. Don't eat too much at one time.

Watch what you drink. Carbonated drinks already are gassy. If milk makes you feel bad, it's perfectly acceptable to use lactaid milk. And remember that calcium is found in many foods other than milk.

Watch what you eat. Some foods are just naturally more prone to cause feels of bloating and gas. Cabbage, cauliflower and onions are culprits just as greasy and fried foods are too.

Antacids like Tums are fine in any amount, if they work for you. Providers will often prescribe medicines that can help. But you have to broach the subject and ask. What to do about flatulence?