Bloating or Braxton hicks contraction is the usual discomfort of women having a baby.
However, are there any risks posed by excess gas before labor during pregnancy? Can you reduce the frequency of this issue?
This writing will point out why there is increased flatulence before labor and provide tips for you to prevent it when you find yourself pregnant.
Why Is There Excess Gas Before Labor During Pregnancy?
Don’t worry. This is a normal function of your body. Not only can contractions cause gas, but the irritation from hormones and stress can do the same to your bowels during labor.
Even what you eat is linked to the excessive gas.
Does gas increase before labor? Yes. You can consider the cause of the increasing amount of progesterone during normal pregnancy.
This hormone takes responsibility for relaxing the gastrointestinal tract’s smooth muscle in your body.
Once the muscles get relaxed, the movement of food through the digestive system slows down, which results in the buildup of flatulence inside your intestines.
What You Eat
The food and drink you absorb every day may become another reason for progressing the gas production.
Particularly, some types of food that are spicy, greasy, dairy, processed along with carbonated drinks can increase flatulence.
Pregnant women can eat foods such as clams, broccoli, bran, and beans that are beneficial for health. The ones with the reverse effect are potato chips, onion rings, and whole grains.
If your daily menus include the second group, you should gradually eliminate them.
However, don’t rush to adjust your diet, as suddenly turning to the dishes being high in fiber and healthy will also cause more flatulence.
How You Eat
Eating large meals, having a great consumption of gassy foods, eating too fast, not chewing well are some of the bad habits.
If you tick at least one of them, you will have excess gas before labor during pregnancy.
Particularly, while you hastily swallow the food, you also gulp in excess air, which leads to more gas in your stomach. It goes the same when you talk while chewing.
An Expanding Midsection
Are you gassy before labor, not due to the mentioned reasons?
If yes, the culprit would be the pressure on the intestines when your uterus expands. The digestive system has to squeeze to slow this process down.
Meanwhile, the constriction makes the controlling of gas release harder. As a result, you may pass wind more often or unexpectedly.
Constipation is another common cause of this problem during your pregnancy. When the stool stays still in the intestines, it is harder to release the flatulence out of your body.
Your Prenatal Vitamin
The prenatal vitamin intake is necessary for the mother and her baby to absorb enough minerals and vitamins.
However, some of those elements, especially the iron supplements, can lead to constipation and the effect mentioned above.
Stress And Anxiety
Once you are nervous, you tend to breathe faster and inhale more air. Experiencing anxiety while pregnant can also result in gastrointestinal symptoms.
If you are not a lover of milk, ice cream, or other dairy stuff but have consumed them since you got pregnant, the experience may differ from the first time you ate these products.
Should you have lactose intolerance or are allergic to these foods, you may catch the gassy feeling.
Is Being Gassy A Sign Of Labor?
Yes. According to the doula and birthing expert, pregnant women normally have abdominal pain, sensations in their intestines, and usual movements in the bowel during preterm labor.
So, can gas feel like contractions? Not really. In other words, there are differences between gas pain and regular contraction pain.
Uterine contraction pain is periodic. It lasts for a certain amount of time.
Otherwise, the other pain is the more localized part. People tell them apart based on their location and how they happen.
Solutions And Preventions For Excess Gas Before Labor During Pregnancy
After answering the question, Why am I so gassy at the end of my pregnancy?, this part will provide you with the best solutions for this issue.
Smaller meals and well chewing are beneficial for your digestion. Slow down your eating speed, and don’t talk when your mouth is full.
There are certain foods that can cause flatulence. You’d better reduce their intake.
As mentioned before, completely eliminating them might be impossible, but you can cut back on the consumption of whole grains, beans, fructose, fiber-rich, and dairy food.
Make a food diary to ensure your cooking ingredients are under control.
Follow these tips to get better daily habits:
- Drink water frequently. Water keeps your body hydrated and avoids constipation. Use it instead of the carbonated drinks.
- Use a glass or a cup for drinking. This way of drinking will reduce the amount of air getting into your body compared with drinking through a straw or directly from a bottle.
- Use ginger or peppermint tea. Both of these types of tea can ease digestive problems and discomfort in your stomach.
- Maintain a healthy weight and diet. Choose the relevant ingredients for your dishes and avoid gaining much more weight than needed.
- Maintain a positive lifestyle. You should quit smoking and avoid inhaling cigarette smoke once you are pregnant. Take deep breaths and medication if necessary when you feel anxiety or have stress incontinence.
Here is a list of safe products: antacids, anti-gas medication, beano, and lactase.
On the other hand, you will want to steer away from these medications during pregnancy: Pepto-Bismol (bismuth sub-salicylate), Kaopectate (bismuth sub-salicylate), Castor oil, Laxatives, Enemas, Activated charcoal, and Alka-Seltzer.
When Should I Call A Doctor About Pregnancy Gas?
Although this pain is common, go to a doctor once it gets worse or does not subside.
The same goes for other warning signs such as vomiting and severe nausea or even the blood in your stool while bowel movements.
How Does The Gas Affect Baby?
Luckily, the gas pains before labor are harmless for your baby as he/she is floating in the amniotic sac’s protective fluid.
Surprisingly, the sounds and movement of the air through the intestines might be soothing for the little one.
That’s comprehensive information about excess gas before labor during pregnancy with useful advice for prevention.
Although this is not a severe problem for mothers, do not ignore any unusual symptoms listed above and seek the help of a healthcare provider when needed.