Got Gas? Blame the Dog or Fix the Problem?

In the comment section of my post, "What's That in My Undies?" the question below was asked (not surprisingly) anonymously:


"Now that I'm pregnant, I pass gas and burp on a regular basis. Is this normal and is there anything I can do about it?"

I'm mortified to admit that I too suffered this particularly embarrassing (and at times physically painful) pregnancy side effect. Unfortunately, rather than fixing the problem I instead did what I assumed most women in our position do: Blame the dog. Classy, I know.

If you don't have a dog or prefer to fix the problem rather than blaming your poor pooch, I've got good news: In my effort to get your question answered, I learned there are several ways you can minimize pregnancy-related gaseous emissions. Hallelujah.

Once again, I turned to Dana Jacoby, MD, for help. He explained that gas is common during pregnancy because the increase in your body's progesterone slows transit through your GI tract. This decrease in motility gives your body more time to digest foods and increase the gasses produced by the digestive process. Makes sense, right?

So, what's a girl to do? In general, Dr. Jacoby recommends you:

1. Eat small meals more frequently

2. Avoid increasing the amount of air in your system while you eat by chewing your food well, not talking excessively, and avoiding drinking straws

3. Avoid fatty and greasy foods

4. Pay attention to possible sensitivities to certain sugars and starches. For example, some of us may develop lactose intolerance, or have problems with certain fruits (and fruit juices) or vegetables like onions or broccoli. Others may experience increased gas from potatoes or pasta.

If all else fails, Dr. Jacoby also recommends the medication, Simethicone, as a safe treatment during pregnancy.

Note: The information provided here is not meant to replace a visit to your health care provider. He or she knows you, and your medical history, better than anyone. We strongly encourage you to speak with your health care professional about your particular health concerns.

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