Updated on 1 May 2023
Pregnancy brings about many changes in a woman's body. It makes many parts of the body sensitive. From unexpected hair growth to constipation and belching, pregnancy causes many physical changes. Among these, gas is also a common occurrence among pregnant women. While it may seem embarrassing, it is nothing to be ashamed of. Smelly gas during pregnancy happens because of hormone surges.
The good news is that the gas can be contolled. Although it cannot be completely done away with, there are some home remedies one can use to limit the gas or its smell. The even better news is that these remedies include basic care like drinking plenty of water, getting in a good workout, and avoiding artificially sweetened or carbonated drinks.
During pregnancy, a woman's body does not have the same control as a normal body does; it is not easy to control muscle movement. So, gassiness is bound to happen and is an early indicator of pregnancy. During the first week, a woman's body can become very gassy. If you are pregnant, you may notice that within 1-2 weeks of the first missed period, your body experiences gassiness.
One of the most common signs of early pregnancy is gas smelling like rotten eggs. This is nothing to be ashamed of. The release of extra hormones makes women's digestive systems swell up and causes a lot of pregnancy gas. This gas build-up may also be uncomfortable and cause abdominal pain, belching, or bloating. Sometimes, this can last for all nine months of pregnancy.
During pregnancy, the body releases progesterone, the hormone that is one of the primary causes of excess gas. The hormone is released in large quantities to support the pregnancy, which, in turn, leads to the relaxing of body muscles. When the muscles of the intestine relax, they cause digestion to slow down, leading to gas build-up. This built-up gas leads to smelly gas during pregnancy.
While it is normal for women to experience a gas problem during pregnancy, it is usually triggered by the poor intake of food and drinks. It is crucial for expecting mothers to keep a food log, so they can understand which foods are more likely to trigger gas.
Instead of eating fast, be more mindful and eat slowly; chew your food well and avoid gulping in excess air, so gas does not get trapped in the body. Focus on drinking more water and cutting down on sweetened or carbonated drinks.
While early pregnancy odour of gas is normal, there are some home remedies to relieve gas during pregnancy. Try drinking plenty of fluids, such as water and fresh juices. Be mindful of consuming more fibre and fibre supplements. Other things you can do to keep gas at bay are exercise regularly, wear clothing that is comfortable and not body-hugging, and make sure that your stress levels are low.
Discomfort is commonly felt amongst pregnant women as they tend to get bloated or trap gas due to the hormones released during pregnancy. However, these symptoms do not affect the baby or the pregnancy cycle as such. Please consult your doctor in case the gas lasts for a long duration, or if it is accompanied with severe abdominal pain.
You may also like: Which Foods Should You Avoid During Pregnancy That Cause Bloating?
Pregnancy gas may last for a few months, or the entire pregnancy cycle, especially since it occurs because of the release of hormones. Some women experience very bad pregnancy gas, but this happens mainly because they do not focus on their food and water intake. To avoid bloating, belching and smelly gas, drink lots of water, eat foods with fibres or take fibre supplements, and ensure that your body gets plenty of physical exercise. While you can't avoid gas build up, you can relieve yourself from the gas, or limit the amount that gets trapped in your body.
1. Body changes and discomforts. (2021). The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
2. Longo SA, Moore RC, Canzoneri BJ, Robichaux A. (2010). Gastrointestinal Conditions during Pregnancy. NCBI
3. Gas in the Digestive Tract; The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases; The National Institutes of Health
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