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    Postpartum Gas: Causes And Remedies

    Gas & Bloating

    Postpartum Gas: Causes And Remedies

    Updated on 9 May 2023

    Welcoming a new life into the world is undeniably one of the most fulfilling experiences a woman can have. But, along with the joy and excitement comes a host of physical changes that can be uncomfortable and even embarrassing. One of these changes is postpartum gas, which is a common issue that many new moms face. While it may not be the most glamorous topic to discuss, it's important to understand how long does postpartum gas last, its causes and remedies to help new moms alleviate discomfort and feel more confident during this exciting but challenging time.

    What is Postpartum Gas?

    Many people are confused about what is postpartum gas as it can sound like a complicated medical term. To put it simply, postpartum refers to the period after childbirth. The flatulence or excessive build-up of gases that a woman experiences after childbirth is called postpartum gas. Sometimes, women experience both constipation, and flatulence simultaneously. Postpartum gas is often connected with hormonal changes according to medical experts.

    You may also like: Postpartum Complications: Everything You Need to Know

    What Causes Postpartum Gas?

    If you're thinking what causes postpartum gas, they must not panic as it is quite a common symptom that women face after delivering a baby. Some common causes of postpartum gas are explained below:

    1. Medications

    Some medications given during childbirth or after delivery can cause gas. Pethidine is one such medication that can cause gas as a side effect. However, anti-nausea medications are usually administered at the same time to alleviate this side effect. Other medications that may cause gas include opioid pain relievers, such as morphine and fentanyl.

    2. Damage to the pelvic floor

    Women have to stretch their pelvic muscles quite a lot during childbirth. This excessive stretching of pelvic muscles may sometimes result in a rupture. The injured muscles may make the women lose control over the passing gases. It may also disturb their bowel movements.

    You may also like: How To Take Care Of Your Vagina After Delivery

    3. Constipation

    Women who struggle with infrequent bowel movements during pregnancy might have to experience bloating and constipation after childbirth. In some conditions, the stool becomes very hard making it hard to pass which ultimately results in gas formation.

    4. Lifestyle and diet

    Consuming processed food that contains whole grains, dairy products, and high sugar content can also lead to flatulence or postpartum gas. Lactose and fructose are two types of sugars that naturally occur in milk and fruits that can lead to excessive gas in the body.

    5. Episiotomy

    Sometimes, doctors perform a surgery called episiotomy during pregnancy that involves cutting the portion between the anus and vaginal opening to prevent them from tearing. The cuts heal slowly but they also weaken the muscles of the pelvic floor. It may result in some symptoms including constipation and postpartum gas.

    Postpartum Gas Symptoms

    After understanding what causes postpartum gas, it is also essential to look at its symptoms. Some of the common symptoms of postpartum gas include:

    • Farting and flatulence
    • Abdominal discomfort or pain
    • Cramps in the abdomen
    • Involuntary bowel movements
    • Constipation
    • Belching or burping

    You may also like: When Will My Menstrual Cycle Resume After Pregnancy?

    Treatments for Postpartum Gas

    Postpartum gas can be treated and managed through several methods including:

    • If postpartum gas is caused due to a pelvic floor injury or damage, then you must address the underlying cause. You can seek treatment for pelvic floor injury from your doctor or a physiotherapist.
    • Eating a healthy diet rich in fiber can help to prevent constipation and reduce gas. Foods such as bran, fruit, green vegetables, and whole grains are recommended, and prunes can be particularly helpful.
    • Avoiding foods that increase gas, such as beans, dairy products, and some fruits, can also be helpful.
    • Over-the-counter stool softeners or laxatives can provide relief in the short term.
    • Drinking plenty of fluids and warm liquids can also help move things along and prevent constipation.
    • Pelvic floor exercises can be done to alleviate symptoms.

    If there is severe abdominal pain or signs of infection, it is important to contact a doctor.

    When should we see a doctor for postpartum gas?

    It's important to understand how long does postpartum gas last in order to know when it's time to see a doctor. Postpartum gas can last up to a month after delivery, but it usually resolves itself within the first postpartum month. If your symptoms last more than a month or if the gas is accompanied by severe pain, bloating, vomiting, or constipation, it may be a sign of a more serious condition such as bowel obstruction or infection.

    It is important to seek medical attention if you experience any of these symptoms. It is necessary to not hesitate in seeking medical intervention for reasons like gas and bloating because ignoring the symptoms could expose an underlying condition further. So, if you have concerns or questions about postpartum gas, it is always best to consult with your healthcare provider.

    You may also like: Postnatal Ayurvedic Care for New Mothers

    Final thoughts

    In conclusion, postpartum gas is a common issue that many new mothers experience after giving birth. Simple lifestyle changes such as exercise, hydration, and a healthy diet can go a long way in preventing and reducing postpartum gas. But instead of wondering how long does postpartum gas last and experiencing its unpleasant symptoms, you should not delay consulting your doctor and seeking treatment.

    References

    1. Childbirth and delivery. (2016). International Foundation for Gastrointestinal Disorders

    2. Poulsen, J. L., Brock, C., Olesen, A. E., Nilsson, M., & Drewes, A. M. (2015). Evolving paradigms in the treatment of opioid-induced bowel dysfunction. Therapeutic Advances in Gastroenterology

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