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Wind resulting from pregnancy

Firstly, it is perfectly normal to have wind. An average person will pass wind about fifteen times every day. More than twice that much is still considered normal. And, when you are pregnant, you will be having even more than that, even before your growing stomach becomes obvious. You will also be belching much more than you used to. The reason for this in the elevated level of hormone progesterone in early pregnancy. It contributes to digestive problems by relaxing the involuntary, smooth muscles in your body.

This is aimed at relaxing the walls of the uterus and the vagina and their preparation for the growth of the baby and delivery. But, progesterone cannot target specific smooth muscle tissue alone. It affects all smooth muscles, including those in the gastrointestinal tract. This considerably slows all digestive processes and causes more wind and bloating. Later during the pregnancy, the growing fetus is filling the abdominal cavity and slowing the digestion even further. This can cause heartburn and constipation in most pregnant women, even those who never suffered from these before.

There are two main sources of gas in your digestive tract. The first one is just air that you have swallowed while you were eating, while the other is gas, formed by breaking of undigested food (since you digest slowly when you are pregnant, there is always some undigested food around) by bacteria. Most of that gas is expelled by belching, but gas that travels far enough down or is formed in the colon goes out in the form of winds. Some forms of carbohydrates and some fats are favored by bacteria and gas is usually produced when bacteria feed on these and break them up.

It is also possible that excess gas is produced as a result of intolerance to some kinds of food, such as lactose intolerance. Also, everybody has a specific “blend” of bacteria in the intestines, which affects how much gas will be produced by which food. What doesn't bother you may well bloat someone else to the point of bursting. Some foods are notorious for causing wind. These are beans, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, broccoli and asparagus. Some people may suffer from gases and bloating if they eat foods such as onions, pears and artichokes. Fatty or fried foods generally do not cause winds, but slow down digestion.


You cannot prevent gases, but you may decrease their frequency and severity. Avoid big, heavy meals and opt for more smaller meals. Chew your food and eat slowly. Avoid foods that seem to worsen your condition. Keep exercising regularly, as this will help to shift and move the food in your stomach. Also, avoid caffeine and alcoholic beverages and fizzy drinks.

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