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Flatulence during pregnancy

 
Last reviewed by: Aleksey Portnov , medical expert, on 25.06.2018
 

Flatulence in pregnancy - bloating with rumbling and often painful spasms - a fairly common phenomenon and is observed in almost seven expectant mothers out of every ten.

Meteorism is considered a symptom of excessive formation of gases in the gastrointestinal tract. In addition to it, the "gas problem" manifests itself as an eructation of air (aerophagia) and, of course, increased flutulence, that is, more frequent release of gases from the intestine.

Causes of flatulence in pregnancy

The main causes of flatulence in pregnancy are related to the fact that a woman ... Is pregnant, and her body has been rebuilt to perform the most important biological function - the bearing and the birth of a child.

The hormonal system completely submits to the new physiological condition of the woman, ensuring its stability and fetal safety. You have repeatedly heard about the hormone of the ovary's yellow body progesterone, thanks to which the fetal egg is implanted and fixed in the endometrium of the uterus. In addition, this hormone acts on the muscular wall of the uterus (more precisely, on the adrenoreceptors of its cells), and this leads to a weakening of the muscular tone of the uterus. And since the innervation of the uterus and intestine is common - through the vegetative hypogastric nerve plexuses - the smooth muscles of the intestine also relax. Ultimately, this prevents the timely removal of gases accumulating in the intestine, and pregnant women often complain that they have a stomachache. And many even perceive flatulence as a sign of pregnancy.

In addition, progesterone begins to develop from the 10th week of pregnancy, and the placenta, so that its content rises as the gestation period increases. It also adds pressure to the intestines and all the organs of the abdominal cavity of the growing uterus: gradually it extends beyond the small pelvis and eventually occupies almost the entire abdominal cavity.

Listing the causes of flatulence in pregnancy, do not forget about a hormone like serotonin, whose level in pregnant women also significantly increases. This activates the pancreas and stimulates the release of pepsin and bile. As a result, peristalsis of the intestine is intensified, causing flatulence in the early stages of pregnancy.

Serotonin is a multifunctional hormone, and increasing its production during pregnancy is absolutely justified. On the one hand, it reduces the pain sensitivity of pregnant women, on the other - increases the speed of blood clotting. Moreover, this important hormone during pregnancy accumulates in the muscular wall of the uterus and coordinates and regulates its contractions directly during childbirth.

And, finally, serotonin promotes the enhancement of the metabolism of many symbiotic bacteria of the large intestine, in which the food components undergo bacterial hydrolysis with the formation of gases. And this is another reason for flatulence in pregnant women.

It should be borne in mind that there are reasons for flatulence in pregnancy, which does not depend on the characteristics of a given physiological condition of a woman. Thus, flatulence causes:

  • features of nutrition (alimentary flatulence due to excess of sweet, salty and fat in the diet);
  • insufficient production of digestive enzymes (digestive flatulence due to poor digestion of food, especially carbohydrate);
  • pathology of the digestive system, in particular, diseases of the stomach, gallbladder, small or large intestine (gastritis, cholecystitis, irritable bowel syndrome, chronic colitis, etc.);
  • dysbiosis or disturbance of the normal microflora of the large intestine;
  • neurotic states, stress (increased adrenaline production disrupts intestinal motility).

Flatulence after childbirth

Briefly about why there is flatulence after childbirth. In the postpartum period, which lasts from 6 to 10 weeks, hormonal changes also occur. The level of progesterone, estrogen, serotonin and some other hormones decreases. But this happens gradually, so the mother in childbirth may feel bloating for some time.

Flatulence after caesarean section is combined with atonic constipation, which is due to a violation of the evacuation function of the gut due to the formed adhesions. As is known, with any surgical intervention on the abdominal cavity (and caesarean section is just that), the seals from the connective tissue in the area of its temporary damage are very common.

In addition, flatulence after cesarean can be associated with anesthesia in this operation. In both cases, there are certain shifts in the work of the intestine, in particular, the accumulation of gases and spastic pain in the abdominal cavity.

Diagnosis of flatulence in pregnancy

Diagnosis of flatulence in pregnancy is carried out on the basis of somatic symptoms, that is, complaints of a pregnant woman, among which, more often than others, there are feelings of abdominal distension, bloating and painful abdominal cramps that pass after the next flutulence.

Flatulence during pregnancy can cause hiccups or burping, dyspeptic symptoms, as well as a worsening of appetite and unpleasant mouthfeel. In addition, the obstetrician-gynecologist will necessarily find out whether the pregnant woman has any diseases from the digestive system and will inquire about her nutrition.

If there is a history of gastrointestinal disease, the patient will be referred for a consultation with the gastroenterologist, and the patient, based on those methods of examination that can be used during pregnancy, will give appropriate recommendations.

Treatment of flatulence in pregnancy

Treatment of flatulence during pregnancy is not an easy matter. The usual means of increased gas formation - foamers and carminative - are contraindicated in pregnancy.

You can be advised by children's drops from flatulence, for example, Bobotik, which is given even to newborns. But let's see what is included in this tool. The basic substance is simethicone, which is a combination of methylated linear siloxane polymers stabilized with trimethylsiloxyl groups from silicon dioxide ... Auxiliary substances: preservatives propylparahydroxybenzoate (E216) and methylparahydroxybenzoate (E218), and sodium carmellose-carboxymethyl cellulose sodium salt (E466) - thickener used in the production of ... Wallpaper glue. And in the instructions to the drug it is written that "there is no evidence that simethicone has a teratogenic or embryotoxic effect. It is possible to use the drug during pregnancy and lactation as prescribed by the doctor. "

So the best way to treat meteorism during pregnancy is to use "grandmother's" methods: brew chamomile tea (a teaspoon of dried chamomile flowers for 200 ml of boiling water) or tea with melissa (lemon mint); make broths of dill, fennel, caraway seeds or coriander seeds (in the same proportion) and drink half a glass 2-3 times a day.

And it is very important to take preventive measures to reduce the intensity of this symptom.

Preventing flatulence in pregnancy

The main and almost the only item that includes prophylaxis of flatulence during pregnancy is proper nutrition.

Take food 5-6-7 times a day, but in small quantities and chewing well. Do not forget to drink ordinary purified water to facilitate the digestion process.

Nutritionists are advised in meteorism to try not to eat what increases the formation of gases in the intestines. Such products include: animal fats, rye bread, whole and dried milk, ice cream, beans (beans, peas, lentils, peanuts), all kinds of cabbage, potatoes, corn, radish, radish, spinach, pumpkin, grapes (and raisins) , dates.

Among the porridges the most "carbonated" - millet and oatmeal, among sweets - chocolate. It is necessary to drink mineral water only without gas, not to abuse the use of rough fiber, which is rich in vegetables and fruits in fresh form.

And do not forget about daily walks, which are the most accessible form of physical activity.

Of the three main physiological pathways of gas entering the intestines during pregnancy, two are involved: the natural process of gassing in the gaps of the intestine, as well as the ingress of gases from the bloodstream. Although, of course, it is possible and the ingestion of air in the process of eating (so eat slowly, and do not chat over food). But all this is a normal mechanism of gas formation.

And if bloating is not associated with a lack of digestive enzymes or pathologies of the digestive tract, but is a consequence of a particular physiological state of the body during this period, doctors advise women not to take flatulence during pregnancy as a disease.

It is important to know!

It is necessary to identify which foods that cause increased gas production, eliminate them and make a diet that will minimize the formation of gases. Read more..

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