Is gas in early pregnancy a symptom? It can be.  While some expecting mamas don’t experience any additional gas issues, others report a significant increase of this socially embarrassing occurrence.  And while gas in early pregnancy alone isn’t a sign of the condition, when combined with other signs such as nausea, fatigue, and mood swings it may be a hint from your body that it’s time to take a home pregnancy test.

Gas in Early Pregnancy

After your egg becomes fertilized, it continues down the fallopian tube and implants itself on the uterine wall.  Soon after this process transpires, the placenta forms and your body begins producing hCG, also known as the “pregnancy hormone” since a woman’s body only produces this hormone while pregnant.  During the first trimester  hCG levels will double every 2-3 days.  Then, around the 11th week or so the levels begin to stabilize and may even taper off just a bit.  This rapid hormonal increase can not only affect an expecting mother’s moods, but also her gastrointestinal tract.  This hormonal flood can actually slow the entire gastrointestinal process down; this means that food stays longer, breaks down more, and produces more gas.

Gas is a normal byproduct of food breaking down in the gastrointestinal tract.  While some foods like beans and broccoli create more gas, most foods create small amounts that must be released.  And you know the old saying: “Better out than in”.  If you’ve never been one to simply accept this natural part of life, now may be the time to prepare yourself for that inevitable moment.  It may happen while you’re shopping or when dining with the in-laws.  Wherever you are and whenever it happens, take comfort in this fact: gas in early pregnancy happens to nearly all pregnant women.  If they didn’t let one rip in the early stages of their pregnancy, they definitely let one rip somewhere during the third trimester.  Welcome to the mamahood!

If you begin experiencing significant increases from your normal levels of gas, several natural approaches may help to reduce gas build up.  First, increase your fiber.  Eating fiber-rich foods can decrease the likelihood of gas in early pregnancy build up and the eventual needed release.  Second, exercise. Even though you may be feeling more tired than usual, try to get in at least thirty minutes of walking a day.  Regular exercise also helps to keep the gastrointestinal tract running smoothly.  Third, remain adequately hydrated.  Water is an essential component to many of the body’s systems, including digestion.  Remembering to drink 8-10 cups of water a day can help your body decrease gas as well.

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