Oooops, I farted???

When did I lose control over my ability to make a fart completely disappear before it ever even made it out of my butt???

I’ll tell you when. When I got pregnant!

Prior to pregnancy, there were certain things that I had intended to keep private and personal. Things that I didn’t even plan to share with Jerry Patterson. One of those things was…. FARTS.

I’m not sure why I was SO self-conscious about it. I am typically very open and have a strong commitment to the idea that our bodies are “normal”. It’s functions included, BUT… farting was a whole different story.

There were times in my life where I thought I would rather die of spontaneous human combustion then let a noisy stink bomb out of my ass.

And then one day it happened…

I was newly pregnant and I was sitting on the edge of the bed putting my socks on. When I stood up. PPLLLLLBBBLLBBL….. I FARTED! I couldn’t believe it! I didn’t even know I had to fart! I was mortified! Jerry Patterson was as shocked as I was but laughed it off to save me from my own embarrassment and we went on about our day. I guess I got the green light that day because now, we share it all! Farts included! LOL!

I know… it’s bit of a stinky topic but it is an important one nonetheless.

It’s important, because there is a reason for it and as a Doula, my role is to educate. So, class, please take out your notebooks and pens. Todays lesson is on flatulence during pregnancy 😉

In women, an increasing amount of progesterone is produced every day during pregnancy. In fact, by the 8th week of pregnancy, the placenta takes over and becomes responsible for it’s production. At full term, the placenta produces about 250mg of progesterone each day. Once the placenta is birthed and while the woman is lactating a woman’s progesterone levels become very low. (Another reason to consider placenta encapsulation… but that’s a whole other topic)

Progesterone relaxes the smooth muscle tissue and the muscle tissue surrounding the digestive system is no exception. Relaxing digestion causes gas, bloating, burping and flatulence (farting!). The pregnant woman is likely to experience an overall feeling of discomfort in the gut, especially after a meal. (Can anyone relate?)

The following are some things you can do to prevent excess gas.

·      Try not to drink during meals (hydrate at other times during the day)

·      Eat smaller meals throughout the day rather than a big heavy meal at one sitting.

·      Avoid tight or constrictive clothing around the belly.

·      Take a walk, move your body.

·      Talk to your provider about options if you are constipated.

·      Stay away from sweetened carbonated drinks and other foods known to give you gas.

Call your doctor or midwife if gas symptoms are combined with blood in your stool, constipation, diarrhea or other increasingly uncomfortable pain or symptoms.

Ultimately, know that you are not alone! All the other ladies are rippin’ em too. Even if they won’t admit it!

Authored by: Randy Patterson