Flatulence in pregnancy


Flatulence during pregnancy is the permanent or recurring accumulation of air in the abdomen during pregnancy, the causes of which can be varied. Flatulence during pregnancy is very common and there is almost no woman who does not complain of flatulence for either the entire pregnancy or at least some of it.
As a rule, the excess air is in the intestine and therefore sometimes extremely blows up the entire abdomen. Relief usually only occurs after the body has been repositioned or while using the toilet, although mainly only air escapes, which reduces the pressure in the intestinal area. Flatulence can lead to severe to extremely severe pain in the abdominal area and it may sometimes be necessary to relieve the symptoms with medication.


There are numerous reasons why gas can occur during pregnancy. A very common cause is pregnancy changed pressure and situation in the woman's abdomen. The child growing up in the uterus has spread and displaced neighboring organs, such as the stomach and intestines, in their position. The intestines and the stomach are very elastic and flexible, but it can still happen that the otherwise smooth Intestinal passage is held up in one place and the contents of the intestine pass through some places more slowly, resulting in a Gas evolution can lead. By the end of pregnancy, almost the entire abdomen is filled with the large uterus. Loops of the intestine are located to the side and behind the uterus and have to transport the intestinal contents as well as possible.

Read more about the topic here When does the belly grow during pregnancy

Another very common cause of gas in pregnancy is sudden onset Lactose intolerance. It is the case that an intolerance to lactose can develop out of nothing, or a slight, previously unnoticed lactose intolerance is increased during pregnancy. The reasons for this are not known.
Furthermore, bloating can occur during pregnancy hormonal be justified. This is how the hormone becomes at the beginning of pregnancy progesterone increasingly released into the bloodstream of the pregnant woman. This hormone mainly ensures that the smooth musculature the organs relax and work a little more slowly. The intestine is covered with smooth muscles, which is why intestinal activity decreases. The food to be digested remains in the intestine longer than usual, which leads to the formation of more intestinal gases.

More symptoms

A common cause of bloating during pregnancy is when the growing baby pushes the loops of intestine outwards from the center of the abdomen. This restricts digestion and causes flatulence. Heartburn and diarrhea can also occur.

Flatulence is caused by too much air in the intestines. As a result, it is strongly stretched, which leads to the familiar unpleasant feelings. In addition to the feeling of pressure, other symptoms can also occur. The pressure in the intestinal area can be so high that it comes to real pain in the intestine and in the abdominal area and also strong wave-like cramps accompany the gas.
Due to the increased air in the abdomen, the intestines can also put pressure on the stomach. As a result, the stomach can sometimes no longer hold the stomach acid, causing it to rise up the esophagus, causing moderate to severe heartburn during pregnancy. Frequent belching can result from this.
Furthermore, flatulence can disrupt the pregnant woman's digestion, which sometimes ends in a mushy or thin stool (diarrhea). Very severe flatulence leads to severe symptoms that can be traced back to displacement problems. It can happen that the distended intestine pushes all organs of the abdomen and chest upwards and this in extreme cases leads to shortness of breath and cardiac arrhythmias (please refer: Heart stumbling during pregnancy).

Also read our article:

  • Abdominal pain in pregnancy.
  • Bloated stomach

Flatulence with cramps

Flatulence causes excessive accumulation of air in the intestinal area for various reasons. This creates a strong strain the wall in certain places of the long and elastic intestine. The intestinal walls are with annoy that can be irritated by this strong stretching. These irritations either lead to those known for gas Stretching painbut can also lead to cramps.
The cramps are caused by the fact that the intestinal muscles contract in response to these irritations. A short time later it relaxes again, which leads to the wave-like pain curve that is classic for cramps.
For the treatment of cramps, some medications are also suitable Heat supply. Placing a hot water bottle on the stomach can provide relief. The warmth causes the vessels in the abdomen to widen and the muscles to relax.

Read our article on this: Abdominal cramps during pregnancy.

Smelly gas

In the intestine, fermentation processes take place during food digestion Intestinal bacteria caused. During digestion, carbon dioxide is produced, among other things, which is absorbed through the intestinal wall and transported via the blood to the lungs, where it can then be exhaled.
In addition to carbon dioxide, digestion in the intestine also produces a mix of hydrogen, nitrogen, methane, Ammonia and sulfur, which leads to a strong odor pollution. While the chyme moves through the digestive tract within a few days, these gases can flow through the intestines much faster.
When flatulence arise significantly more gaseswhich accumulate in the intestines and lead to the foul smelling odors. Some naturopaths point out the possibility of fungi in the intestine when the winds are particularly strong-smelling. However, this has not been proven medically. However, it has been proven that lactose intolerance can lead to particularly foul-smelling intestinal gases (please refer: Lactose intolerance symptoms).



There are some medications that can be used successfully for flatulence. Since the study situation is very rare, there is no risk assessment for most drugs for use in pregnancy. Often used in pregnancy are anti-flatulence drugs Lefax®or Sab Simplex®. Both preparations contain the substance Dimeticon.

Flatulence leads to increased surface tension and foaming of the chyme in the intestine. Due to air bubbles lying on top, the nutrients and air cannot be absorbed by the intestinal mucosa in the usual way, which leads to a Air congestion in the area of ​​the intestine and the development of annoying flatulence. Dimeticon takes care of one Reduction of surface tension of the edible pulp, causing an instant invasion of the air bubbles and a Breakdown of the foam leads. The excess air from the intestine can then be absorbed immediately - the flatulence disappears. Both Sab Simplex and Lefax work in a similar way.

They can be used safely during pregnancy. However, it should be noted that initially only three days should be taken and then an approx. 14-day break must be adhered to. During the three days, Lefax can be taken as a tablet with every meal. Sab Simplex is available in teardrop shape. Here adults should take 30-40 drops every 4-6 hours.

In addition to these common drugs there are still naturopathic approaches, which are also very effective in treating flatulence during pregnancy. The taking of Caraway seed helps very quickly, the effect is unfortunately not as long-lasting as the drug treatment.

Homeopathy for flatulence during pregnancy

There are some homeopathic approaches that are used again and again to treat flatulence. In order to select the right homeopathic remedy, the existing complaints must be classified accordingly.

  • Carbo vegetabilis: for severe, foul-smelling flatulence and a heavily distended stomach
  • Lycopodium: for additional heartburn and complaints that occur especially after eating pastries
  • Nux vomica: for additional constipation
  • Dioscorea villosa: for the most severe cramp-like pain after eating
  • Allium sativum: for severe flatulence with pain that also radiates into the upper body
  • Mahonia aquifolium: for odorless and less painful drafts

Forecast of flatulence in pregnancy

Duration of flatulence

How long pregnant women have gas or gas depends largely on the underlying causes.

Is there a Lactose intolerance underlying the gas, the discomfort will likely be the entire Persist and continue pregnancy if no appropriate diet or treatment is undertaken.
Is the more poured out progesterone to blame for the flatulence, the discomfort in the first weeks of pregnancy the strongest, because the hormone is increasingly released during this time and the level then drops. The flatulence subsides as the pregnancy progresses.
Are the gas on a Colon displacement caused by the growing child, one can assume that the pregnant woman the entire Pregnancy suffers more or less from gas.

The flatulence caused by progesterone is particularly common. Since the level rises at the beginning of pregnancy, the symptoms can be expected to appear in the first few weeks of pregnancy. Position-related flatulence naturally occurs more in advanced pregnancies (6-9 months). Lactose-related gas can occur at any time during pregnancy.

Flatulence During Pregnancy - Is It Dangerous?

Flatulence in itself is not dangerous. Long-lasting and sudden flatulence outside of pregnancy should be clarified. There is no need to investigate the cause of flatulence during pregnancy, as it is widespread and occurs in almost all pregnant women.