If it’s any comfort right now, you are by no means the first mama to experience postpartum gas, and you certainly won’t be the last.
Bloating, constipation, and gas are all included in your membership to the postpartum club.
(You may already be used to this kind of digestive drama by this point. Gas during pregnancy is also a very real thing.)
The postpartum phase, AKA the fourth trimester, is filled with new challenges.
Not only are you navigating life with a newborn, but you are also going through a host of physical changes as your body adapts to its post-pregnancy form.
And yes, postpartum gas and bloating is certainly on the list of common woes.
So what causes all this hot air—and when is it something to worry about? Let’s dive in.
In this article: 📝
- Postpartum gas FAQs
- What causes postpartum gas?
- How long does postpartum gas last?
- How long does trapped gas last after C-section?
- How do you get rid of postpartum gas?
Postpartum gas FAQs
After you give birth, you might notice some changes to your digestive system.
Many new mamas experience bloating and constipation and may feel a little less in control in the poop department.
Postpartum flatulence pain is real, and the feelings that come with it can be incredibly uncomfortable.
You might be farting and burping more than usual, and may feel cramps in your abdominal area.
These symptoms can occur whether you give birth vaginally or via c-section.
In most cases, postpartum gas is a normal part of the transition your body is going through at this time—but there is a chance that it can signal a health condition or injury.
What causes postpartum gas?
There are several reasons you may experience postpartum gas:
- Pelvic floor injury. Pelvic floor weakness can lead to all sorts of fun activities, like gassiness and anal incontinence (pooping when you’re not exactly prepared). And yes, if you’re wondering, this may also result in vaginal farts (affectionately known as “queefing”). Fun times.
- Hormones. Yep, they do seem to play a role in everything pregnancy. After you give birth, the levels of progesterone and estrogen in your body drop quite significantly. Both hormones play a role in digestion, and their rapid retreat can make your digestive system sluggish. The result? Gas. Constipation. Bloating. Fun.
- Episiotomy. Sometimes, to prevent your muscles from tearing and help your baby make their appearance, your doctor will make a small cut to your perineum—the area between your anus and vagina. This may lead to some anal incontinence and other digestive issues.
- Constipation. More than 41% of new mamas in this study reported feeling constipated after giving birth—so you’re in good company.
- Diet. You may be extra sensitive to certain foods right now. Steering clear of processed food is not a bad idea. For some mamas, it also helps to cut back on lactose (dairy) and fructose (fruits). And the rumors about beans are true—they contain complex sugars that make it hard for your body to break them down.
- Tiny habits. Sometimes the smallest of habits can lead to uncomfortable results. Chewing gum, for example, can have an impact on the state of your gassiness. Eating too fast can do the same.
- Health conditions. Various health conditions can cause gas, whether you’re in the postpartum period or not. Bowel diseases, like Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and diverticulitis, can have a serious impact on your digestive system. If your symptoms don’t go away or get worse, get to your doctor to rule out other culprits.
- Infection. If you are feeling really sick or have a fever higher than 100.4°F, it may mean something serious is up. Severe pain, discharge, or bleeding can all be signs of uterine infection. If you are at all concerned, it’s worth paying your healthcare practitioner a visit as soon as you can.
How long does postpartum gas last?
Postpartum gas should resolve itself by about a month into the postpartum period.
If not, it’s worth checking in with your doctor to rule out any other health problems that could be contributing to your symptoms.
How long does trapped gas last after C-section?
Trapped gas after c-section procedures is a real thing. Surgery can leave you feeling bloated and crampy.
The good news is that pooping or farting may help relieve this.
So next thing to figure out: how to pass gas after c-section procedures.
Well, generally it should happen on its own. If this isn’t the case, talk to your doctor.
There are medications like Gas-X that may be suitable for you—but it’s a good idea to get guidance on this.
How do you get rid of postpartum gas?
Depending on the cause of your tum troubles, there may be avenues you can take to decrease the discomfort you are feeling:
- Pelvic floor exercises. Try this exercise about three times a day: Squeeze your butt as if you were—yes, we’re going to say it—holding in a fart. Then squeeze your genital area as if you’re holding in pee. Hold for about 10 seconds and release. Then do a few quick ones (hold, release, hold, release) until you feel, um, pooped.
- Keep a food journal. This can help you become more aware of the link between what goes in and what comes out. (Also, totally understandable if this feels like too much to take on right now. Do what you can.)
- Take time to enjoy your meals. In between regular feeds, sleep-deprived nights, and loads of laundry, the idea of slowing down to eat may feel like a pipe dream. But, when you can, try to commit to an act of radical self-care by treating yourself to a leisurely meal.
- Drink plenty of fluids. Particularly if you’re constipated, fluids can really help move things along. Herbal teas can be super soothing.
- Light exercise. Whatever you can manage. It can be as simple as walking around your block (Head here for some tips on postpartum exercises).
- Take a mild laxative. Prunes can also work pretty well for this purpose.
- Heating pads. Pop a hot water bottle or heating pad on your lower abdomen. This can really help relieve some of the immediate discomfort.
- Talk to your doctor. You may need to test to see if there are any underlying conditions at play. The sooner you find out, the sooner you may find some relief.
Finally, there’s no need to mute your toot. You have full license to pass as much gas as you need. You earned it, mama.
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