The Glamorous Life Of A Pregnant Person

Pregnant woman at home reading a book, probably dealing with pregnancy farts.
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Guys, We Need To Talk About Pregnancy Farts

What is that smell?

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During my second trimester with my second born, I reached up into one of our kitchen cabinets to retrieve a glass sitting on a high shelf. Stretching my arm overhead, I pushed myself up onto my tippy toes and let out a roaring blast from my behind that startled both myself and my husband. This raunchy fart left my body so unexpectedly that I barely had time to process my embarrassment before my husband blurted out that the baby must not have liked something I ate. Guys, we need to talk about pregnancy farts. They're a thing.

Do you fart more during pregnancy?

Noxious fumes are a totally normal and expected part of pregnancy, thanks to your hormones. A rise in progesterone during pregnancy relaxes your body’s muscles — including those in your bowels. “This hormone slows the bowel function down and can cause gas,” board-certified OB-GYN Dr. Cynthia Flynn said in a previous interview with Romper. In late pregnancy, contractions can cause gas, too. Consider yourself warned.

As your baby grows, there’s naturally less space in your abdomen. Your expanding womb puts pressure on the intestines, which can also cause gas to build up, as Romper previously reported.

It may actually feel harder to pass gas while you’re pregnant, according to Flynn, but the build-up in your bowels can also lead to an explosive blast from your backside when you least expect it. So, it isn’t really that you’re farting more often, per se, but the farts that you do expel could hold a bit more power than your pre-pregnancy poots.

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Do farts smell more during pregnancy?

If you feel like your farts are more potent than pre-pregnancy, you probably aren’t imagining it. Every person’s body responds to pregnancy differently — again, hormones — so it’s totally possible that the gas you pass during pregnancy could be stinkier now than it was in the past.

If you're reading this and have yet to experience the putrid punch of pregnancy farts, allow me to paint you a picture of exactly what it is that I'm talking about here. Imagine that you just ate a huge pile of raw broccoli and an entire plate of boiled cabbage, followed by a giant bowl full of refried beans from an authentic Mexican food joint, and washed it all down with a glass of milk. The rank gas that you will inevitably pass after ingesting such large amounts of food and beverages known to cause foul-smelling flatulence is nothing compared to a pregnancy fart. Nothing.

How do you prevent pregnancy farts?

There’s really no stopping a pregnancy fart. In fact, there’s probably not much you can do to hide the stench either. Holding it in can cause discomfort. So if you find yourself battling booty blasts while pregnant, the best thing to do is to try to relieve it.

Speaking from experience, during the later stages of pregnancy, it's downright impossible to disguise a pregnancy fart, much less keep it in your body. Everything inside of your body is being shifted around and squished together thanks to your ever-expanding uterus, and containing the pressure of a pregnancy fart within the increasingly small space allotted for your bowels is probably not going to fly.

They're decidedly smelly and noisy, but is there an upside to pregnancy farts? In my humble opinion, a pregnancy fart may just provide a convenient way to clear a room or exit a conversation if need be. Is your husband watching a boring TV show and you really want control of the remote? Let one rip on the couch next to him and see how fast he decides he needs to tend to an urgent matter in another room. Does your mother-in-law give you unwarranted parenting advice while you're trying to enjoy a family get-together? Wield some potent pregnancy wind in her general direction as you excuse yourself from the conversation to "use the restroom." Trust me, it can be a powerful weapon.

Not every person will experience the side effects of pregnancy in the same way or at all, but when it comes to flatulence during pregnancy, if you are lucky enough to be spared the wrath of tumultuous toots throughout your baby's gestation, consider yourself #blessed. But if pregnancy farts do happen to you, please know that you are absolutely not alone and the forces of nature that are blowing rancid air out of your bottom should subside once you give birth.


Dr. Cynthia Flynn, board-certified OB-GYN

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