Can Pregnancy Cause Gas, UTI, Anxiety, Cramps, Hot Flashes
Pregnancy defines the most beautiful moments in a mother's life… you’re in the process of making a brand new person, and once the process is over, you’ll become the new mom in the estate.
But the same period is characterized by loads and loads of transformations and side effects in your body. Most of the effects might be annoying, embarrassing, or icky.
Some might go unnoticed; others might vary from individual to individual.
What about the common side effects like Gas, UTI, Anxiety, Cramps, and Hot Flashes?
Are they related to pregnancy?
To find out this, read the following post…
Pregnancy and Gas
Now everyone has gas, whether pregnant or not…but you’ll be surprised to note that during pregnancy you’ll be passing way more gas than usual. You’ll belch more; you’ll unbutton your pants countless times to relieve bloating.
Why all this gas in pregnancy?
This is what you’re wondering right now.
The high levels of progesterone hormone bring about the effect. The hormone promotes the relaxing of the smooth muscle tissues all over your body- inducing the gastrointestinal tract.
Following this relaxation effect, your digestion tends to slow down, leading to gas, burping, bloating, and flatulence. Sometimes, you might even experience uncomfortable sensations along your gut after taking heavy meals.
As your pregnancy advances, the growing uterus tends to crowd your abdominal cavity. This further slows your digestion process, pushes your stomach, and magnifies the bloating effect!
So, how can you get rid of this embarrassing, pregnancy side effect?
First, I’d recommend you to reduce your intake of the foods that likely to cause it. However, don’t eliminate just anything that causes gas as this will affect your balanced diet (important for the growing baby).
Some of the common offenders include beans, certain vegetables (cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and asparagus), and whole grains.
Steer clear of fried and high-fat foods as well.
Others ways to combat the gassy effect at pregnancy include:
- Avoid eating big meals; consider taking smaller meals at different times of the day.
- Avoid taking carbonated drinks.
- Ensure you chew your food thoroughly; don’t talk while eating.
- limiting your drinking habits during meals.
- Always sit up when eating/drinking.
- Avoid taking anything that contains sorbitol, an artificial sweetener.
- Drink from a glass/cup and not a bottle (using a straw); plus don’t gulp up beverages.
- Taking a small can help your sluggish digestive system.
- Take the necessary measures to keep of constipation as it can also lead to bloating.
- Parental yoga will teach you some great relaxation and breathing techniques to help you control how much air you take in during anxious or exciting moments.
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Pregnancy and UTI
UTI (an abbreviation for urinary tract infection), also known as bladder infection refers to the bacterial inflammations of your urinary tract.
According to American Pregnancy Organization, pregnant moms are always at a higher risk of getting UTI, mostly from the 6th week through the 24th week.
If you were like most moms right now, you’d be wondering…why are UTIs common during pregnancy?
Answer: many changes occur in your urinary tract during pregnancy. As you already know, the uterus sits directly above your bladder.
As it continues growing, it increases in weight which might end up blocking the urine drainage from the bladder. This would definitely cause an infection!
Besides, the high progesterone levels tend to decrease your ureters (pathways connecting your bladder and kidneys) muscle tones causing them to dilate and slow down the flow of urine.
It’s good to note that your bladder also loses its tone, making it hard to empty it completely. Thus, it becomes more prone to reflux- where some urine tends to flow back up towards your kidneys!
But you need not panic as having a UTI isn’t always a must.
If you don’t experience signs/symptoms I’m about to list below, then you’re 100% free of this condition:
- Pain or a burning sensation when urinating.
- Frequent urination.
- An urgency feeling whenever you’re urinating.
- The presence of mucus or blood in your urine.
- Pain during sex.
- Fever, chills, sweats, urine leakage.
- Your urine looks cloudy or smells foul (or unusually strong).
- Pressure, pain, and tenderness around the bladder.
- WARNING: When you notice any of the above signs, see your medical provider ASAP! If you let the situation go scot-free, you might end up with a kidney infection that would lead to early labor and lower birth weight!
As they say, “preventions is better than cure.” So, let me give you a few tips that might help reduce the chances of a UTI occurring in your pregnancy life.
- Drink plenty of water- 6-8 glasses of water a day.
- Consider drinking cranberry juice.
- Studies have established that it's capable of reducing bacteria levels and even discourage new bacteria from reaching your urinary tract.
- Keep off refined foods, alcohol, caffeine, fruits juices, and sugar.
- Taking Zinc (30-50mg/day), Beta-carotene (25,000-50,000 UI/day), and Vitamin C (250-500mh/day) can help fight off the infection.
- Be sure to urinate as soon as you feel the need (and strive to empty your bladder fully)
- Urinate before/after intercourse.
- Avoid intercourse when under UTI treatment.
- Changes your undergarment and pantyhose every day!
- Don’t wear tight-fitting pants.
- After urinating, blot dry your genital area and keep it clean, always. Be sure to wipe from the front backward.
- Strong soaps, antiseptic creams, douches, powders, and feminine hygiene sprays for now (that’s if you’re already using them; if you’re not, don’t even attempt).
- Wear full cotton underwear and pantyhose.
- Using the bathtub? Well, don’t soak in there for more 30 minutes or many times a day (twice is enough)
Pregnancy and Anxiety
For all those expectant moms wondering from almost the whole day and then wondering if it’s okay to be carried away by too much anxiety at this time, the answer is YES.
Because you’re going through a life-changing period, it’s okay for you to feel scared or uneasy at times. Besides, the hormonal changes during pregnancy can affect your emotions and make you highly vulnerable to anxiety.
So if you find yourself worrying about…
- Your unborn baby.
- Your pregnancy symptoms and the meaning behind them.
- Your relationship with your spouse, and.
You’re perfectly OK!
Anxiety in pregnancy can sometimes become a serious problem.
If you’ve reached a stage where you can control your thoughts or worrying is interfering with your daily life, things are getting out hand!
Too much anxiety might lead to the generalized anxiety disorder (or clinical anxiety) whose symptoms include:
- Feeling nervous or anxious most of the time.
- Inability to control your thoughts.
- Worrying too much about a lot of things.
- Having difficulties relaxing.
- You’ve become irritable and short-tempered.
- You feel afraid or feel that bad things will happen to you.
- Feeling restless and you just can’t keep still.
- Rapid breathing and rapid heartbeats.
Whenever you notice any of the above symptoms, you need to give your medical care provider a visit to confirm the condition and give you the appropriate treatment.
If you feel that your case is not that severe, you might consider fighting the anxiety on your own, with the following proven methods:
- Talk about how you’re feeling with someone,
- Keep off scary stories and images.
- Refute the “what ifs” that fill your might.
- Breathe: practice slow, deep breaths, followed by slowly exhaling. This will make you relax faster!
- Look for ways to cut on stress (remember stress is the mother of anxiety).
- You can even grab an online course to help you fight anxiety!
Pregnancy and Cramps
Cramping is also a normal symptom experienced by pregnant moms.
It is basically the uterus’ response to anything happening to it. With that in mind, it's normal to get cramps in the first trimester, following the changes that occur as your baby develops.
What causes cramps during pregnancy?
The condition usually occurs when your uterus expands and all the ligaments and muscles supporting it respond by stretching. You'll quickly notice it when you cough, sneeze or change positions.
You can also experience the cramps in the second trimester due to round ligament pain. The round ligament supports the uterus, and whenever it stretches, you’ll be in for a sharp, stabbing pain.
You might experience minor cramps- caused by constipation, gas and bloating, and sexual intercourse- now and then. These should not send you into a panic mood.
However, some pregnancy cramping can arise from severe cases and call for serious concerns. These cases include:
- Ectopic pregnancy.
- Preterm labor.
- Urinary tract infection (UTI).
- Placental abruption
- Effective tips for treating pregnancy cramps.
- Try sitting, lying down or changing positions.
- Soak in warm water.
- Participate in some relaxation exercises.
- Take plenty of fluids, including water.
- You can also try placing hot water bottle wrapped in a towel around the aching part
NOTE: The above tips will only work in the case of minor cramping. In severe cases, you’d want to call your doctor for expert medical help.
“But how do I know I’ve severe cramping?”
Here are some surefire signs:
- Severe pain that doesn’t subside.
- lower abdominal pains plus contractions.
- Vaginal bleeding, cramping, and discharge.
- Gastrointestinal symptoms.
- Dizziness and lightheadedness.
- Cramps alongside pain in the neck or shoulders.
Pregnancy and Hot Flashes (or Hot Flushes)
Doubting if the hot flashes- or hot flushes- you have right now are an effect of pregnancy?
Remove your doubts now! Hot flashes are a symptom of pregnancy…and they affect up to 80% of expectant moms (with some experiencing them as early as in the first weeks of the pregnancy).
If you’re already lost in the above description or have never experienced a hot flush, let me explain to you what you might expect:
A hot flash involves an intense heat that spreads through your upper body- typically start with your neck and head. It usually lasts for close to 30 or 50 seconds.
According to the medical experts, the regular fluctuation of hormone levels (especially the drops in estrogen) are the main culprits behind these heat surges.
Typically, these flush should occur in the second and third trimesters. They might become more frequent after the arrival of your baby since your hormones tend to lower after delivering and might remain low as you breastfeed.
But rest assured that hot flashes will NEVER harm your unborn baby!
Even when they mean no harm to your child, they’re annoying, frustrating and you’d want to control them.
The best advice I can give you when it comes to dealing with hot flush is: Stay Cool.
- Wear loose clothing- if possible wear natural fiber clothes as they’re more breathable than the synthetic fibers.
- Always keep your room cool even if it means allowing a breeze to whisper through your room or installing an electric fan.
- You can also refresh your face with a light water spray or just cold water.
- Keep off hot, crowded rooms, buses, and trains.
When we talk about pregnancy, we think of the joy it brings to you at the end. But we also can’t fail to mention the changes and symptoms it comes with.
The most common symptoms across all pregnancies include gas, UTI, anxiety, cramps and hot flashes.
These symptoms can sometimes are annoying, frustrating, embracing and can sometimes cause discomforts in your pregnancy life.
However, most of them have no grave consequences on your baby. And the few that might bring complications can be treated in time to prevent them.
We have discussed useful tips to get over each of these symptoms and give you some peace of mind as you wait for your bundle of your joy.
Have you experienced any of the above symptoms before?