When I was pregnant for the first time, I did my best to be as prepared as possible. I read every book on the planet, consulted friends who had kids, and baby-proofed my house like it was Fort Knox. I was determined to be as prepared as possible for whatever motherhood had in store for me.Well no baby book, well-meaning friend, or schedule could prepare me for the biggest secret of having kids: Motherhood makes you gassy.
Sorry, ladies, but the cat’s out of the bag; no pun intended. Having babies makes your muscles weaker and your parts looser. That combination is a recipe for, well…for breaking wind when you least expect it.
My first windy escape happened when I was a bridesmaid in a friend’s wedding. As all the ladies were getting dressed pre-wedding, I shoved my six-months-after-having-a-baby body into my dress. The tight zipper and the rigid boning pressed down on my stomach. As I zipped up out, it popped, a loud and proud pop of gas that could not be mistaken for anything but what it was.
Horrified, I apologized and blamed childbirth for my windy city. Every mom in the room looked at me like I was nuts — not for farting, but for apologizing. Turns out they’d all gotten the gassies when they had kids too.
Now a mom of two, I’m more prepared than I was back at that wedding. There are certain situations I avoid, and others for which I prepare. Because if there’s one thing every mom can count on, it’s having to break wind at the least opportune time. For example:
1. Mid-Pap Smear
Once you’ve given birth, there’s very little left that’s embarrassing. But lying in a paper dress on a cold table while your OB-GYN directs your vagina down the table like an air traffic controller still is. That’s because there’s a good chance you’re going to have to let something go while you’re lying in the stirrups. The bad news is your doctor’s face will be right there mid-fart. The good news, you won’t be the first farter on his table, and you won’t be the last.
2. Spin Class
Few workouts get you in shape like a good spin class. But get a bunch of moms to crouch over a bike while pressing down on the pedals, and someone’s going to let one rip. Let’s just hope it’s not you.
Just imagine the calming voice of a very Zen-like figure telling you to relax and crouch down to the ground and you’re absolutely going to have to fart. But in a room full of health nuts who are probably living on raw vegetables and nuts, you can always blame the Vegan Guy farting away next to you.
4. Day 2 of Your Juice Cleanse
There are so many things awful about juice cleanses, the juice only part being one of them. But the high of juice-to-gas ratio doesn’t help. So if you do that juice cleanse to get rid of your past baby pounds, expect a big bloated belly that can sing like a whoopee cushion.
5. Labor and Delivery
Every pregnant gal is worried about pooping while she’s crowning, but you’re more likely to fart your way into motherhood. You’ll probably be so baby-blissed-out that you won’t notice you just farted in front of your doctor, all those nurses, the interns, and whomever else was in the audience of your birth. And hopefully your husband won’t remind you later.
6. In the Middle of Sex
There’s no crying in baseball, but there is a lot of farting in sex after kids. Your husband will be so happy he’s having sex, he won’t care that it comes with a breeze.
7. The Bathroom
Once you’ve had kids, peeing becomes an adventure. So expect a pre-pee fart nearly every time.
8. That Big Meeting at Work
The harder you work to prep for a meeting and the more nights of sleep you lose creating that PowerPoint presentation, the gassier you’ll be. Chalk it up to nerves and that it-fits-a-little-tighter-now-that-I’ve-had-a-baby pencil skirt that doesn’t come with an elastic waistband, but important events are notorious for making a mom gassier than a helium balloon.
9. The Car When You’re Alone
Every mom tries to wait for a private moment of solitude to release whatever gas she’s been holding onto. Your car will become that farting safe haven. Once you drop the kids off at daycare or with the babysitter, no one will know you caused that bad smell. What happens in your minivan stays there.
10. Your Kid’s First Bounce House Party
The first time your kid has, or is invited to, a bounce house party they’ll be begging you to join them inside. Not only will all that bouncing do a number on your now-weak bladder, but bouncing and new motherhood will make your stomach feel like a microwave popping popcorn. Let’s just hope none of the other kids notice how many times you pop.
11. The Meditation Class Your Friend Dragged You To
Part of being a new mom means making new mom friends. One of those new mom friends will tell you that meditation is the key to staying calm through all those sleepless nights and breastfeeding. Maybe it is, but sitting on the ground, breathing in and out, and relaxing your body and your thoughts, is a recipe for disaster. And that disaster is you farting in the middle of a completely silent room.
12. Date Night
Once you’ve had kids, it’s hard to find time for date night with your partner. But count on the few times the two of you can actually sneak away for a quiet dinner and a bottle of wine, the romantic mood will probably be ruined by you having to pass some gas. But just in case you feel embarrassed, don’t. Your partner saw a human being come out of your vagina — farting is child’s play.
13. 4 a.m.
New moms may not sleep much, but when they do, it’s deep and relaxing. That combo is also a surefire way to empty out your excess air. Sure, it can be loud enough to wake your baby, but your partner will be so tired they’ll never know it was you.
So while every new mom reads What to Expect When You’re Expecting like it’s the Bible, the one thing you can expect is to get a little gassy after you’ve had that baby. It can prove somewhat humiliating at times, but at least you’ve got an adorable little baby to show for it.