Why Do We Get Food Babies?

"Are you expecting?" Expecting indigestion for the next 3-4 hours? Absolutely. Food babies are such an odd phenomenon that can have you looking like you're entering the third trimester in the evening and waking up with a washboard tum. So, what is actually going on inside?

Our stomach is capable of holding up to 4 litres (the same as 2 large coke bottles), but you'll usually start to feel full at around the 1.5-litre mark. Above this point, the wall of your stomach will start to stretch, causing discomfort. Our bodies are really adaptable, so after a while of eating to this point, our muscles will stretch out and not ping back to normal, meaning it will take more food to make you feel full.

Food babies aren't always due to overindulgence as they are caused by gas which can arise from certain gas-producing foods, as well as swallowing air while eating. Some foods need more bacterial breakdown, causing an increase in the production of gas in the intestinal tract. These foods include; broccoli, Brussel sprouts, peaches, figs and cabbage. Some allergies can also increase gas production, causing bloating after eating something you're intolerant to.

Once you've got a food baby, you have to ride the wave and wait for labour. You can ease discomfort by breathing through cramps and burping, if you need to, to release some air (gross but necessary). While you may feel like exercise will speed up the recovery, it will actually do the opposite. During intense exercise, your body restricts blood flow to the digestive system and will slow down your return to normality. Trying a light walk will help to speed up digestion and could knock an hour or so off your 'due date'!

So, there you have it... don't avoid gas-producing carbs but perhaps avoid eating more than one portion in one sitting. Eat slowly to minimise air intake and stop eating when you feel satisfied. If you do test positive for a food baby, don't panic. Unbutton your jeans, try not to lie down for at least half an hour and go for a stroll (maybe do your jeans back up first). You'll be feeling better in no time.

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