Can swallowed air cause digestion problems?
The simple definition of Aerophagia is when you swallow too much air into your gastrointestinal tract.
Most adults swallow a little air when speaking, eating or drinking. But in cases of Aerophagia, the amount of swallowed air is so large it can cause abdominal bloating, intestinal pain and excessive burping and belching. In babies, this can occur when they take in air during breastfeeding and when there is cause for longer term spells of crying or screaming episodes.
The majority of swallowed air is usually burped back out or sicked up, but sometimes the air may pass from the stomach into the small intestine and when lying down this pressure can increase.
Once this air is in the gastrointestinal tract any that is not absorbed into the small intestine (primarily oxygen), has to go somewhere. That passage out often leads to abdominal bloating and cramps.
Children who use a is drinking straws frequently or gulp liquids down may also struggle with trapped air.
To help a young baby regulate the air passing through their system, it is important to allow a baby’s legs to move unrestricted. Movement around the groin and flexing the legs helps a baby’s digestive system.
TOP TIP: If you swaddle your baby frequently, also make sure you give them freedom to wriggle around to avoid trapped wind.