Chewing gum is a common occurrence and most people do not think twice about purchasing a packet of gum.
It serves multiply purposes as a mouth freshener, can help you to be more alert, burn calories, and eliminate nausea. This is why many women turn to chewing gum in order to help reduce morning sickness.
But there are some things that you may need to consider especially when you are pregnant. Gum is not a natural food and does contain both artificial flavors and substances.
In this article
- Can You Chew Gum During Pregnancy?
- What Is Chewing Gum Made of?
- What Happens To Chewing Gum If I Swallow It While Pregnant
- The Benefits Of Chewing Gum While Pregnant
- The Harmful Effects Of Chewing Gum During Pregnancy
- When Should You Avoid Chewing Gum Altogether?
- The Final Thought
Can You Chew Gum During Pregnancy?
As long as your pregnancy is free from any complications then it is safe for you to have chewing gum once in a while.
If while you are pregnant you are on a special diet that keeps your sugar intake or calorie intake under control then the amount of gum you chew will definitely have to be taken into any calculations.
It may potentially have to be reduced to keep you within the healthy calorie or sugar limits.
What Is Chewing Gum Made of?
Chewing gum is an artificially produced product so it should be obvious that it will contain a variety of chemicals and synthetic ingredients.
The vast range of flavors is all created artificially and so are the colors. The main taste is made up of chemical sweetening agents or corn syrup.
This may make you think twice about chewing gum especially when pregnant but a small amount seems to cause no harm to either your unborn child or you.
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What Happens To Chewing Gum If I Swallow It While Pregnant
The short answer is that nothing different than when you swallow gum when you’re not pregnant. The gum will travel through your digestive system and will leave your body in your stool several days later.
Gum is extremely hard to digest so it will look unchanged when it comes out from when you swallowed it.
The Benefits Of Chewing Gum While Pregnant
Chewing gum has some real benefits that you would not have thought of and these benefits are the same for pregnant women.
If you are on a calorie-controlled diet then chewing gum can help to reduce food cravings.
Chewing on something can trick your mind into thinking that you have actually consumed food and so reduces your food cravings. This result can last for quite some time.
Although called morning sickness, it can actually happen at any time of the day or night when you are pregnant.
There are a few different techniques that are supposed to help with nausea such as deep breathing, to eating before your feet touch the floor in the morning.
But gum contains stevia which is linked to reducing the feeling of sickness. Combine the stevia with the act of chewing it can often help your body get past nausea and get on with your day.
Heartburn is another nasty side effect of being pregnant. The old wives tale states that if you suffer from heartburn your baby will have lots of hair.
But this does not help you deal with it on a day to day basis. So by chewing gum, your mouth increases more saliva and this works its way to your stomach and helps to balance out the excess stomach acid that causes heartburn.
The Harmful Effects Of Chewing Gum During Pregnancy
Now you know if something has benefits then it is sure to have some harmful effects too.
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Chewing gum contains a lot of artificial sweeteners and flavorings that can cause some dental issues. While you’re pregnant these dental issues can be quite an irritation and cause a great deal of pain and discomfort.
This is a widely used sweetener used in chewing gum. But sorbitol can also be responsible for the inflation of the gut and this could potentially restrict the fetus and its normal growth.
Many chewing gums also contain another sweetener called sucralose and this has been linked to harmful effects with regard to diabetes especially while pregnant.
The act of continuous chewing can weaken the cartilage muscles that are present to protect your jaw from impact. If these are damaged then there will be constant mouth pain.
For those mothers who opt for chewing nicotine gum as opposed to smoking, they need to be made aware that this is not a good option either.
Nicotine is the core addictive substance of cigarettes and nicotine gum, if this reaches the baby it can cause cardiological problems later in life.
When Should You Avoid Chewing Gum Altogether?
Although for the most part chewing gum while your pregnant is completely harmless to both your baby and you, there are a few instances when you should not be chewing gum.
- If you have elevated blood sugar levels due to the onset of gestational diabetes.
- If doctors have informed you that your body is resistant to insulin.
- If you have diabetes before becoming pregnant, it is absolutely essential that you stay within your safe range. Chewing gum could fluctuate these ranges and complicate your pregnancy.
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What happens if you swallow a little bit of gum?
Although chewing gum is designed to be chewed and not swallowed, generally it is not harmful if swallowed. There are a lot of tales of chewing gum sitting in your stomach for several years as the body can not digest it.
This isn’t exactly true. If you swallow gum it won’t sit in your stomach but it will remain intact as it travels through your digestive system and is eventually excreted.
How long does gum stay in your body if swallowed?
Your body can safely pass gum in a few days. Although it is not recommended that you swallow large amounts of gum as it can lead to intestinal blockages, especially in children.
Can pregnant women eat chewing gum?
Chewing gum commonly contains Xylitol which is a sugar alcohol, it is also found in candy and toothpaste. Xylitol is considered safe while pregnant in moderate amounts.
So a few pieces of gum will not cause any harm but you may want to be aware of the amount you are using.
The Final Thought
Chewing gum while you are pregnant for most people is not a huge problem and can be enjoyed without causing any risks to your unborn baby.
Swallowing it is not recommended but if it does happen there is no need to panic you will simply pass it out in your stool.