Written on 28 July 2022
Heartburn is a prevalent pregnancy symptom, especially during the first trimester. Everyone experiences heartburn at some point during pregnancy, but many women have severe symptoms which can last for weeks or months. Heartburn during pregnancy can be uncomfortable and frustrating. Fortunately, there are a few things that expecting mothers can do to help relieve the symptoms. Before looking at a few simple tips on how to control heartburn during pregnancy, let us understand what heartburn is during pregnancy.
Heartburn is a burning sensation in the chest or throat usually caused by stomach acids backing up and irritating the esophagus, which connects the mouth to our stomach. Heartburn is caused by acid reflux — the flow of stomach contents back into the esophagus. In most cases, this happens when food or liquids travel down into the stomach too quickly and cause it to empty into your esophagus.
Heartburn can be temporary or chronic and occur at any time during pregnancy (more common in the first trimester). However, heartburn symptoms may become more frequent during pregnancy, but they can also recur after pregnancy if you don't treat the underlying cause.
The common symptoms of heartburn during pregnancy include:
Burning sensation in chest and throat that eventually progresses to mouth
Nausea and stomach pain
Discomfort while lying down
Trouble sleeping (as a result of burning sensation)
Increased discomfort after eating fatty or fried food
Heartburn and other digestive problems during pregnancy can be frustrating and uncomfortable. It is a discomfort in the chest caused by the sphincter at the top of the stomach relaxing too soon. The sensation is often worse after eating fatty or spicy foods, alcohol, or caffeine.
The primary reason why women experience excessive heartburn during pregnancy is because of the pressure that the growing uterus is putting on the stomach, causing stomach acid reflux.
There are many other reasons why women may experience heartburn during pregnancy, such as:
Eating too fast (causing the stomach to empty more quickly)
Overeating food at once (causing the stomach to produce acid in excessive amounts)
Drinking carbonated drinks (causing reflux)
Smoking (causing acid reflux)
Immediately lying down after having a meal
Eating too much spicy food
Researchers have also found out that as the pregnancy progresses, the heartburn also becomes worse. This happens primarily due to the growing uterus putting pressure on the stomach and other digestive system organs.
There are several ways to relieve heartburn during pregnancy. A few of these options require only mild dietary changes — such as drinking less alcohol or avoiding spicy foods — while others involve more drastic lifestyle changes, such as avoiding caffeine or eating small meals throughout the day. Expecting mothers may need to try several approaches before finding one that works for them. Here are some tips for how to get rid of heartburn during pregnancy at home following these simple tips:
Drink plenty of water - Water will help reduce bloating, which often causes heartburn. Try drinking eight glasses a day!
Eat smaller meals - Eating smaller meals help reduce gas, and eating small amounts at a time can make it easier for the body to digest food properly.
Don't overeat - Staying hydrated and eating healthy foods will help expecting mothers feel better and avoid getting sick. If heartburn persists, try over-the-counter medications such as Prilosec (omeprazole) or Nexium (esomeprazole).
Avoid lying down for at least 30 minutes after eating- Lying down right after eating causes acid reflux and thus increases heartburn. It is often better for expecting mothers to walk around a bit after having their meal rather than just lying down straight.
Heartburn is a common problem that most women encounter during their pregnancy. However, it is not something they should ignore since it can be highly uncomfortable dealing with a burning pain sensation in your chest and throat. Also, it can hamper the quality of sleep. So when should an expecting mother see a doctor for heartburn?
If the home remedies, lifestyle changes, and OTC medication are not working in combating heartburn, one should see their doctor immediately. Also, if the OTC medication worsens the heartburn, one must see their doctor ASAP. And finally, if the heartburn does not subside after several days of delivery, one should see the doctor as it may indicate an underlying concern.
Heartburn is a common pregnancy symptom that can start as early as the first trimester. The upward movement of stomach acid causes it into the esophagus, which can be uncomfortable and even painful. If you are wondering how to control heartburn during pregnancy and manage and relieve it, don't suffer in silence - talk to the doctor about what can be done to find relief.
Amy O’Connor https://www.whattoexpect.com/pregnancy/symptoms-and-solutions/heartburn-during-pregnancy.aspx www.whattoexpect.com
Hillari Dowdle and Laura Riley, https://www.parents.com/pregnancy/stages/2nd-trimester-health/heartburn-causes-and-cures/ www.parents.com
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