It’s called heartburn, although that burning sensation in your chest has absolutely nothing to do with the heart. Uncomfortable and aggravating, it troubles many women, particularly during pregnancy.
The first concern you may have is, “How can I make it stop?” The second may be, “Are treatments safe for my baby?” And lastly, “Is my heartburn serious?” Keep checking out to learn what causes heartburn during pregnancy and what you can do about it.
What Causes Heartburn During Pregnancy?
During typical food digestion, food takes a trip down the esophagus (the tube between your mouth and your stomach), through a muscular valve called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), and into the stomach. The LES becomes part of the entrance in between your esophagus and your stomach. It opens to allow food through and closes to stop stomach acids from returning up.
When you experience heartburn, or “heartburn,” the LES relaxes enough to permit stomach acid to rise up into the esophagus. This can cause pain and burning in the chest area. During pregnancy, hormone changes can enable the muscles in the esophagus, consisting of the LES, to unwind more regularly. The result is that more acids might permeate back up, particularly when you’re lying down or after you’ve eaten a big meal.
In addition, as the fetus grows during the 2nd and third trimesters and the uterus broadens to accommodate that growth, the stomach is under more pressure. This can also lead to food and acid being pressed back up into the esophagus.
Is Heartburn a Sign of Pregnancy?
If you have heartburn or heartburn, could it mean that you’re pregnant? It’s possible. Heartburn is a common incident for most people at one time or another, but doesn’t necessarily indicate you’re pregnant. However, if you experience other symptoms, such as a missed out on period or nausea, these could be signs that you have to take a pregnancy test.
Does Pregnancy Cause Heartburn?
Pregnancy increases the risk that a woman may experience heartburn or heartburn. During the first trimester, muscles in the esophagus push food more slowly into the stomach and the stomach takes longer to empty. This provides your body more time to soak up nutrients for the fetus, but can also lead to heartburn.
During the third trimester, the growth of the baby can press the stomach from its typical position, which can cause heartburn. Nevertheless, each woman is different and being pregnant doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll immediately have heartburn. It depends upon numerous aspects, including your physiology, your diet, your daily routines, and your pregnancy.
How to Get Rid of Heartburn and Acid Reflux During Pregnancy?
Relieving heartburn during pregnancy normally includes a period of experimentation. Lifestyle routines that can reduce the occurrence of heartburn are often the best techniques for both mother and baby. Some changes you can make that might help eliminate your heartburn include:
- Eat smaller sized meals more regularly and avoid drinking while eating. Drink water between meals instead.
- Eat slowly and chew every bite completely.
- Avoid eating a few hours prior to bed.
- Prevent those foods and drinks that trigger your heartburn. Common culprits include: chocolate, fatty foods, hot foods, acidic foods like citrus fruits and tomato-based products, carbonated beverages, and caffeine.
- Stay upright for at least an hour after a meal. A leisurely walk might also motivate food digestion.
- Use comfy instead of tight-fitting clothes.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Use pillows or wedges to elevate your upper body while sleeping.
- Sleep on your left side– lying on your right side will position your stomach higher than your esophagus, which might cause heartburn.
- Chew a piece of sugarless gum after meals. The increased saliva might reduce the effects of any acid returning up into the esophagus.
- Eat yogurt or drink a glass of milk to stop symptoms once they begin.
- Include some honey to chamomile tea or a glass of warm milk.
Always contact your doctor prior to trying brand-new treatments.
What Medications are Safe to Take During Pregnancy?
Over-the-counter antacids like Tums, Rolaids, and Maalox might help you manage occasional heartburn symptoms. Those made from calcium carbonate or magnesium are great alternatives. However, it may be best to prevent magnesium during the last trimester, as it could disrupt contractions during labor.
Most doctors recommend avoiding antacids which contain high levels of sodium, as these can cause excess accumulation of fluid in the tissues. You need to likewise prevent any that note aluminum on the label (as in “aluminum hydroxide” or “aluminum carbonate”), as they can be constipating.
Finally, stay away from medications like Alka-Seltzer which contain aspirin. Ask your doctor for the best alternative.
If you discover yourself downing bottles of antacids, your heartburn might have progressed to gastroesophageal heartburn disease (GERD). Because case, you may need a stronger treatment.
When should I Talk to My Doctor?
If you experience heartburn that frequently wakes you up at night, returns as quickly as your antacid wears off, or creates other symptoms like difficulty swallowing, coughing, weight loss, or black stools, you may have a more serious problem that requires attention. Your doctor may diagnose you with GERD, which just suggests that your heartburn needs to be controlled to safeguard you from complications like damage to the esophagus.
Your doctor might recommend particular acid-reducing medications to reduce your symptoms. Research shows that medications called h2 receptor antagonists — which help obstruct the production of acid– seem safe. Another type of medication, called proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), may be best scheduled for those patients not reacting to other treatments.
If you’re concerned about the effects of medications, make certain to speak with your doctor. They can help you manage your symptoms while securing the safety of your unborn child.