Heartburn is a typical symptom during pregnancy. Acid reflux and heartburn can be exacerbated by changes in your hormones and your body shape. Symptoms can be prevented and relieved by making some diet and lifestyle changes.
What is Heartburn?
Heartburn occurs when you feel a burning sensation in your chest. The uneasy feeling may go up in your throat. You may have a bitter or sour taste in your deep throat.
Although this is called “heartburn” it is not related to your heart. This happens because of acid reflux, which occurs when stomach acid travels from your stomach to your oesophagus. The oesophagus is the tube that carries food, fluids, and saliva to your stomach.
A muscle called the lower oesophagal sphincter (LES) is located between the oesophagus and the stomach. It opens to let the food pass, then closes so that the acid does not flow back up into your oesophagus. But if the LES doesn’t close properly, acid can enter your oesophagus, causing heartburn.
Why Does Heartburn Happen During Pregnancy?
Heartburn is a common symptom of pregnancy for many women. Heartburn can be caused by hormonal changes and changes in the shape of the body.
How Common Is Heartburn During Pregnancy?
Heartburn affects more than 50% of all pregnant women, especially in the third trimester. This is more likely in women who were previously pregnant or had heartburn before becoming pregnant.
Symptoms of heartburn during pregnancy
If you have heartburn during your pregnancy, you can:
- Have feelings of fullness, heaviness or bloating
- Burp frequently
- Feel sick
- Cough or have a sore throat
- bitter or sour taste in the back of the throat
- Burning or painful sensation in the chest, especially after eating
What Causes Heartburn During Pregnancy?
Heartburn can be caused by a variety of factors during pregnancy, including:
- Hormone levels changing: During pregnancy, your hormone levels vary, affecting the way you accept and digest meals. Hormones can slow down your digestive system. Bloating and heartburn are caused by slowly moving foods.
- Oesophagal sphincter relaxing: The prenatal hormone progesterone can relax the lower oesophagal sphincter. Stomach acid can move up into the oesophagus when it relaxes.
- Uterus enlarging: Your uterus expands as your baby grows. This can congest your stomach, causing stomach acids to rise into your oesophagus. Heartburn is more common in the third trimester, the last months of pregnancy, because of this. The baby and uterus are at their peak during this time, straining your other organs.
How Can I Get Relief from Pregnancy Heartburn?
Try These Natural Remedies For Heartburn Relief During Pregnancy:
- Eat yoghurt or drink milk.
- Stir a tablespoon of honey into hot milk and drink it.
Prevention of Heartburn During Pregnancy
Here are some points mentioned below to reduce heartburn during pregnancy:
- On behalf of three heavy meals a day, eat small meals several times.
- Avoid spicy, fried, or fatty foods, as well as anything that seems to relax the lower oesophagal sphincter and cause heartburn.
- Avoid spicy, fried or rich (fatty) foods, as well as anything that seems to relax the lower oesophagal sphincter, causing heartburn.
- Do not smoke or consume alcohol, as both could make heartburn symptoms worse.
- Eat slowly.
- As you eat, drink less. Drinking plenty of fluids while eating can cause acid reflux and heartburn.
- After eating, do not lie down right away.
- Maintain a greater height difference between the head and the foot of your bed. To help keep stomach acids from backing up your oesophagus, place pillows under your shoulders.
- Dress in loose clothing. Tight clothes put extra pressure on your stomach and abdomen.
- Constipation must be avoided at all costs.
Treatment of Heartburn During Pregnancy
See your doctor if your heartburn persists. They can prescribe or suggest over-the-counter medications that can be safely consumed during pregnancy. Heartburn normally goes away after work.
Medications can include:
- Calcium carbonate and magnesium hydroxide are examples of over-the-Counter Antacids. These are generally considered safe to use during pregnancy. Since liquid heartburn treatments cover the oesophagus, they may be more effective in curing heartburn.
- H2 Blockers. These drugs prevent the production of stomach acid by blocking chemical signals. Cimetidine (Tagamet) and famotidine (Pepcid, Zantac 360) are two of them, and they come in both over the counter and prescription forms.
- Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs). These medicines, like H2 blockers, help in reducing stomach acid. PPIs, such as lansoprazole (Prevacid) and omeprazole (Prilosec), are both over-the-counter and prescription medicines. Before taking a PPI or H2 blocker, consult your doctor if you are taking iron supplements. These medicines can reduce the effectiveness of supplements.