Causes of Heartburn and How it is Related to Pregnancy!
Heartburn or sourness affects most future moms at some point because progesterone, the hormone that relaxes muscles during pregnancy, also relaxes the stomach valve that prevents acid from leaving the esophagus. In addition, the growing uterus agglomerates the stomach, forcing the acid into the esophagus. The first question you may have is how to make it stop. You can also ask yourself if the treatments are safe for your baby. Learn below what causes heartburn during pregnancy and what you can do about it.
What Causes Heartburn During Pregnancy?
During normal digestion, food travels through the esophagus, through a muscular valve called the lower esophageal sphincter (IAS) into the stomach. This sphincter is part of the entrance between your esophagus and your stomach. It opens to allow food to pass and closes to prevent stomach acids from rising again.
“When you have heartburn, the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) relaxes enough to allow stomach acid to rise to the esophagus. This can cause pain and burning in the chest area”.
During pregnancy, hormonal changes may allow the muscles of the esophagus, including the LES, to relax more frequently. The result is that more acids can be retracted, especially when you are lying down or after eating a large meal. Also, as your fetus grows during the second and third trimesters and your uterus expands to adapt to that growth, your stomach is under more pressure. This can also cause food and acid to be pushed back into the esophagus. Heartburn or sourness is a common occurrence for most people at one time or another, but it does not necessarily mean that you are pregnant. However, if you also experience other symptoms, such as lack of a period or nausea, these could be signs that you should have a pregnancy test.
So, Does Pregnancy Produce Heartburn?
Pregnancy increases your risk of heartburn. During the first trimester, the muscles in your esophagus push food more slowly into the stomach, and it takes longer to empty. This gives your body more time to absorb nutrients for the fetus, but it can also cause rejection. During the third trimester, your baby’s growth can push your stomach out of its normal position, which can cause heartburn. However, every woman is different. Being pregnant does not necessarily mean you will have heartburn or sourness. It depends on many factors, including your psychology, diet, daily habits and your pregnancy.
How do you Fight Heartburn During Pregnancy?
Fighting heartburn or sourness during pregnancy usually involves some trial and error. Lifestyle habits that can reduce acidity are often the safest methods for mother and baby. The following tips can help relieve your heartburn, also called heartburn or rejection.
12 Ways to Calm Heartburn in Pregnancy
- Eat smaller meals more frequently and avoid drinking while eating. Drink water between meals instead.
- Eat slowly and chew each bite well.
- Avoid eating a few hours before bedtime.
- Avoid foods and drinks that trigger heartburn. Typical culprits include chocolate, fatty foods, spicy foods, acidic foods such as citrus fruits and tomato-based items, carbonated drinks and caffeine.
- Stay upright for at least an hour after a meal. A quiet walk can also encourage digestion.
- Wear comfortable clothes instead of tight.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Use pillows or wedges to raise your upper body while you sleep.
- Sleep lying on your left side. Lying on your right side will place your stomach higher than your esophagus, which can cause heartburn.
- Chew a piece of sugar-free gum after meals. The production (increase) of saliva can nullify any acid that returns to the esophagus.
- Try eating yogurt or drinking a glass of milk to soothe symptoms once they begin.
- Drink some honey in chamomile tea or a glass of warm milk.
Other alternative medicine options include: acupuncture and relaxation techniques. For example: progressive muscle relaxation, yoga or guided imaging technique. You can also try some home remedies that can help relieve heartburn and counteract the discomfort at this stage. For example: you can prepare an infusion of fennel. This home remedy has been used since ancient times to promote digestion. Take into account that each person has different needs and in certain cases the pregnancy requires specific care. So you should be careful when using home remedies.
* Important: Always check with your doctor before trying new treatments.
What Medications are Safe to Take During Pregnancy for Heartburn?
Over-the-counter antacids, such as Tums, Rolaids and Maalox, can help you cope with the occasional symptoms of heartburn. Those made of calcium or magnesium carbonate are good options. However, magnesium can interfere with contractions during childbirth, so it may be better to avoid it in the last trimester of pregnancy. Most doctors recommend avoiding antacids that contain high levels of sodium, because they can lead to an accumulation of fluid in the tissues. You should also avoid any antacids that contain aluminum on the label, such as aluminum hydroxide or aluminum carbonate. These antacids can cause constipation. Finally, stay away from medications such as AlkaSeltzer that may contain aspirin. It is best to ask your doctor what is the best option. If you find yourself consuming many antacids, your heartburn may have progressed to gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). In that case, you may need a stronger treatment. If your doctor diagnoses you with GERD, it means that your heartburn should be properly controlled to protect you from complications such as damage to the esophagus. Your doctor may prescribe certain acid reducing medications to reduce symptoms. Research indicates that drugs called H2 blockers, which help block acid production, appear to be safe. Another type of medicine, called proton pump inhibitors, is used in people with heartburn who do not respond to other treatments.