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April 26, 2015

Heartburn During Pregnancy

Heartburn during pregnancy is quite common. Some women get heartburn for the very first time in their life when they get pregnant with their child. Heartburn, which also known as acid indigestion, is a burning sensation that can extend from the stomach up into the chest and throat. It is caused by stomach contents and acid coming back up the esophagus from the stomach. Heartburn is one of the many pregnancy symptoms that a woman does not look forward to.

There a couple of reasons why heartburn is so prevalent during pregnancy. The first reason is the hormones from the pregnancy. During pregnancy, the placenta produces an extra amount of the hormone progesterone, which can irritate the stomach and may even cause the stomach valve to relax, making it easier for stomach acid to come up. There are other hormones that are also produced that may also affect the stomach's tolerance of certain foods.

Another reason for pregnancy heartburn is the weight of the uterus pushing on the stomach. When a woman gets pregnant, all of her insides are compacted and shifted around due to the enlargement of the uterus. When there is extra pressure put on the stomach from the uterus, it causes the stomach to push the acids up into the esophagus, causing heartburn.

Although you may not be able to fully get rid of heartburn during pregnancy, there are certain things that you can do to make it less severe.

  • Avoid foods that will irritate your stomach or cause gassiness. This involves such foods as carbonated drinks, spicy food, acidic foods like orange juice and other fruit juices, vinegar, tomatoes, fried foods, and foods with mint. The more you are able to avoid these foods, the less distress your stomach may be in.
  • Eat small meals throughout the day instead of three large meals. If you suffer from severe and frequent pregnancy heartburn, try eating five or six mini-meals throughout the day so you do not overstuff yourself.
  • Don't lie down after you eat. Remain in an upright position so that the stomach acid has less of a chance of coming up. Also, along with this, don't eat too late at night or right before you go to sleep. Try to not eat any later than 2 hours before you go to sleep at night
  • Wear loose comfortable clothing, especially pants. Tight waistbands and shirts around your waist will cause more constriction on your stomach, increasing the heartburn severity
  • Check with your doctor to see if you can take an over the counter antacid medication that contains calcium and magnesium to help with the heartburn. Be sure to ask your doctor what brands they recommend as all brands contain different ingredients and some have higher sodium amounts than others.

Heartburn during pregnancy can be a real pain to deal with it. Even though there is no danger to your baby, it can cause real discomfort throughout your pregnancy, making the pregnancy miserable for you. If you are having really severe heartburn, throwing up frequently from heartburn, or you suspect that something else may be wrong, call your doctor to schedule an appointment as soon as possible.

The good news about pregnancy heartburn is that most women report that shortly after giving birth, the heartburn goes away. This is one of the pregnancy symptoms that are truly only during pregnancy and do not usually go beyond.

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